Multinational companies including Danone and Xerox announced they will boycott Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), the Singapore-based conglomerate accused of illegal logging in Indonesia. Evidence suggests APP continues to cut down protected tree species that threaten the habitat of endangered species including the rare Sumatran tiger.
APP was in the news last year when Mattel reacted to a Greenpeace investigation that revealed the iconic Barbie doll was encased in packaging linked to APP logging operations in Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island. Despite the protests and large public outcry, a Guardian investigation uncovered evidence that ramin trees, critical to the Sumatran tigers’ survival, were logged and sent to APP paper mills. Now companies including Danone, Xerox, and a division of publisher HarperCollins have promised to stop sourcing from APP until it is verified that the illegal logging has stopped.
Danone, whose brands include Actimel and Volvic, states that in addition to suspending paper sourcing from APP, it will also develop a “zero deforestation” policy. The company had sourced about 1.5 percent of its paper, or 8,300 tons annually, from APP. Danone will send a letter to all its suppliers requesting that they stop purchasing paper from APP and that they audit their inventory to ensure no protected wood species are used in their products.
Xerox claimed they had stopped sourcing paper from APP “years ago,” but some APP paper found its way back into some of its European operations last year. After Greenpeace notified Xerox that its policy had been violated, the company in turn reinforced its ban on APP-manufactured paper throughout the 160 countries in which it operates.
With diary publisher Collins Debden joining the boycott, the list of companies vowing to stop conducting business with APP continues to grow. That list of companies already includes Adidas, Kraft, Nestle and Unilever. Meanwhile, APP claims it is following the 2001 Indonesian law banning the illegal logging of trees, but stated that “no system in the world, no matter how rigorous, is 100% failsafe.”