APRIL’s Response to Canopy 2020 Hot Button Report
Canopy recently released its Hot Button Report (HBR) where it referenced APRIL as a supplier of dissolving pulp to sister companies Sateri and Asia Pacific Rayon. Contrary to Canopy’s assertions, evidence exists, is publicly available and has been provided to Canopy, to demonstrate that APRIL has:
- Secured the conservation of peatlands and other high-conservation value areas
- Long ago adopted the practice of free, prior and informed consent through engagement with local communities
- Resolved land claims and disputes with local communities, including halting any activity on disputed lands, in a fair and objective manner
- Advanced the responsible management of peatland forests for production, conservation and restoration through a science-based approach
Conservation and Restoration: APRIL is independently verified as currently conserving more than 365,000 hectares of conservation forest, of which 297,000 hectares are on peatland. APRIL is therefore at 82% of its publicly committed target to conserve one hectare of conservation forest for each hectare of its plantation forest (our ‘1-for-1’ commitment). Of that 365,000 hectares, over 150,000 hectares consists of previously degraded forest area that is being restored through the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau program.
No deforestation in supply chains: Since 2015, APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP 2.0) has committed to no deforestation, and independent, publicly available audits confirm that this has been adhered to by APRIL and its suppliers. Annual audits by KPMG PRI Canada clearly state that the source of all APRIL fiber is from tree plantations and that there have been no findings of deforestation within APRIL and supplier concessions.
Canopy referenced a report by NGOs on alleged deforestation in an APRIL supplier’s concession which APRIL has already refuted. We take any claims of deforestation seriously, and after investigation, including ground-truthing, we can confirm that no deforestation or breach of our SFMP 2.0 policy has occurred. Our invitation to the NGOs concerned to visit the supplier’s concession and ground-truth the data we have provided stands.
Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC): APRIL is deeply engaged with local communities and has adopted FPIC as part of its SFMP. Grievances and disputes are addressed through a clear and fair process of engagement. There is no evidence or basis to Canopy’s claim that ‘human rights violations’ need to be addressed in the supply chain and we reject this unsubstantiated allegation.
As in previous reports, Canopy states that supply to APRIL’s sister company Sateri is associated with high risk of sourcing from Ancient and Endangered Forests (A&E Forests). This is despite independent assurance which shows that 100% of APRIL’s fiber supply is from plantation grown fiber. A&E Forests classification is based solely on Canopy’s online ForestMapper tool which identifies the majority of Indonesia, with a population of over 270 million, as A&E Forests.
This is due to a significant lack of precision provided by the tool (low spatial resolution of 100kmx100km) which ignores the complexity of forest landscapes, particularly in developing economies. Platforms such as the World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch are much more widely accepted as science-based mapping tools.
APRIL welcomes third party assessments that are objective, balanced and based on frameworks that draw from multi-stakeholder processes. We remain committed to our dialogue with Canopy as we work towards a constructive way forward.