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23 February 2011

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Indonesia

Greenpeace hits back at 'notorious forest destroyer' Asia Pulp and Paper

Campaigners urge retailers to follow example of Tesco and Adidas in cutting links with the controversial paper and packaging supplier after latest allegations of greenwashing.

One of the world's largest paper and packaging suppliers has been accused by Greenpeace of mounting a 'shameless' drive to greenwash its image.

In a comment piece in the Ecologist last month, Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) said activists were wrong to target the company and that it wanted all of its wood supplies to come from sustainable plantations by 2015. At present around 85 per cent comes from its own plantations, which are replanted every six or seven years.

The company also said it supported the two-year ban on the granting of any new rights to convert natural forests or peatlands into plantations.

However, Greenpeace forest campaigner Ian Duff, writing in the Ecologist, said the company had not made clear that the shortfall in wood supplies would continue to come from rainforests until 2015.

'It is timber that comes from deforestation in Sumatra, from areas including those mapped as deep peat areas and habitat for species such as the Sumatran tiger. This is exactly the sort of destruction that APP claimed it is not responsible for,' he said.

Greenpeace also said the company's claims of supporting tiger conservation work at a sanctuary in the province of Sumatra needed to be set against its continued clearance of tiger habitats. 'So let’s be absolutely clear. APP is practising business as usual, its operations are not sustainable and it’s trying to cover its tracks by throwing money at a handful of small projects to distract attention from its operations,' said Duff.

Duff said APP should follow the example of its palm oil sister company Golden Agri-resources, which was exposed for attempting to 'greenwash' its image before recently committing to stop expansion into natural forest habitats.

'The answer to APP’s troubles lies not in PR spin but in implementing sustainability policies which rule out continued natural forest clearance. Impossible you say? Not so - APP’s sister palm oil company last week publicly announced new policies to stop expansion into forest areas. If these policies are implemented it is a huge step forward, one that APP urgently needs to learn from,' he said.

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