Paper giant caught wrecking tiger and orang-utan habitat

Last edited 6 July 2010 at 2:43pm
6 July, 2010

Orang-utans and tigers are being pushed towards extinction by pulp and paper giant APP, according to a new report released today by Greenpeace.

The report documents the areas on the Indonesian island of Sumatra where APP, part of the notorious Sinar Mas group, are destroying the rainforest.

Among the areas is the Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape, which is one of the last remaining rainforest homes of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and home to the only successful re-introduction program for the Sumatran orangutan.

Yesterday both Tesco and Carrefour, the largest UK and French retailers respectively, became the latest companies to announce that they would stop selling own-branded products made from APP materials. Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer in the UK have already stopped buying from the pulp and paper company because of its record of environmental destruction

APP has recently expanded their sales network in the UK, through Arco Paper and Calington Ltd.

Andy Tait of Greenpeace said: "APP is still trashing Indonesia's rainforests, including the home of the Sumatran tiger and the orangutan. No responsible paper buyer should be touching them with a barge pole. They're a toxic brand.

‘But rather than stop destroying rainforests, APP has simply continued to make dodgy claims about sustainability, most notably by misleading customers about their association with the PEFC scheme'.

"It is astonishing that PEFC allows its brand to be misused by Indonesia's worst forest destroyer. The question now is whether PEFC is going to simply watch their reputation get destroyed along with Indonesia's rainforests, or whether they now stop dealing with APP until real sustainability commitments are in place."

PEFC is a certification scheme which claims to ensure that its timber products have come from sustainable sources. Indonesia has no PEFC certified forests or plantations, but APP continue to claim that, through introducing PEFC procedures, it can assure customers that ‘that no illegal or controversial wood' enters company mills, a claim which, at best, is misleading. (1)

The Sinar Mas group has been repeatedly exposed over recent years for their destructive practices. Attempts to engage the group by various companies and NGOs have failed. The US based office group Staples gave up in 2008 concluding that APP is ‘a great peril to our brand'. The Rainforest Alliance and FSC have broken off all relations with the company. (2)

Indonesia holds the world record for the fastest disappearing rainforest amongst all major forested nations on the planet. Since 1950, over 74 million hectares of Indonesia's forests have been destroyed, with additional areas being severely degraded.

Every year 1.8 billion tonnes of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions are released by the degradation and burning of its peatlands alone. Such destruction has made Indonesia the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after the US and China.


To see the report, called How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet, go to

Greenpeace press office: 020 7865 8255


1. Quote from APP sustainability stakeholder update May 2008: "PEFC procedures for avoidance of raw material from controversial sources have also been implemented by both APP's pulp mills in Sumatra, operating under Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper (Perawang Mill) and Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industry, and verified by an independent third party certification body in order to provide confidence that no illegal or controversial wood enters the mills' fiber supply chain.". The statement is misleading because:

  • at the time of the statement neither mill had PEFC chain of custody certificates;
  • according to PEFC auditor, SGS, no such official verification under PEFC rules has been made of all the fibre used in the mills supply chain to ensure that no illegal or controversial wood enters;
  • SGS also confirmed that they have completed no other legality verification work for APP at these mills which covers the entire supply to them.

2. Rainforest Alliance statement available here:, Staples quoted in the following article:

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