After a decade of global campaigning by Greenpeace, one of the world’s biggest forest criminal agreed to put down its chainsaw in February.
How did we bring positive change?
With a lot of hard work, careful strategizing, thorough research on the extent and kind of destruction that APP was guilty of. We pushed more than 100 global brands to ditch APP because of its forest destruction record.
Here’s Yang Jie, our senior forests campaigner to share with you what was behind this amazingly successful campaign.
Change Companies’ Minds
APP needs its customers so we went out to drive them away. In March last year we made major headway in this campaign when we revealed that APP was harvesting Ramin wood – a tree that is legally protected in Indonesia and by an international treaty.
We created a huge public buzz about APP’s illegal activities and in just two months, dozens of APP’s biggest clients ditched the paper giant.
Since the launch of our campaign more than 100 major national and international companies have broken ties with APP. These include Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Unilever and Xerox.
APP also depends on its investors, so our Sustainable Finance Team lobbied banks and other financial institutions to ditch their APP investments.
Last year, we convinced the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norway Pension Fund, to sell its stake in APP's largest publicly listed subsidiary Indah Kiat paper mill. Soon after, Skagen Funds and Mackenzie Investments, two of the top three third largest foreign investors of Indah Kiat also sold their stake in the pulp mill.
In just such an investigation, we caught one of the world’s biggest document management companies, Xerox, out. It had promised not to source its paper from APP, but we found out that in 2010 and in 2011 the company had done just that. With some pressure, Xerox said sorry and tightened its purchasing policy to exclude APP.
Along with our campaign, public and media pressure pushed the Indonesian government to tighten their law enforcement of forest regions.
It’s important to foster good communication with authorities and so last June Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The president said he would pay attention to rainforest protection and reduce Indonesia’s carbon emissions.
A Finger Lickin’ Good Campaign
Yum!Brands, the largest restaurant company in the world and parent company of KFC, has been the focus of a huge Greenpeace global campaign starting last year after we revealed their secret recipe for destruction.
Junking the Jungle
Greenpeace exposes how KFC is sourcing its paper products – napkins and chicken buckets -- from dwindling rainforests in a new report called "How KFC is Junking the Jungle in Indonesia". This report marks the explosive launch of a global KFC campaign.
Jakarta Takes the Lead
After almost 200,000 actions taken by our supporters all over the world to ask KFC to drop deforestation, KFC Indonesia declares it will stop sourcing its packaging from APP.
First Signs of Sustainability
Yum! Brands appear to back down when they put a new statement on their website about sustainable sourcing of paper products. But it’s not good enough for us because it does not amount to a zero-deforestation policy for their purchasing of paper and palm oil.
The Colonel Makes a Compromise
Yum! Brands, releases new policies, which if they stick to, would mean that KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other Yum! Fast food brands would no long source their packaging from rainforest destruction. While their policies don’t include targets and timelines, there is a clear explanation of a supply chain audit, which is the first real step.
Cherishing China’s Forests
We have highlighted many times in the past how APP has engaged in large-scale illegal logging of the forests in China’s Yunnan and Hainan provinces. One of our tactics here is to use specialized science to show the urgency of protecting these forests and thus pressure local governments to start really protecting their forests. Here we have Forests campaigner Wu Hao to share with us his experience on our successful Hainan campaign.
“We used precision remote sensing technology and geographical information systems, extensive onsite surveying, data analysis, and scientific research, to calculate the extent of the deforestation that has taken place in Hainan’s natural rainforests. We discovered that the rainforests in the mountainous area of central Hainan had been decimated by one quarter, which was a serious threat to the survival of the endangered Hainan gibbon, of which there are only 23 left.”
“This is the first time that any environmental group has used advanced technology independently to protect China’s forests and we were able to attract a lot of attention from the media, academics and government circles. And we successfully pushed the Hainan government to bring in a new plan in July that protects almost all of the island’s natural forests.”
Repeating that Success in Yunnan
“Our success in Hainan is proof that these advanced scientific techniques are able to make governments listen and take action. That’s why last year we used the same methods to get a picture of what was happening to Yunnan’s forests.”
“ At the beginning of this year we released our report which showed that only 9% of existing forest in the province is primary forest. This not only means that natural defenses against droughts, landslides and other natural disasters are markedly reduced, but also that about one quarter of endangered native species are more likely to become extinct.”
APP’s China Promise
“The Hainan government’s new forest plan means that APP must stop its plantation operations in which it has already been investing for a decade. Also, APP’s new ‘Forest Conservation Policy’ also applies to China’s forests. We will work with APP (China) to figure out ways to heal deforested areas.”
A Peek at Our New Forests Work for 2013
You’ll be happy to know it’s a packed schedule. Firstly, we will continue to use satellite map data and field surveys to make sure APP is keeping its promise. We are now targeting Indonesia’s second-largest pulp producer APRIL to make a similar pledge, while encouraging Jakarta to strengthen its law enforcement in forest areas. As for China, we are pushing local governments to start seriously protecting China’s forests.