Toronto — A new report released today by Greenpeace Canada and other organizations reveals in new detail the corporate ownership of Paper Excellence, which is about to become the largest logging company in Canada. The investigation exposes a complex ownership structure with links leading to the notorious Sinar Mas Group, an Indonesia-based private corporation linked to extensive deforestation and social conflict.
Despite a multi-layered corporate structure with holding companies in numerous jurisdictions, the report’s findings clearly demonstrate a series of factors such as family ties, overlapping management, and lobbyist filings providing strong evidence that the Sinar Mas Group controls Paper Excellence.
According to Head of Food and Nature with Greenpeace Canada, Shane Moffatt:
“This report shines a light on the power of a relatively few multinationals over the fate of the world’s forests. It’s no coincidence that forests across Canada are in crisis from unsustainable logging, loss of wildlife and climate change. With the Sinar Mas Group rapidly expanding its empire into Canada, it’s clear we need much stronger laws to protect nature and ensure the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected. As host of the global biodiversity negotiations in December, the Canadian government needs to make passing such legislation a top priority.”
The analysis is based on a review of hundreds of publicly available corporate registry documents and other official filings about entities in Canada, Indonesia, France, Brazil, the Netherlands, the United States, Malaysia, the British Virgin Islands and other jurisdictions. In Canada, evidence ranges from the British Columbia lobbyist registry in 2022 and the official Sinar Mas letterhead used by Paper Excellence when the company purchased its first mill in Canada.
Paper Excellence now owns mills in half of Canada’s provinces: British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The past year, in particular, has seen them grow exponentially with the purchase of controversial and litigious logging giant Resolute Forest Products. When the sale of Resolute is concluded, Paper Excellence will become the largest logging company in Canada based on revenues generated.
Priyanka Vittal, Legal Counsel with Greenpeace Canada said:
“The public deserves much more transparency on who truly owns the mills. Corporations can often hide behind complicated corporate structures to avoid financial and environmental responsibility. When it comes time for clean up or paying unpaid wages, they restructure themselves, claim bankruptcy, pack up shop or hide behind shell companies with no assets. Local communities and Indigenous Peoples should be able to fully understand any company’s plans and hold them accountable.
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) could result in less transparency and more control by corporations over natural resources. We need a full, independent review of the agreement to understand how transnational corporations like Paper Excellence and the Sinar Mas Group will benefit and to ensure it contains effective environmental policies and frameworks if it goes ahead.”
Currently, the Canadian and Indonesian governments are negotiating a bilateral trade agreement that risks further entrenching the control of corporations like Paper Excellence linked to the Sinar Mas Group over forests to the detriment of local communities. In December, Canada will also host global negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to agree a framework for greater forest and nature protection over the next 10 years.
Notes to media
A summary of main findings of the report were shared with Paper Excellence, Asia Pulp & Paper, the Sinar Mas Group, and Jackson Wijaya Limantara prior to release. The full comments provided by Paper Excellence and Asia Pulp & Paper can be found in the Appendix. No response was received from the Sinar Mas Group or Jackson Wijaya Limantara.
The executive summary is available here.
The full report is available here.
For more information, please contact:
Brandon Wei, Communications officer, Greenpeace Canada
[email protected], +1 778 772-6138