The Jakarta Post
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the implementation of almost all programs or agendas, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.
Leading producer of pulp and paper, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) Group, has reinforced its commitments to achieve sustainable business growth as well as to bolster the government’s endeavors to achieve the SDGs’ targets.
The sustainable fiber and bio-based products producer has released “APRIL2030”, a transformative sustainable commitment that contains a series of tangible actions that are expected to make positive contributions to the climate, nature and the development of people.
APRIL Group with its main subsidiary PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) is part of Royal Golden Eagle Group (RGE). RAPP operates in Riau province, Sumatra since 1993.
RGE director Anderson Tanoto said in a virtual press conference prior to the launch of “APRIL2030” on Nov. 17 that amid the tough challenging situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening investment in the climate sector, nature and sustainable development had become an increasingly determining factor to global economic recovery.
The difficult time, according to him, provides an opportunity to transform to create a better life in the future.
APRIL Group is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from land use and reducing the intensity of carbon production by up to 25 percent in the next 10 years.
It also ensures that there won’t be any loss of protected forest areas in its operation in Riau province, in Sumatra, and guarantees measured protected forest areas, biodiversity and ecosystems in the conservation and restoration areas.
APRIL2030 also spurs inclusive progress for sustainable economic development in Indonesia through a string of initiatives in providing livelihoods, access to education, healthcare and equal opportunities for women.
“We are committed to carry out concrete actions and transforming further in the 10 years as we are committed to play an important role in a low carbon economy and have positive contribution to the climate, nature and people,” he said
In essence, APRIL Group commitments comprise a string of a specific science-based targets categorized into four commitments, namely Climate Positive, which covers actions emphasized on the adoption of science-based solutions to trim down carbon drastically, including achieving net zero carbon emissions from the land use.
“We will also achieve a 25 percent reduction in the carbon emissions intensity of our fiber products through investments in science and technology, enhancing our operating systems, and sourcing most of our mill and fiber operation’s energy needs from clean, renewable sources,” Anderson said.
Second, thriving landscape includes a series of targets in favor of forest conservation, restoration and biodiversity by placing APRIL Group’s production protection approach as its top priority by, for example, ensuring the absence of zero net loss of protected forest area to achieve measurable gains in ecosystem values.
Third, it aims for inclusive progress that includes tangible actions to empower the people and communities through transformative initiatives in healthcare, education, and gender inclusion. One of the key targets is to eradicate extreme poverty in the company’s communities within a 50 kilometer radius of its operations in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau province.
Fourth, sustainable growth is aimed at developing APRIL Group business in a sustainable manner through diversification, circularity and responsible production.
Anderson underscored the importance of collaborating with other partners to implement the commitments. For example, APRIL Group is in an advanced discussion with Wildlife Conservation Society to protect wild animals from the illegal trade in Indonesia, including endangered species.
APRIL Group has also developed Eco-Research Camp within the company’s RER restoration area in the Kampar Peninsula, Riau. “National and international academicians and researchers can undertake research there,” he said.
APRIL Group has also established a partnership with Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and will work hand in hand to set the target of emissions reduction on the basis of science in parallel with the criteria that SBTi has set.
Anderson also underscored the importance of utilizing clean energy when it comes to power use by taking advantage of renewable energy sources such as solar power. As part of its commitment on renewable energy, APRIL Group is slated to install a solar panel with a capacity of 20 MW in the company’s operational site by stages in 2021. The solar panel is expected to be at full capacity by 2025 and will become one of the biggest solar panel installations by private sector in Indonesia.
“The step is in parallel with the government’s target of increasing the portion of renewable energy use by 23 percent by 2025 and 31 percent by 2050,” he said.
APRIL Group also expands its commitment on forest conservation and restoration by setting aside the funds from every ton of timber used in production for investment in the environment, which reaches approximately US$10 million per year.
The APRIL 2030 commitment reflects the group’s proactive stride regarding the sustainability, which is highly relevant to this challenging time. “There is still 10 years left to achieve the goal and so we use this remaining and determining decade to collaboratively take concrete actions to achieve the goal,” he said.
Meanwhile, RAPP president director Sihol Aritonang said that APRIL2030 was a concrete form of the company’s commitment to supporting the government in achieving the climate target, national development and the partnership with society.
He unveiled the company’s endeavors to help the government eradicate poverty, one of the goals set in the SDGs. “In 2030, we target to eradicate extreme poverty surrounding our company’s operational site in Pangkalan Kerinci, Rau, improving health services, education quality, while at the same time, transform our business for the sake of sustainable growth. We all are very passionate and ready to make a difference,” he said.
APRIL 2030 will continue to make further progress that the group had made earlier through the Sustainable Forest Management Policy/SFMP2.0.
“The SFMP2.0, which remains underway, is supervised independently by the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and open to scientific inputs from the Independent Peat Expert Working Group (IPEWG),” he said.