Oct 292013

For followers of the Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) journey towards No Deforestation, some really important reading today. Greenpeace, once APP’s most tireless and hostile critic, has released its first detailed assessment of how APP’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) is shaping up. You can read it here: http://tiny.cc/k3ip5w

It’s a balanced assessment – offering praise on several progress areas whilst highlighting future challenges APP must continue to address. APP has published its own response to the Greenpeace review, including detail on how it is planning to address ongoing challenges. More on that here: http://tiny.cc/u4ip5w

This is a very significant moment, and one made all the more so by the undeniable fact that, minor FCP implementation breaches aside, the moratorium on natural forest clearance introduced by APP in February is continuing to hold. Meanwhile, Greenpeace reports extensive ongoing clearance of up to 5,000 hectares per month by other, less responsible, operators. The market will decide how to reward APP for its commitment to transforming its practices, and penalise those who have yet to set any serious sustainability goals. Certainly Asia Pulp and Paper is showing that deforestation does NOT have to be the ‘business as usual’ mode in Indonesia or elsewhere. That can only be seen as good news.

The assertion by Greenpeace that APP has shown its commitments are serious is something I never thought I would hear from this most rigorous and authentic of NGOs. Praise is due to APP’s leadership, its partner TFT, and the all the people involved inside and outside APP in creating what is, I believe, gradually becoming one of the great business sustainability turnaround stories. There remain many challenges and hurdles ahead; but the direction of travel is spot on. I will continue to update this blog with news as the implementation of the Forest Conservation Policy continues.

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