APP marks second anniversary of its Forest Conversation Policy with a positive independent evaluation of its progress

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has welcomed the Rainforest Alliance’s independent evaluation of its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) that includes an unprecedented, comprehensive ‘Zero Deforestation’ environmental commitment to eliminate all natural forest clearance across its supply chain.
appfcp-inThe news is important to Canadian commercial printers because many APP products now sold in Canada are manufactured in Indonesia (using Indonesian pulp) and China. APP’s Canadian brands include Riviera (Offset/Coated), ProPrint, Inspira Premium Opaque, Highpoint/Omnistar/Proxima, Paperline, ExcelPro, Rainbow Max Carbonless, Thermal and C1S Label/C1S Cover. The company’s long-term goal is to providing more and more price-competitive and sustainable paper options to the Canadian market, while, as mentioned previously, eventually eliminating all natural forest clearance across its supply chain.
The evaluation concluded that the company has made moderate progress towards meeting its initial commitments. The FCP was announced in February of 2013, marking an immediate end to natural forest clearance by APP’s pulpwood suppliers as well as a range of other measures. APP recognized that engaging the Rainforest Alliance, a respected international organization, to evaluate its progress would provide a valuable perspective on its work as well as increased transparency. The assesses the period from February 2013 to August 2014, and provides a view of the company’s progress towards meeting each of the FCP’s four policy areas, as well as additional public statements that are relevant to the FCP.

Aida Greenbury, APP’s Managing Director of Sustainability.
Aida Greenbury, APP’s Managing Director of Sustainability.

“The FCP is an unprecedented initiative – developed by APP, TFT and Greenpeace – to define a new standard and a new business model for achieving Zero Deforestation in the supply chain,” said Aida Greenbury, APP’s Managing Director of Sustainability. “We’re pleased that the Rainforest Alliance has recognized the progress we’re making. We believe today’s report shows that our efforts to achieve Zero Deforestation are on the right track. However, our FCP implementation measures are not carved in stone. We must have the courage to continually improve them as we learn lessons from implementation. The report has highlighted a number of areas that require additional focus. Its findings, along with feedback from other stakeholders, have been used to shape our FCP implementation plan for 2015 and beyond, which we are introducing immediately.
We also believe that an evaluation like this puts a global spotlight on the issues currently at play in Indonesia’s forests. Since 2013, we have been calling for other stakeholders to support our Zero Deforestation Policy because forests continue to be lost due to factors that, despite our efforts, we cannot completely control – such as encroachment, forest fires and illegal activities. Our hope is that this evaluation will raise awareness of forestry issues in Indonesia and prompt others, including government, NGOs and the private sector, to collaborate more closely to help tackle the issues across the landscape.”
Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance Senior Vice President of Forestry.
Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance Senior Vice-President of Forestry.

Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance Senior Vice-President of Forestry, added: “In 2013 APP set out an ambitious program for change. The Rainforest Alliance has found that APP has made moderate progress to implement the many commitments embedded in its FCP during the 18-month period we evaluated. Key steps have been taken, such as halting the clearance of natural forest by its suppliers. As with any major change initiative, there remains work to be done to put the policies and procedures that have been developed into action in the field. Rainforest Alliance encourages APP to continue on the path set out in the FCP.”
APP’s 2015 FCP Implementation Plan includes the priorities for 2015 onwards, which draw upon the Rainforest Alliance’s most significant findings. These are issues related to third-party forest clearance and peatland best management practices, as well as FPIC and social conflict resolution. The additional areas covered in the Implementation Plan include:

  • Wildfire prevention and management
  • HCV Management and protection
  • Workers’ rights and welfare
  • Sustainable wood supply
  • Landscape conservation initiatives
  • Internal engagement

Elements of the plan will be subject to further consultation as APP continues to implement its Forest Conservation Policy over the coming months and years.

Tony Curcio
Tony Curcio is the news editor at Graphic Arts Magazine.

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