Sinar Mas’ Expanding Empires of Destruction

by Rolf Skar

August 4, 2010

Peatland destruction linked to Sinar MasMonths ago, forest destroyer Sinar Mas told industry peers that it would formally respond to issues raised by a Greenpeace report. 

After mountains of bad press and losing business, many had hoped the palm oil, paper, and coal giant would use this moment to come clean, admit mistakes and move forward to improve its business.

Unfortunately, Sinar Mas is not showing any signs of doing that.

Sinar Mas was meant to publish an audit into its own activities by the end of June.  They baulked and postponed until late July.  Now, they are saying it will be August 10th.

In the meantime, Sinar Mas has hired PR firm Bell Pottinger to help present their greenwash.  Bell Pottinger recently did public relations work for Trafigura, the oil trading company who was recently convicted and fined for illegally transporting toxic waste to the Ivory Coast. 

Classy clientele!

Anticipating that Sinar Mas will try to greenwash the results of their flawed audit, Greenpeace just released (more!) fresh evidence that notorious forest destroying practices continue unabated and in direct violation of the company’s own environmental commitments on protecting forests and peatlands. 

The report, Empires of Destruction, contains evidence that Sinar Mas is clearing rainforest and peatland areas on the island of Borneo.  Further photographic evidence shows Sinar Mas recently cleared rainforest orangutan habitat.  While Sinar Mas talks about protecting rainforests and peatlands, its actions speak louder, and tell a different story.

But, it is not just what Sinar Mas has done in the past that should cause alarm – it is what it plans to do in the future. 

In addition the report details how Sinar Mas plans to expand its empire of destruction even further.  Last week, the Sinar Mas palm oil division, Golden Agri Resources, confirmed plans to expand into an additional 2.5 million acres

With wildlife like the orangutan and Sumatran tiger being pushed towards extinction, the Paradise Forests cannot afford to continue to be the victim of Sinar Mas’s ever expanding empire.

The good news is that Nestle, Kraft, Unilever, HSBC, and other prominent companies are distancing themselves from Sinar Mas. 

Until Sinar Mas is no longer involved in destroying rainforests and peatlands, other companies who still purchase from them – like fast food companies Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut – should take similar measures. 

Take a moment now to tell those companies to stop serving up forest destruction!

Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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