WBCSD tells Sukanto Tanoto to shape up or ship out

Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia, has been threatened with expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – a coalition of some 200 international companies that claim to be committed to sustainability – unless it can demonstrate that it has ended its role in deforestation.

According to Greenpeace, APRIL’s membership to the WBCSD was last week put on formal probation and it has been given twelve months to comply. The company’s membership with the WBCSD’s Forest Solutions Group has also been suspended.

Further, the WBCSD has recommended that “APRIL consider transferring membership to its parent company – the Royal Golden Eagle Group – covering all its various operating units; including prospects of aligning RGE’s other forest industry operations with the FSG membership principles”.

“When an organization led by CEOs of some of the world’s biggest corporations threatens to kick it out of the club, then you would think APRIL would listen. It’s time for APRIL to take this threat seriously and finally implement an immediate moratorium on all further forest clearance. If companies like APP can, then what is APRIL waiting for?” said Phil Aikman, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace.

Activists have stepped up campaigns to change APRIL’s sourcing practices after its biggest competitor — Asia Pulp & Paper — signed a comprehensive forest conservation policy last February. APRIL has no such policy.

Recent government data reveal that 60 percent of fiber supply to APRIL’s pulp mill in Indonesia is rainforest wood. Unnamed Sources claim that in 2012 APRIL suppliers planned to clear some 60,000 hectares of rainforest per day.

“Given APRIL’s recent heavy dependence on rainforest fiber, Greenpeace has serious concerns about APRIL’s commitment to a zero deforestation policy and any ambition it may have to become 100 percent reliant on plantation fiber. Greenpeace will continue to expose APRIL and RGE’s role in forest destruction and cut through the game of smoke and mirrors the company is playing with its customers,” said Aikman.



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