Paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), part of the Sinar Mas Group, has apparently been misleading consumers and investors with a massive PR campaign aimed at masking the truth behind its clear cutting operations in Indonesia.
An investigative report released today by WWF and its NGO partners revealed that the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary is being subjected to clear cutting operations by APP supplier, PT Ruas Utama Jaya.
Senepis Tiger Sanctuary is featured heavily in APP’s greenwash campaign, which attempts to push an image of environmental responsibility through front groups and media advertising.
Historical satellite image analysis and thorough field investigations done in 2011 confirmed that the tiger sanctuary reality is very different than what APP is touting via its various mouthpieces.
“This is clear proof that the global advertising claims of APP that it actively protects Sumatran tiger are highly exaggerated”, said Anwar Purwoto of WWF.
Sumatra-based NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest estimates that APP has pulped over two million hectares of tropical forest in Indonesia since 1984.
Several corporate customers, including Office Depot, Staples, Kraft, Target, Adidas, Mattel, Hasbro, and Gucci Group, have “made public commitments” to stop doing business with APP because of its environmentally destructive practices, especially deforestation.
Another APP smokescreen
Earlier this year, APP expanded its dubious “environmental responsibilities” to include Javan rhinos.
However, in an interview on Mongabay.com, Dr. Susie Ellis of the International Rhino Foundation explained that APP’s announcement was yet another smokescreen.
A relatively small donation (especially in comparison to their billions of dollars in annual revenue) from APP to the Indonesian government does not mean that they play a role in the on-the-ground conservation of this species.
From the NGO perspective, this contribution appears to be truly an attempt to greenwash the company’s image.
Elfian Effendi, Director of Greenomics, an Indonesian NGO, noted via a Mongabay.com commentary that in a presentation ironically entitled “APP: Establishing the Facts”, APP’s photo of a “Javan rhino” was actually a Sumatran rhino.
Source: Eyes on the Forest (EoF), “The Truth Behind APP’s Greenwash” (2011). Download the report here.
Photo #1 by Kevin1243 via Wikimedia Commons. All other photos © Eyes of the Forest / WWF-Indonesia
Rhishja is the founder of Annamiticus, a nonprofit organization which provides educational information and news about wildlife crime and endangered species. She is the Editor of the blogs Annamiticus, Rhino Horn is Not Medicine, and Project Pangolin, a Producer for the upcoming documentary "The Price", author of the book "Murder, Myths & Medicine", and host of the "Behind the Schemes" podcast. When Rhishja is not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, she enjoys rocking out to live music.