Sinar Mas Shown Destroying Tiger Habitat, Greenwashing Practices
by Rolf Skar
August 12, 2010
Last week, Greenpeace activists in Sumatra, Indonesia unfurled a giant banner reading “APP-Stop destroying Tiger Forests” to expose ongoing rainforest destruction by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).
APP is the world’s third-largest paper company and a subsidiary of conglomerate Sinar Mas, which also drives deforestation through its palm oil subsidiaries.
The banner was deployed in an area of active forest destruction by an APP affiliate in the southern part of Bukit Tigapuluh landscape. Bukit Tigapuluh is one of the last refuges for the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger, the clouded leopard, Malayan tapir, Sumatran elephant and the orangutan. The area is also home to the indigenous peoples of the Orang Rimba and Talang Mamak tribes.
The action comes on the heels of a new report, Empires of Destruction, that details how the Sinar Mas conglomerate is fueling deforestation through its palm oil, paper and coal companies.
It also came the week before a twice-delayed “verification exercise” released by Sinar Mas responding to an earlier Greenpeace report.
Sinar Mas had hoped their response to our old report would convince corporate customers, the media and the public that they do not have ties to deforestation, that their operations are sustainable and everyone should start buying their palm oil and paper again.
Unfortunately for them, few have taken their greenwash seriously. Headlines proclaiming “Sinar Mas Admits Breaking Law By Clearing Peatlands” are not exactly the sort of media coverage they were looking for!
Sinar Mas didn’t get the kind of response they wanted from corporate buyers of palm oil either. Companies like Nestle, Unilever and Kraft that have cut business with Sinar Mas haven’t changed their stance towards the company.
When will Sinar Mas realize that to change its image, it will have to change its ways first? That is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, take action to encourage fast food companies like Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut to send Sinar Mas a message and stop serving up rainforest destruction.
For the forest,