Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) offers a precedent-setting example of a sustainable business model that successfully balances economic benefits to the wider community and conservation of globally and nationally recognised ecological and social values. At APRIL we have publicly committed to identify, protect and manage the High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) in our operations, becoming one of only two pulp and paper companies in the world to do so.
SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
APRIL rigorously pursues a rational sustainable business model, in direct opposition to the unfortunate but incontrovertible trajectory of forest loss and often unmanaged social development in Indonesia. We believe that leaving the forests without active management and protection is not a wise option amid constant threats from illegal logging, forest fires, shifting agriculture and poor forestry practices.
We manage forest resources sustainably, maintaining the efficient infrastructure needed to ensure healthy growing forests, the provision of valuable ecosystem services and the responsible use of forest resources. This is achieved through our Mosaic Plantation Concept (MPC), a landscape based approach to manage the forest resources to meet the conservation, social and economic needs of today’s society without compromising the needs of the future generations. At APRIL we have publicly committed to identify, protect and manage the High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) in our operations, becoming one of only two pulp and paper companies in the world to do so. The HCVF mechanism provides a framework for responsible companies to proactively exceed legal conservation requirements. Presently, about 200,000 hectares are being protected and managed as conservation areas in APRIL’s operations. This makes APRIL the second largest conservation agency in the province of Riau (Sumatra, Indonesia).
We are also the first to achieve certification for Sustainable Plantation Forest Management under the Lembaga Ekolabel, Indonesia (LEI, Indonesian Eco-labeling Institute). The LEI certification system was created by a multi-stakeholder body that included leading NGOs to promote fair, just and sustainable forest management in Indonesia. It is supported by the European Union, ITTO, and the International Conservation Union among others, and is an acknowledged standard by the Japanese government.
Our forest plantations are also certified under OHSAS 18001:1999 for Health and Safety Management.
MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY
According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agricultural Organization, about 20 per cent of CO2 emissions have been caused by land use change with the loss of about seven million hectares per year between 2000 and 2005. The report, however, also said that this amount of forest loss would have been almost twice as large, were it not for the reforestation and conservation efforts of plantation forestry companies like APRIL. The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement reported that carbon stored in forest products is increasing by about 150 million tonnes per year. This is equivalent to removing 540 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per year.
Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) offers a precedent-setting example of a sustainable business model that successfully balances economic benefits to the wider community and conservation of globally and nationally recognised ecological and social values.
Change (IPCC) in its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 noted that, “in the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of fiber, (timber or energy) from the forest will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.” As the sole member in Indonesia of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), we are committed to maximising our contribution to climate change mitigation through the adoption and promotion of sustainable forest management, including the science based management of the peatlands, as important mitigation strategies. Our Science Based Management Support Program, a consortium of experts on carbon and peatland development, enables us to practice optimal water level management, prevent soil subsidence and significantly minimise CO2 emissions in our peatland operations. In addition, the consortium’s inputs also guide our conservation and forest protection practices. Presently, indicators show that CO2 emission from degrading peatlands is cut by almost 80 per cent when placed under APRIL active management as proven by our present operations. We are committed to track, manage and report on our carbon impact as part of our responsibility as a member of the WBCSD, a signatory to the UN Global Compact and to the CEO Climate Change Statement launched in the 2007 UN Global Leaders’ Summit by the UN Environment Programme, UNGC and the WBCSD. APRIL’s proposed project in the Kampar Peninsula (Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia) offers a model for the protection of forest carbon stock that helps mitigate climate change, while also protecting the conservation values in the area and potentially generating financing incentives for the government and the communities. If implemented, the project will achieve avoided deforestation in 270,000 hectares of conservation areas that store about 1,100 Mt of CO2 or roughly the equivalent of 50 per cent of Indonesia’s present total emissions.
At APRIL, we incorporate the values of our stakeholders, both government and civil society, into our operations and actively seek opportunities for partnerships that address common environmental and social concerns. Our company publishes an independently verified sustainability report, with the third edition released in 2006. Our report follows the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN Global Compact guidelines on Communications of Progress. We co-hosted The Forest Dialogue in 2007 and have been the UNEP’s corporate partner for the Champions of the Earth Award since 2005.
ENSURING A CLEAN SUPPLY CHAIN
APRIL is the only pulp and paper company in Indonesia with a wood tracking system that is annually verified by independent third parties, and observed by WWF. Results of these audits confirm that no questionable logs enter our mill. To secure the integrity of our fibre source and to assure our customers, we continue to enforce and strengthen our Acacia Chain of Custody (CoC) and Pulpwood Tracking Systems. The Acacia CoC, regularly audited by SGS, ensures that the flow of Acacia fibre into our mill operations is monitored, tracked, documented and independently verified. To ensure all pulpwood coming from outside suppliers has come from an approved source, we conduct documentary and field inspections to determine that suppliers have complied with both their legal requirements and our own policy.
