RESPONSE TO GREENPEACE MEDIA STATEMENT
We wish to take the opportunity to respond to a report prepared by Greenpeace earlier in January and distributed selectively to media and stakeholders. The report repeats claims made in July 2014 regarding supposed deficiencies in our Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP). We disagree with these claims.
In response, we prepared an open letter to Greenpeace Indonesia Country Director, Longgena Ginting, outlining our recent progress as well as our desire to engage further. We are happy to share the contents of this letter in support of our SFMP and as part of our ongoing commitment to conservation and a sustainable approach to landscape development.
Our senior management takes the views of our stakeholders very seriously. The considerable time and effort we have spent to address to the issues raised by Greenpeace reflects our interest in building a positive working relationship with your organization. Although we do not agree with many of your comments, we value input from all key stakeholders, including Greenpeace.
Our company has been long committed to corporate responsibility and we are currently engaged in several conservation initiatives of which we are quite proud. At the start of 2014, APRIL introduced a new Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) to ensure that we raise our standards higher. We recognize that our operations can be improved and it is to this end that we support of program of annual third party assessments, directed and managed by an independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC). The KPMG report reflects the initial assessment performed late in 2014.
The SAC has recently made recommendations to APRIL as an outcome of their December meeting [see here]. These recommendations include feedback from SAC members as well as recommendations based on the results of the KPMG assessment. APRIL takes these recommendations very seriously and immediately issued an initial response [see here ]. We have developed action plans to address the SAC recommendations, and progress of this will be reviewed in the next SAC meeting in May 2015.
As of the start of 2015, APRIL and its Long-Term Supply Partner have completed their plantation establishment and stopped harvesting Mixed Hardwood (MHW). While we are proud of our achievements, we acknowledge that we can do better and we need to work with our stakeholders to further enhance our sustainability efforts. Having listened carefully to your inputs and the SAC’s recommendations, we are prepared to take a number of additional and significant new commitments that represent major enhancements to the SFMP.
In relation to other companies within Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, Asia Symbol & Sateri are only using plantation wood. TLP has now stopped harvesting Mixed Hardwood (MHW) and have started conducting HCS assessment, and are currently only using plantation wood. As for RGE’s Palm Oil businesses, they have adopted industry leading sustainability policies.
We invite Greenpeace to meet us at your earliest convenience, when we are prepared to share all the details of our wood supply sourcing, peatland management practices, HCS implementation plan, and all other relevant information. We are ready to provide you with access to or relevant managers, so that Greenpeace can genuinely help us achieve our sustainability goals.
While we are prepared to accept your criticism where it’s due, this must surely come with a willingness from Greenpeace to agree to conduct constructive talks aimed at finding solutions.
We therefore extend our hand to you in a spirit of goodwill and mutual respect.
With best wishes
[On behalf of APRIL]