Greenpeace and Asia Pulp & Paper have been battling for years over the issue of brands using APP for packaging, as the eco-activists believe the company is one of many brands contributing to the deforestation of “critical habitats and last remaining biodiversity hotspots” by using what it sees as unsustainable packaging materials sourced by APP.
Greenpeace's latest campaign against APP, via its global KFC protests, prompted the paper supplier to send us a rebuttal from Ian Lifshitz, Sustainability Manager for APP in the Americas.
“APP has been taking into account the critical issues raised by our international stakeholders, and we’ve announced important milestones in our business policies. Namely, on May 15, we announced the suspension of natural forest clearance in Indonesia, and that we will begin holding ourselves and our suppliers to the internationally-recognized high standards of HCVF (high conservation value forest)."
“These tightened forest conservation policies are part of a bold program wherein we ensure we can offer our customers products with the highest environmental and social integrity," Lifshitz added. "In addition to the press release I mention above, you can read more about our new forest conservation policies in the Wall Street Journal.”
APP's statement added that the company “deplores this distortion of the facts by Greenpeace. We are asking that Greenpeace stops portraying Indonesia and its leading companies as the villains in the fight against climate change at a time when our Government and the rest of Indonesian society are making huge efforts to preserve our rainforests and reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially over the rest of this decade.”
Greenpeace responded in a statement attributed to via Rolf Skar, Forest Campaign Director: "APP said last week it will continue to clear natural rainforest for at least the next two years. This means a substantial risk to brands doing business with them. APP can make all the excuses it wants, but consumers simply don't want tiger rainforest destruction in throw-away paper packaging."
For Greenpeace, it all comes down to “putting it to the consumer,” said Skar. “The forensic fingerprint is clear.”
The area in question, the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape is considered “one of the last refuges for the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger and hosts incredible biodiversity including 660 plant species, 200 species of birds and 60 mammal species, including the highly endangered clouded leopard, Malayan tapir, Sumatran elephant and the Orang utan. The area is also home to the indigenous peoples of the Orang Rimba and Talang Mamak tribes.”