APP welcomes Greenpeace report into the implementation of its Forest Conservation Policy

APP welcomes a Greenpeace report on the work it is carrying out to permanently end deforestation in its supply chain through its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP).

Greenpeace’s ‘APP’s Forest Conservation Policy: Progress Review’, which was launched today, takes an in-depth look at all aspects of how the FCP is being implemented and concludes that ‘the company is serious about its FCP plans and its key senior staff are genuinely committed to driving the delivery of these new commitments’.

The FCP, which was launched on February 5th this year, saw the introduction of a moratorium on all natural forest clearance, which remains in place while assessments are carried out to determine which parts of APP suppliers’ concessions are of High Conservation Value (HCV) and which are of High Carbon Stock (HCS), all of which will be protected. The assessments are being undertaken by The Forest Trust (TFT) and independent HCV assessors, and are set to be completed in the first half of 2014.

The introduction of the FCP marked a suspension of Greenpeace’s campaign against APP and since then, the campaign group has been providing ongoing constructive criticism and advice as the policy has been implemented.

Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director of sustainability, said: “It is very encouraging that Greenpeace’s report recognises the progress we have made since introducing the FCP just nine months ago.

“We know that many years of work lie ahead, but this report has given us additional confidence that we are on the right path as we aim to put a permanent end to deforestation in our supply chain.

“Scrutiny from Greenpeace and other NGOs has been an important driver for us and we hope to continue to work with all stakeholders in this way over the coming years.”

The Greenpeace report highlights a number of positive steps taken since the launch of the FCP in February 2013. These include:

•           Overall implementation of the natural forest and undeveloped peatland moratorium.

•           Self-disclosure of two breaches of the FCP.

•           Action to improve the management and implementation of the FCP based on early lessons and breaches.

•           Commitment to consulting stakeholders on draft HCV assessment reports.

•           Progress on a key social conflict priority area (Senyerang, Jambi Province).

•           Plans to implement a Procedure for Association to address how the FCP is applied to future pulpwood suppliers.

•           Decision to seek alternative uses for Mixed Tropical Hardwood (MTH) – cleared from non-HCS and non-HCV areas. This issue will be addressed through a working group that includes a number of NGOs.

•           Decision to undertake third-party auditing of the implementation of the FCP.

•           Additional transparency measures, notably our online monitoring dashboard.

The report also raises a number of challenges for further improvements, which are currently being addressed by APP. These include:

•           APP should set out its plan to engage other stakeholders to help address the issue of overlapping licenses and share details of remaining challenges on its online monitoring dashboard.

•           APP should publish a sustainable forest management planning schedule on the dashboard.

•           Progress on peatland assessment and management should be accelerated.

•           Conservation plans must have the input of credible experts.

•           APP must increase transparency on work in China.

•           APP must now demonstrate that long-term forecasts for its plantation suppliers in Indonesia are sufficiently robust to stand up to scrutiny.

Greenpeace’s report also gives additional clarity to companies wishing to engage with APP, stating that ongoing implementation of the FCP should be a condition of doing business with the company.

Greenbury added: “We believe that additional scrutiny provided by buyers can only help APP in its continued implementation of the FCP. We believe that this level of engagement with customers will send a clear signal to the market that the action being taken by APP is genuine and should be rewarded.”

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