Chairpersons to be Selected to Lead Stakeholder Advisory Committee


Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), following the personal decision by Joe Lawson to step down for family reasons after six years. Mr. Lawson has held the position since the SAC was formed in 2014 to oversee the implementation of APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) 2.0.

“APRIL has come a long way, in terms of its sustainability commitments and stakeholder engagement over the past six years. I am honored to have been the inaugural Chairman working so closely with esteemed colleagues on the Committee during this time. We have stewarded the oversight and implementation of initiatives that have had a real and positive impact on the communities and landscapes where APRIL operates. I am sure that work will continue under the new leaders,” said Mr. Lawson.

“This culminated with another major step forward last November with the launch of APRIL2030. This will further drive the company’s positive impacts on climate, nature and people over the next decade. After six years in the role and the launch of APRIL2030, I believe it is the appropriate time to hand over the SAC reins so I can spend more time with my family,” he said.


Joe Lawson pictured at a meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee in Jakarta in July 2019, alongside fellow SAC member, Ibu Erna Witoelar

Mr. Lawson is an acknowledged global forestry expert. He was with MeadWestvaco Corporation for 30 years before his retirement in 2013. During this time, he developed and directed a number of key initiatives, including Mead Corporation’s Sustainable Compliance Initiative.

He played several key roles during the development of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which is now a premier forest certification system in the United States and Canada. In 2018, he was awarded the Dr. Sharon G. Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability.

He co-authored the ‘Guide to Sustainable Procurement of Forest Fiber and Forest Products’, a partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and served on the International Board of Directors of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Reflecting on Mr. Lawson’s considerable contribution to the SAC and APRIL, Praveen Singhavi, President, APRIL Group, said: “Joe has brought so much to the workings of the SAC with his experience, insights, and independent perspectives. Joe knew how to maintain a balanced dynamic among the SAC members with their different backgrounds and views, and also in the way he engaged with different stakeholders, always keen to listen and take onboard diverse inputs.”

“We fully respect the reasons behind his departure and he leaves with our deep appreciation for the important role he has played in a critical period in the company’s evolution. He has been involved in the formulation of some of our most important milestones, from the launch of our SFMP2.0 to the rollout of our APRIL2030 strategy. We wish Joe and his family nothing but the best for the future. Meantime, the work of the SAC will continue under a new structure and leadership,” he said.

During the transition, the SAC will be co-chaired by two other existing members – Professor Jeffrey Sayer, of the University of British Columbia, also a founding member of the SAC, and Ida Bagus Putera Parthama, former Director General of Watershed and Protected Forests at the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.


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