Empowering Development: APRIL Group Releases 2017 Sustainability Report
APRIL Group has published its latest Sustainability Report, providing an in-depth review of the considerable progress made over 2017 in the implementation of its sustainability commitments. To preface the report, here is the opening message from Praveen Singhavi, President, APRIL Group.
The year in review was one characterized by meticulous progress, addressing challenges and implementing our Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) on the ground, where we firmly believe it counts most. As APRIL, and much of the corporate sector globally, more closely align policies, practices and purposes with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are also acutely aware that being a purpose-driven organisation only counts if it is clearly apparent in our actions.
Steady and sustained progress, in our view, is more critical than grand statements or hollow great leaps forward. We continued to shape our policies, processes and actions to ensure we are in-step with the wider expectations of our key stakeholders. They clearly expect that while our progress can be driven by diligence, innovation and practical know-how, it must also be science-based and conducted within an ethical and responsible framework. That framework must embrace the fact that APRIL cannot achieve all of its goals alone – partnerships, collaboration, transparency and engagement are key.
As we initiated a formal process to identify and more closely align our approach to the SDGs in consultation with PwC, we diligently stuck to our commitment of zero deforestation and no new development on peatland, across our entire supply chain. Importantly, a third party assurance carried out by KPMG, reported to our Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and publicly released, attested to our adherence to these and other fundamental commitments, as we push best-practice closer to the edges of our supply chain.
We are now implementing the Peatland Roadmap, devised with the Independent Peat Expert Working Group (IPEWG). As part of this, APRIL has deployed state-of-the-art flux towers in our plantation, restoration and mixed use concession areas. The towers will give us data on greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration rates. These data will inform our emissions mitigation targets and actions across the landscape. We also continued working on a landscape-scale restoration project through Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER). RER is part of a wider set of conservation activities, conducted across our concessions and those of our supply partners, that have helped us to further progress our commitment to have one hectare of conservation area for every hectare of plantation land. During the year, we continued to push forward with our Fire Free Village Program (FFVP), our support of the wider Fire Free Alliance (FFA), now involving numerous companies, and to maintaining world class firefighting capabilities.
To continue to prosper commercially, we are increasingly integrating sustainability in our operations by moving our business focus from volume to value, incorporating diversification and downstream product innovation. These business initiatives are important steps in ensuring we meet not only our environmental commitments, but continue to provide livelihood opportunities to the thousands of people who rely on APRIL for work, careers and support for thriving communities in the areas of education, healthcare and social infrastructure.
In our last Sustainability Report, I reflected on the need for sustainability to be owned from the top. While that remains true, what stands out to my mind this year is how an entire organization from top to grassroots, and outwardly to partners and communities, can be motivated to make a difference. Throughout the year we benefited enormously from the expertise, critical perspectives and insights provided by our advisors and partners. Importantly, these engagements are as much about APRIL listening and learning as they are about sharing an understanding of our operations.
We are an organization that is quietly passionate about sticking to our commitments – it’s the right thing to do, it’s expected of us and it makes good business sense. I am pleased to report that 2017 was a year of such focus – one where we did the hard work and moved forward in living up to our principles that what is good for the Company must also be good for the Country, Community, Climate and Customer.
Read Empowering Development, Sustainability Report 2017