January 1st will mark my six year anniversary as Director of Sustainability for Asia Pulp & Paper, during that brief period of time, I could have never imagined the amount of sustainability progress I have seen both, within my own organization as well as on a global scale.
The APP team worked tirelessly on our Forest Conservation Policy, restoration and peatland projects and we have been honored at the praise they have received. However, it is clear to me that the importance of sustainability isn’t simply an APP shift, but a global movement as exemplified last year by the UN during the 2014 NY declaration on forests event.
That global prioritization continued recently as APP joined leading global companies in committing to CDP’s “Road to Paris” initiative – a significant pledge to jointly combat climate change. As part of this commitment, APP and several other members of the “Road to Paris” initiative are calling for a universal climate agreement in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris this December.
APP, along with other signatories, is demonstrating steadfast leadership by making a commitment to remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020.
I am proud to say APP has continued to follow through on its zero deforestation commitments – well ahead of CDP’s deadline – and demonstrate significant progress against its broader Forest Conservation Policy goals. Our FCP initiative, which declared an immediate halt to all natural forest clearance across its supply chain, outlined comprehensive steps to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, work closely with indigenous populations and local communities, and partner with third party groups to ensure transparency, implementation and accountability.
The “Road to Paris” initiative, as well as other multi-stakeholder commitments, underscore not only the progress of helping to combat zero deforestation and climate change on a global scale, but also a broad-based acknowledgement of collaboration between public and private sectors.
It’s clear that more work still needs to be done and that this is just one step in a journey, but I can personally attest that over my time at APP, a major shift in momentum is underway.