February 6, 2019

APRIL ends acacia sourcing from HCS deforester  

JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Singapore-based pulp and paper giant APRIL cut off one of its acacia suppliers (PT TRH) at the beginning of December last year after the APRIL supplier was exposed clearing high carbon stock (HCS) forests in its concession situated in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province.

This confirms a previous news report by foresthints.news in November 2018, in which Greenomics Indonesia was cited as stating that APRIL had already taken the decision to sever PT TRH from its supply chain with immediate effect.

“The new legal evidence shows that APRIL has no longer been sourcing acacia fiber from PT TRH since early December last year,” Greenomics Executive Director Vanda Mutia Dewi explained (Jan 4).

Nevertheless, Vanda added that this case highlights the fact that APRIL is not prudent in implementing its sustainability policy, as it should not have been engaged with a supplier that was continuing to clear HCS forests in the first place. 

The following Planet Explorer images were used by Greenomics to demonstrate HCS deforestation in the PT TRH concession from February 2017 until September 2018, during which time APRIL was still sourcing acacia from PT TRH

“We can only imagine if this case had not been exposed. APRIL would still be enjoying sourcing acacia fiber from a supplier that razes HCS forests,” Vanda pointed out.

Weak due diligence, monitoring

Greenomics has come to the conclusion that APRIL remains weak in carrying out due diligence on its suppliers including by monitoring them, given that the decision it made to cut off PT TRH didn’t derive from its own monitoring system.

“APRIL’s quick move to disassociate its supply chain from PT TRH’s HCS deforestation deserves appreciation. However, in the future, its own monitoring system has to be fast in detecting cases like this,” Vanda asserted. 

The Planet Explorer images below were used by Greenomics as evidence that APRIL’s supply chain was tied to HCS deforestation in the PT TRH concession in the period from Jun-Nov 2018.

APRIL’s new promise

As quoted from a summary of an early December 2018 meeting with its stakeholder advisory committee (SAC) - which is tasked with supervising the implementation of its sustainability policy - APRIL stated that it had revised its due diligence system with regard to its suppliers’ compliance.

APRIL’s SAC reacted to this development by praising “the progress made by APRIL in relation to suppliers’ compliance, particularly in response to the recent allegations involving one of its open market suppliers”.

The SAC also acknowledged that “there has been improvement made to the due diligence process and (it) agrees with APRIL’s decision to cut ties with suppliers who, regardless of APRIL’s efforts, do not comply (with APRIL’s sustainability policy)”. 

Greenomics countered, however, that APRIL continues to source acacia fiber from the Djarum group which is developing peat domes, legally classified as part of protection zones, for its new sugarcane plantations lying in South Sumatra province.



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