VIDEO: edie investigates Asia Pulp & Paper’s zero-deforestation progress

EXCLUSIVE: Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has revolutionised its approach to deforestation, but the group's sustainability journey has not been without its challenges. In this mini-documentary, edie takes a tour of APP's operations in Indonesia.

As one of the world’s largest pulp and paper producers, APP has moved from laggard to leader on the issue of deforestation. In 2013, the group launched its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), including a bold pledge to cease all natural forest clearance.

The group has invested $120m in three years on zero-deforestation alone, with an additional $40m a year being ploughed into other sustainability initiatives across the company.

But managing such a wide-ranging and diverse landscape – an estate covering 2.6 million hectares – is not without its challenges. Unauthorised encroachment, illegal logging and forest fires make the FCP a “never-ending job” for the group’s managing director of sustainability, Aida Greenbury

In this video, edie editor Luke Nicholls documents a trip to Indonesia for a tour of APP’s operations in the country’s Riau province. The tour serves to highlight the proactive, ‘landscape’ approach APP now takes to forest conservation, in what is one of the most complex landscapes in the world.

Video: edie visits Asia Pulp & Paper

(Drone footage of forest fires and footage of forest wildlife courtesy of Greenpeace 

Landscape approach

The tour concludes with a revealing interview with Greenbury, who admits that even she didn’t expect the challenges to be so great.

“I didn’t know there would be factors that we cannot control, such as unauthorised encroachment or forest fires from other players in the landscape that would corrode our commitment – I didn’t calculate that,” Greenbury says. 

“But when you want to make such a big change from business as usual; restructuring the way forests are being managed in Indonesia, you know it won’t be easy – you know you’ll be dealing with so many sceptics that don’t want to help you.

“It’s a never-ending job.” 

*Bonus video: Aida Greenbury on COP21*

With the issue of deforestation thrown into the spotlight at COP21, Greenbury tells edie what she wants to see from the Paris climate talks. 

Luke Nicholls

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