Beyond Commitments: APRIL Group Releases 2019 Sustainability Report
APRIL Group has published its 2019 Sustainability Report, detailing the company’s progress and its performance against its sustainability commitments. The following is an abridged version of APRIL President Praveen Singhavi’s message.
Business-as-usual in 2019 seems like a distant memory for many of us, with the attention of the global community now rightly on the worldwide efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the very severe economic impacts that accompany it.
These new challenges have served to reaffirm APRIL’s resolve to invest in nature and science-led progress towards a lower carbon economy, thriving landscapes, inclusive progress for people, and sustainable growth for our business. If anything good can come of the current situation, we hope that it may encourage a renewed collaborative effort across all facets of society to tackle some of the world’s enduring challenges and that trust in science-led approaches will rise to the top of global consciousness.
The need to achieve both environmental protection and sustainable development in parallel has never been stronger. With this in mind, 2019 was a year of solid progress, once again adhering to our Sustainable Forest Management Policy 2.0 commitments, advancing the science-based understanding of tropical peatland landscapes, and ensuring the company’s investments and actions directly tie to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the year we completed a process with PwC that identified seven priority SDGs where APRIL can have the greatest impact in Riau Province, Indonesia, home to our operations. These consist of three core goals and four catalytic goals where the company believes it can make the most difference. The outcomes of our SDG alignment process and the components of our production-protection model were presented at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP25, in Madrid, and to the wider Indonesian business community at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Our own R&D teams completed important research programs on tree improvement, fiber technology, plantation management, soil science and plant health. Research that will help to reduce the global knowledge gap in three critical areas of tropical peatland science – the net flux of greenhouse gases, water-table management and subsidence – was also advanced during the year.
At local community level, 2019 saw us complete social infrastructure projects, fund secondary school scholarships and contribute to better health outcomes. We also contributed to the viability and success of small and medium sized enterprises and to the local farming community through the provision of equipment and sustainable farming skills.
I am also pleased to report that APRIL’s commitment to sustainable business, transparency and the SDGs was also recognised at the 2019 Sustainable Business Awards Indonesia where we received several awards and were declared Overall Winner.
While 2019 was a busy and productive year for sustainability, we are acutely aware that the attention of the world and the corporate sector is now squarely on what can be achieved over the next decade through to 2030. In 2019, we embarked on shaping our next level of commitments and science-based targets for climate, protection of nature, and inclusive growth for all. We look forward to sharing the substance of these later in 2020 as we strive to go beyond our commitments to support Indonesia’s and the global climate and development agenda.