April invests $136m for conservation

Pulp and paper company April Group is investing a further AU$136m in forest restoration in a bid to recover from past industry condemnation.

The Indonesian paper giant says it plans to double its peatland restoration activities in Indonesia to 150,000 hectares and invest AU$136m over the next decade in conservation and restoration activities.

April’s environmental re-focus follows reproof from Australian divisions of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, who in the past criticised the company’s extensive deforestation and devastation of conversation areas.

Australian companies Officeworks and Fuji Xerox cancelled paper contracts with April in 2011 after the organisation was exposed for its threat to Indonesian ecosystems in an ABC documentary Paper/Tiger.

[Related: April's pledge to end deforestation]

The paper corporation is now promoting green credentials and plans a ‘1-for-1 goal of conservation’ to ensure ‘deforestation is eliminated from its supply chain.’ The 1 for 1 means that for every hectare of plantation the company will manage one hectare of conservation.

The investment value is the largest a private company has invested in a single project in Indonesian eco restoration. 

April Group managing director Tony Wenas says the commitment is another major step in the company’s sustainability journey, a move that was pressured by conservation groups due to April’s previous lapses in environmental responsibility.

“This investment indicates our broader business case for restoration which encompasses the value of the ecosystem services and the need to have an inclusive approach with the community,” says Wenas.

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