Asia Pulp and Paper in illegal rainforest scandal

Feature Story - 28 February, 2012
APP: “Zero tolerance for illegal wood”. These are the five words that say a lot but apparently mean little to a company that has made a mantra out of repeating something which is simply not true. And today, we’ve released proof that what APP says is wrong - the results of a year long investigation uncovering how APP is systematically violating Indonesia’s laws which protect ramin, an internationally protected tree species under CITES.

Stockpiles of rainforest logs at APP's Indah Kiat Perawang pulp mill.

Watch footage from the undercover investigation 

Ramin trees come from Indonesia’s peat swamp forests which are also home to the endangered Sumatran tiger. Our latest mapping analysis shows that since 2001, at least 180,000 hectares of Sumatran peat swamp forests have been cleared in concessions now controlled by APP – an area twice the size of New York City or larger than Sydney’s total urban area..  Is it any wonder there are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild?

Numerous visits were made to APP’s largest pulp mill in Indonesia over the course of last year. Hidden among other rainforest species waiting to be pulped were numerous illegal ramin logs. To prove these trees were ramin, samples were taken and sent to an independent expert lab in Germany. The lab confirmed that all of these samples were indeed ramin.

See the full results of the investigation

As well as finding APP in possession of illegal ramin we’ve tracked where APP’s pulp and paper is going and found a trail that leads us back to major global names such as Xerox, National Geographic and Australia’s most popular diary range, Collins Debden. As we did with Barbie’s packaging  last year we sent their products for forensic testing and found they contained rainforest fibre.

Not only is APP undermining the rule of law in Indonesia it is also implicating some of its biggest customers in this rainforest scandal. The likes of Xerox and Collins Debden must now follow in the footsteps of other major names like Mattel, Nestle and Adidas who have already suspended all purchases from APP.

Help us persuade these companies to stop supporting APP’s forest destruction.

In Jakarta, Greenpeace Indonesia will be handing the video footage to the Police and is urging the Ministry of Forestry and CITES authorities to immediately seize all illegal ramin in APP’s operations and work together to end the trade in ramin from Indonesia’s peat swamp forests.

Please help us persuade Xerox and National Geographic  and many more companies to stop buying from APP until the company cleans up its act. Join us in taking action now.

View the EvidenceThe image maps out APP's global brand partners in crime