Fidelis E. Satriastanti
Asia Pulp & Paper and Paseo responded to a World Wildlife Fund report released on Wedesday alleging that Asia Pulp & Paper is responsible for large amounts of destruction in Sumatra.
In its own response to the WWF report, APP said it agreed that the concerns raised by the environmental group were “important” and that it viewed them “seriously.”
“We agree with WWF that consumers should not have to choose between tigers and toilet paper and that companies like APP play a crucial role in ensuring that Americans have a choice of high quality, sustainably sourced paper products,” Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director of sustainability and stakeholder relations, said in a statement.
She also said the company was in the process of engaging experts to conduct High Conservation Value Forest assessments of its directly controlled pulpwood concessions as a first step and would then roll out these assessments across its entire supply base.
“APP is working with multi-stakeholders, including an international NGO and reputable third parties, to construct its sustainability road map that includes the key components of increased transparency and sustainable fiber sourcing,” Greenbury said.
Last December WWF Indonesia issued a report that accused APP of damaging the environment and contributing to the destruction of tiger, elephant and orangutan habitats, and disputed its claims of preserving a tiger sanctuary in Riau. APP denied the charges.
According to the report released on Wednesday, several US grocery chains that once carried APP products have now stopped and so have other companies including Disney, Tiffany & Co. and Staples.
“We found that two brands sold in the United States, Paseo and Livi, are made with paper from Asia Pulp & Paper, which is responsible for more forest destruction in Sumatra than any other single company,” the WWF report said.
Paseo, a leading brand in Indonesia, has products including toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and facial tissue.
“With only about 400 Sumatran tigers and fewer than 2,800 Sumatran elephants left in the wild, this last remaining habitat is critical to the survival of these species. The pulp and paper and palm oil industries account for the vast majority of deforestation in Sumatra,” the report said.
The US distributor of Paseo products, Oasis brands, issued a statement on its Web site signed by its CEO, Philip Rundle, that said: “No company is perfect, and constructive feedback from NGOs and other stakeholders is necessary for any company to continuously improve its operations. Calls to action against Indonesian products, especially without verified claims, are unconstructive.”