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APP: A Response to Auriga’s Allegations of Deforestation in East Kalimantan

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Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), Jakarta, Indonesia issued a statement on Wednesday (Aug. 15, 2018) stating that the company strongly rejects what it believes are completely unsubstantiated allegations suggested by Auriga in its report titled "APP and APRIL violate zero-deforestation policies with wood purchases from Djarum Group concessions in East Kalimantan". The report, APP noted, contains factual errors and presents incomplete information which the company believes must be corrected.

APP reported in their statement that it is not engaged in deforestation, either directly, through companies owned by APP, or indirectly, through third parties. All fiber suppliers to APP must meet what are now stringent sustainability criteria set out in APP's Responsible Fiber Procurement and Processing Policy (RFPPP) and verified by APP's Supplier Evaluation and Risk Assessment (SERA) process.

APP does not own or control PT Sarana Bina Semesta Alam (PT SBSA), which is alleged to have acquired fiber supply from PT Silva Rimba Lestari (PT SRL) and PT Fajar Surya Swadaya (PT FSS).

Neither PT SRL nor PT FSS are approved suppliers of fiber to APP. APP did conduct a SERA evaluation on PT FSS from March 2017 November 2017, but it was not eventually approved as a supplier.

In an administrative lapse, APP did purchase a quantity of wood from PT FSS. A pilot shipment was delivered after the supplier passed the SERA desktop assessment, but before the SERA onsite assessments were completed.

This pilot shipment was delivered to APP’s Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper (IKPP) mill in Perawang on Nov. 1, 2017. However, as the SERA onsite assessment surfaced issues surrounding FSS, the delivery was flagged and quarantined. To date, the shipment remains quarantined in IKPP’s log yard. APP further stressed that no fiber from this shipment has entered APP’s production supply.

The lessons APP said it has learned from this incident was shared openly with interested parties at a stakeholder workshop to address stakeholder concerns in May (2018). Twenty-five NGOs, financial Institutions, multilateral development agencies, academics, and customers, attended the event, held on May 30 in Pullman hotel, Jakarta.

The report also repeats previously debunked theories that APP owns or controls PT Muara Sungai Landak (PT MSL) and PT Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (PT BRS). APP has no ownership, financial or legal relationships with either company, and a previous statements on this issue can be found on APP's website. www.asiapulppaper.com.

Finally, the report repeats unsubstantiated allegations that the demands of APP mills will drive the company to deforest. We have also addressed these allegations in previous statements.

APP remains firmly committed to its Forest Conservation Policy and zero-deforestation pledge. From the time the company made this commitment in 2013, it said can now prove that only 100% plantation wood from responsible sources has been used in APP mills.

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