COMBATING ILLEGAL LOGGING
More than any other plantation company in Indonesia, our company has been leading the fight against illegal logging in Riau, together with the local and provincial governments and WWF Indonesia. Over the past years, we have had demonstrations against us, our security personnel killed and trucks and machinery destroyed because of our fight against illegal logging. We know that we cannot halt illegal logging on our own and need support from law enforcement authorities. We also continue to develop relationships with other key stakeholders and further strengthen our collaboration with WWF. Working together with the Task Force that includes WWF Indonesia and concerned government authorities, we help organise strategic checkpoints and composite patrols, reinforced by the blocking or cutting off of access roads used by illegal loggers. We understand that economic necessity generally underlies the proliferation of this illegal activity. We have undertaken major community development initiatives in order to provide local people with alternative means of employment. Through our operations, we generate 35 APRIL’s Community Development programme helps alleviate poverty, as well as provide an alternative source of income to illegal logging.
These provide a legitimate livelihood option to people who might otherwise engage in illegal logging.
PROTECTING THE SUMATRAN ELEPHANTS’ HABITAT
Together with the Indonesian Government through the Ministry of Forestry, the Riau Provincial Government, concerned NGOs including WWF Indonesia, and private forestry companies, we established the Tesso Nilo National Park Foundation in April 2006. The immediate objective of the multisectoral initiative is to expand the Tesso Nilo National Park from 38,000 hectares to about 100,000 hectares. In support of the human-elephant conflict mitigation protocol for Riau signed in 2005 by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, WWF Indonesia and other NGOs, the Elephant Flying Squad Project was established. This project uses trained elephants and staff to undertake patrols along the border of the National Park and drive back wild elephants into the Park. In 1996 we adopted four elephants and are now cooperating with the Riau Ministry of Forestry (BKSDA) and WWF Indonesia in training them and eight mahouts to become the second Flying Squad.
PREVENTING FIRE AND HAZE
The occurrence of haze is largely due to slash and burn practices that are still undertaken as the traditional and cheapest method to clear land. APRIL does not use fire to clear land as it makes no business or environmental sense. We have employed a ‘No Burn’ policy from the very outset of our operations and use only mechanical methods to prepare the land for planting. Our fire fighting team, which is equipped with air, water and land based capabilities, carry out daily patrols to spot fires within and around the concessions and extinguish them at the quickest possible time. In addition to daily ground and aerial patrols, we also conduct daily calculations of the Fire Danger Rating in each fibre estate and monitor the NOAA (US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) satellite data on fire hotspots.
In addition, we also actively engage the local communities in fire prevention initiatives including teaching the local communities about fire and haze prevention and sustainable agricultural methods instead of the slash and burn approach.
ENSURING CLEAN AND GREEN PRODUCTION
APRIL’s integrated pulp and paper mills are equipped with the Best Available Technology and benchmarked against the world’s best. All emissions and effluent produced by the mill are monitored regularly and measured against external standards. Our modern treatment processes enables us to meet and exceed Indonesian regulations and the US Cluster Rule for New Mills and World Bank Pollution Prevention Guidelines. Wastewater quality, air emission levels and ambient air quality more than satisfy national and international standards.
The mill is largely self sufficient in energy generation with approximately 97 per cent of total energy produced coming from biofuels which are a byproduct of the production process – black liquor, wood bark and rejected wood chips.
EMPOWERING THE COMMUNITY
In 2006, APRIL became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative. The Compact, established in July 2000, offers a framework for businesses to follow in response to the challenges of globalisation. It embraces 10 principles covering human rights protection, fair labour, environment conservation, and anti-corruption. APRIL has established several social development initiatives aimed at fostering an economically viable community, empowering local people and establishing a thriving social infrastructure. APRIL’s Community Development programme encompasses three main areas: integrated farming, community fibre farms and small and medium enterprises. These programmes serve to help alleviate poverty, as well as provide an alternative source of income to illegal logging. At APRIL, we continue to believe that sustainability is an imperative and only with a responsible, balanced approach to commercial, environmental and social values can a business achieve long term profitability and meaningful contribution to the wider natural and social landscapes.
APRIL – THE ORGANISATION
APRIL, with offices in Singapore and operations in Indonesia and China, is a leading producer of fibre, pulp and paper. APRIL operates one of the world’s largest pulp mills with an annual production capacity of 2,000,000 tonnes in Indonesia. The company is committed to protecting the natural resources in its care through sustainable management of its mills and plantation operations to benefit our stakeholders, both now and in the future. Four key areas in creating an efficient low carbon business. In collaboration with WWF, APRIL supports the Elephant Flying Squad which keeps wild elephants within the forest and away from village farms.