Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has committed to retire some 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas in Indonesia to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands. This is the first time ever worldwide that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes. Peatland development in Indonesia represents one of the single largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26% reduction in emissions by 2020.
The news is important to Canadian commercial printers because many APP products now sold in Canada are manufactured in Indonesia using Indonesian pulp (as well as in China). APP’s Canadian brands include Riviera (Offset/Coated), ProPrint, Inspira Premium Opaque, Highpoint/Omnistar/Proxima, Paperline, ExcelPro, Rainbow Max Carbonless, Thermal and C1S Label/C1S Cover. The company’s long-term goal is to provide more and more price-competitive and sustainable paper options to the Canadian market, while eventually eliminating all natural forest clearance across its supply chain.
“APP’s decision to retire these areas of commercial plantation is an important milestone in the delivery of our Forest Conservation Policy, and we believe it’s an unprecedented commitment,” said Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability at APP. “The retirement of active plantations is not an easy decision for any business to take, but we believe that taking urgent steps to protect remaining areas of peatland forest, as well as reducing and avoiding climate emissions from peatlands, must be a priority. While there is still a long way to go, and we have much to learn, this announcement today represents a major breakthrough.”