APRIL Reaffirms Sustainable Forest Management Commitments to Support Sustainable Fashion
APRIL reaffirms that its Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) 2.0 will continue to direct the company’s fiber and overall sustainability commitments, as its value chain evolves to include customers and other stakeholders in the global fashion industry.
Those current commitments include no deforestation and extensive conservation and protection of forest and peatland landscapes, following the High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) frameworks. The policy also embeds commitments to community empowerment and engagement, and supply chain monitoring, verification and transparency.
Consistent with the existing pledge not to source from HCV or HCSA areas, APRIL will continue to re-emphasize the importance of, and support for, the ongoing ecological integrity of large, intact forest ecosystems. As such, APRIL reiterates its intention to not source natural forest fiber from and directly or indirectly cause the development of new plantation concessions in Intact Forest Landscapes in Indonesia and elsewhere, specifically in the Leuser Ecosystem, West Papua and Kalimantan.
“While we recognize that our policy commitments are aligned with the sustainability thrust of the fashion industry, we are willing to determine how these commitments can be reinforced or augmented in the future to further assure our customers and the fashion brands that we fully support their sustainability agenda,” says Lucita Jasmin, Director of Sustainability & External Affairs, APRIL Group.
Landscape-level Conservation Management
Under its SFMP, APRIL uniquely implements a 1-for-1 commitment where it aims to conserve an equivalent hectare for every hectare of plantation. To date, it is 83% towards the fulfillment of this promise.
The company is strongly positioned to support landscape-level protection and conservation, drawing on the successful record of its Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) project. Spanning 150,000 hectares, RER protects and restores one of the largest intact peatland areas in Sumatra, Indonesia.
“Our production-protection model enables us to deliver a balance of responsible production and significant conservation gains with 370,000 hectares, about 2.5 times the size of London, of conservation and restoration areas under our active management,” Ms Jasmin added.
Surveys conducted by RER partner Fauna & Flora International confirm that RER is home to more than 700 species and stores vast amounts of carbon. RER has recorded zero fires and encroachment for five years, even as Indonesia experienced some of its worst fire crises.
APRIL’s landscape-level protection and conservation efforts, including RER, are underwritten by a USD100 million investment over 10 years, announced at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.
Supporting Sustainable Fashion
APRIL is a significant supplier of dissolving pulp for viscose made from 100% renewable plantation fiber to Sateri and Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), both committed to responsible fiber sourcing. Combined, Sateri and APR are the world’s largest viscose producers with a total annual production capacity of 1.4 million tons.
Launched in 2014 and further strengthened in 2015, APRIL’s SFMP has guided the implementation of sustainable business practices across the breadth of the company’s supply chain and has been important in building and maintaining trust among stakeholders.
The policy applies to all APRIL’s fiber suppliers, with oversight provided by an independent advisory committee and annual implementation audits conducted by KPMG Performance Register Inc. Canada. The latest audit report confirms that key commitments continue to be upheld, and specifically that no fiber from natural forest has been used in APRIL’s mill.
 APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy 2.0 (SFMP 2.0) Section 1 states:
“a. Effective immediately, APRIL and its suppliers will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent peer-reviewed High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments;
- APRIL and its suppliers will actively protect HCV and HCS areas;
- APRIL and its suppliers will follow the HCS Approach as prescribed by the HCS Approach Steering Group;”
The concept of IFL is covered under HCV Value 2 Landscape Level Ecosystems which is defined as “Large landscape-level ecosystems, ecosystem mosaics and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL), that are significant at global, regional or national levels, and that contain viable populations of the great majority of the naturally occurring species in natural patterns of distribution and abundance.” (https://hcvnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/HCV_Mgmt_Monitoring_final_english.pdf)