The Pursuit of Sustainable Forestry by Asia Pulp & Paper
As green consumption slowly but surely becomes the driving force of global economy, the pursuit of sustainable business practices is now a priority for manufacturers and service providers. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the top ten pulp and paper companies in the world, is no exception. APP has streamlined its business based on the model of "forest-pulp-paper" integration that aims to achieve sustainable operations and production efficiency. APP's plantations in Indonesia and China have introduced advanced technology to breed timber species with accelerated growth rates and shortened maturity cycles.
In addition to developing a sustainable source of raw material, APP also invests significantly in green production to ensure environmental protection. For example, Jinhai Pulp & Paper, a subsidiary of APP in Hainan, China, has invested RMB 2.7 billion in the pulp mill's wastewater and byproduct treatment. Black liquor, a byproduct released from pulp-making, is recycled and processed for the alkaline remnant, which becomes a renewable energy that generates as much as 70% to 80% of mill's daily heat needs. The black liquor recycling technology has also been adopted by other APP facilities worldwide, such as the Lontar Papyrus mill in Sumatra, Indonesia, where the mill stays nearly 60% self-sufficient in energy consumption.
In response to the US and European market requirement for products from legal, verifiable, and traceable sources, APP has applied an extensive green purchasing policy on its supply chain. APP implements a strict and rigorous Chain of Custody system in all of its major production facilites, thus ensuring that the raw material used in the production – in this case pulpwood and pulp – is traceable to a known and legal point of origin. In addition to the PEFC Chain of Custody and LEI Chain of Custody certifications, APP is also the first pulp and paper manufacturer in Indonesia to achieve the SVLK certification, a new mandatory Chain of Custody system established by the Indonesian government.
To demonstrate its sustainability commitment and to achieve its zero deforestation throughout its entire supply chain, APP first released Sustainability Roadmap: Vision 2020 in June of 2012, followed by the Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February of 2013, outlining the company's plans to ensure that none of the raw material used in APP's production comes from natural forest or forest with high conservation value. APP's comprehensive sustainability strategy welcomes governments, NGOs, scholars and stakeholders to monitor its progress and offer feedback. The company aims to provide industry-leading transparency to its supply chain and works through quarterly updates as well as a proprietary online monitoring dashboard to offers real-time data and information.
APP's efforts have been recognized by Greenpeace in its APP's Forest Conservation Policy Progress Review in October of 2013, which acknowledges the commitment APP has shown to change its business operation. The FCP has just passed its one year landmark, and APP marks it with a call for NGOs, government and businesses to work together and focus on the future, and to develop solutions to complex issues of forestry in Indonesia. With collaborative efforts from broader stakeholders, APP is confident that it will meet its goal of permanently ending deforestation in its supply chain and providing socially and environmentally responsible paper products.