SINGAPORE, Nov. 17, 2020 (Press Release) -We hope this letter finds you well as we all cope with the challenges of living with COVID-19. The global pandemic continues to test our resolve as a business on many fronts. And while we address the urgency of protecting the health and well-being of our employees and communities, we also believe that staying the course and maintaining a long-term view on sustainability is crucial.
Continued investment in climate, nature and sustainable development assumes even greater urgency if we are to achieve a strong recovery. As challenging as the current situation is, it presents businesses with an opportunity, if seized decisively, to boldly transform the future for the better.
Today our company, APRIL Group, together with our shareholders, management and employees, announces APRIL2030. This is our commitment to deliver a positive impact on climate, nature and people while growing as a sustainable producer of renewable fiber-based products.
By 2030 we will achieve net zero emissions from our land use and carbon emissions reductions in our production processes, measurable gains in nature, and zero extreme poverty in our communities while transforming our business for sustainable growth.
APRIL2030 supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level in Indonesia and more importantly at the village level in the province of Riau where our operations are located. No company’s sustainability vision can be truly enduring if communities are left behind. As a company based in a developing economy, the responsibility to function more sustainably while still delivering essential progress for communities is greater than ever.
APRIL2030 builds on the commitments embedded in our Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP 2.0) and on the progress made in its implementation over the last five years. To be clear, we will continue to adhere to these commitments under the independent scrutiny and guidance of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and with scientific advice from the Independent Peat Expert Working Group (IPEWG).
As we seek to contribute to global conversations on our collective future and support the Indonesian government in achieving its climate and development targets, we are determined to ensure the next decade is about further transformation. We are therefore expanding our commitments to include:
- Achieving net zero emissions from land use
- Reducing product carbon emissions intensity by 25%
- Sourcing most of our energy needs from renewables and cleaner energy
- Investing in the protection, conservation and restoration of nature through our production protection approach, guaranteeing millions of dollars per year of funding for nature
- Ensuring zero net loss of protected areas, while achieving measurable gains in biodiversity and other ecosystem benefits
- Achieving zero extreme poverty in our communities, boosting education, improving access to essential healthcare and championing equal opportunity for women
- Advancing tropical peatland science by contributing to global knowledge and best practice
- Embracing circularity in our business, including sourcing up to 20% of our cellulosic fiber for viscose from recycled textiles
As a company we’ve always preferred to be marked by our actions more than by our pledges. So today we also announce a number of concrete initiatives that immediately propel us into the delivery of APRIL2030:
Extended Commitment to Forest Conservation and Restoration: As we strive to meet our pledge to conserve a hectare of forest for every hectare of plantation (1 for 1), we are extending our commitment on conservation and restoration to also support other initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. Going forward, we will set aside funding per tonne of fiber used in production that will guarantee about $10 million per year for investment in nature.
Supporting Wildlife Protection: Related to targets on forest protection and biodiversity gains, we will support wildlife protection and conservation in Indonesia, including endangered species, through partnerships and collaboration, and we are in advanced discussions for a cooperation on this important area with the Wildlife Conservation Society. This is in addition to the ongoing work on conservation and restoration with long-time partner Fauna & Flora International. We are passionate about protecting the wildlife in our conservation and restoration areas and beyond. More details on these partnerships will be communicated in the coming months.
Tropical Peatland Science Hub: Our Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) project has been steadily progressing, protecting 150,693 ha of peatland forests that are home to more than 700 species and store at least 688 million tonnes of carbon. We have completed the establishment of a new EcoResearch Camp on the Kampar Peninsula that will serve as a tropical peatland science hub for national and international scientists and academics, and also for stakeholders who wish to experience ecosystem restoration work on the ground.
20MW solar panels by 2025: To immediately kick off our shift to renewable energy sources, as part of our commitment to reduce our carbon emissions, we will be installing 20MW solar panels in our mill and fiber operations starting in 2021. When completed in 2025, this will be one of the largest, private sector, solar panel installations in Indonesia.
We recognise that climate change knows no boundaries between developed and developing nations. We support science-based target setting and have signed up with the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to learn and contribute to the network, particularly in the land use sector. We also believe science-based target setting for nature is the only way forward as we support forest conservation in Indonesia.
Reflecting on the lessons of the past decade, we all know that addressing the greatest challenges of our time requires collective action. We fully believe that only by working in the field with the communities and local stakeholders can we gain a genuine understanding of their realities, and together develop practical solutions and drive lasting change. We need to harness our passion beyond advocacy and towards the pursuit of pragmatic solutions on the ground. Only by challenging our own positions and being open to working together can we turn this period into a decade of action for all.
There have been spirited discussions internally about whether we are really ready to do this at a time when new uncertainties are still evolving globally. In the end, we decided that it’s now or never. It will take courage, but that is how meaningful change is achieved. We’ve always believed in the positive interdependence between sustainability and development, and APRIL2030 will continue to advance this integration of goals for people, climate, nature and sustainable growth.