APP independent report out tomorrow

An independent report into Asia Pulp and Paper's two-year-old commitment to clean up its act in Indonesia will be released tomorrow.

The peer-reviewed report is the result of a four-month evaluation of APP’s entire supply chain by environmental organisation Rainforest Alliance last year.

The report is considered a critical step in APP’s efforts to win back customers, including Australian paper merchants and printers, and regain its FSC certification.

After a decade-long war with Greenpeace and other activist groups that saw its name trashed to the point of losing many of its customers, the giant paper manufacturer two years ago launched its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) to show the world it was now a responsible company.

The FCP includes commitments such as zero deforestation, full transparency of its operations, and severe penalties for suppliers found breaking the rules, and the report assesses those plus 10 other forest conservation related statements made by APP.

[Related: Read the whole APP saga]

The eight-man evaluation team led by Keith Moore, an experienced auditor and respected Canadian forester, did four months of field research at 21 of APP’s 38 concessions, more than one million hectares of the total 2.6 million ha area.

Rainforest Alliance has a long history of doing formal audits of forestry operations around the world, such as the FSC certification, and has brought that experience to the evaluation.

APP sustainability managing director Aida Greenbury says the Rainforest Alliance evaluation is an ‘additional layer of scrutiny and assurance’ to improve transparency and will be useful for the company to know for itself how it is doing and help improve the FCP.

“What’s most important about the audit is to get the facts out there. We might do the wrong thing, but what is the system that we put in place going to do to fix it?” she says.

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