Asia Pulp Paper Group (APP) is one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, producing tissue, packaging and paper. In 2012, Greenpeace exposed that some of APP’s suppliers were clearing Indonesia’s natural rainforests, including forest land within indigenous peoples’ territories. In response to Greenpeace’s campaign, APP made commitments to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and communities affected by its operations and to guarantee the sustainability of forests.
APP’s corporate social responsibility policy states that “in accordance with the United Nations’ ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework in respecting human rights, we believe in our responsibility as a business to act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others and addressing harms that do occur.” In February 2013, APP adopted a Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) that recognises the obligation to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples. The FCP sets out that where “new plantations are proposed, APP will respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities,” including: recognition of customary land rights; responsible handling of complaints; responsible resolution of conflicts; open and constructive dialogue with local, national and international stakeholders; empowerment community development programs; and respect for human rights. The FCP also made a commitment to a zero deforestation policy, stating that “APP and its suppliers will only develop areas that are not forested,” as identified through independent assessments. APP has invited the international NGO Rainforest Alliance to conduct an independent audit on whether APP is complying with its zero-deforestation policy and the initial audit is expected to be released around January 2015. APP has also developed an online “monitoring dashboard,” which serves as progress reporting system to allow tracking of its FCP. APP explains that the dashboard “allows interested parties, including customers, NGOs and media, to follow progress of the FCP on the ground as well as providing access to policies, maps, reports and other documents.”
Further Information: APP’s Forest Conservation Policy: http://www.asiapulppaper.com/system/files/app_forest_conservation_policy_final_english.pdf; the monitoring dashboard: http://www.asiapulppaper.com/monitoring-dashboard; up-to-date information on the Rainforest Alliance audit is available at: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/forestry/sourcing/independent-evaluations/asia-pulp-paper.