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Greenpeace Report Links Asia Pulp and Paper, Major Brands to Rainforest Destruction

July 6, 2010
JAKARTA/SAN FRANCISCO—July 06, 2010—A new Greenpeace report is said to show how global brands are fueling climate change and pushing Sumatran tigers and orangutans towards the brink of extinction by using paper made from Indonesian rainforest destruction. The report, "How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet," traces the connection from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), the paper subsidiary of the Sinar Mas group, to major international brands.

Walmart, one of the brands cited, issued the following statement in response:

"We were surprised Greenpeace would single us out in their press release as we have been in ongoing discussions with them and continue to partner on a variety of projects around the world. Walmart does not support deforestation, and as Greenpeace’s report shows, our largest markets do not source product from APP, and in the remaining markets that do, we have taken the steps to stop development on private brand products with APP and are looking at what measures can be taken regarding branded products. Globally, we are committed to traceability in the timber supply chain, and we work closely with government, NGO and supplier partners to build a better, more transparent, and more sustainable supply system."

Rolf Skar, Greenpeace senior forest campaigner, said, “Our new investigation shows Sinar Mas is selling paper products from rainforest and peatland destruction to major brands all over the world.”

The Greenpeace documents how Sinar Mas is "wreaking havoc" in two important rainforest areas on the Indonesian island of Sumatra: the Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape and the Kerumantan peat forest. Bukit Tigapuluh is one of the last refuges for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and orangutans. Kerumutan’s carbon rich peatlands are a key defense against climate change; some Kerumutan peat is deeper than three meters and illegal to clear under Indonesian law. Despite this, APP uses the logs from these rainforest areas to feed its Sumatran based pulp mills, which export pulp and paper products worldwide.

“Kerumutan and Bukit Tigapuluh are just two of many endangered forests being decimated by Sinar Mas for paper and palm oil plantation expansion” said Skar. “Indonesian President Yudyohono's new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation will be undermined unless he extends the moratorium on new deforestation licenses to cover all forest and peatlands that are currently slated for destruction by Sinar Mas and other companies,” he concluded.

Several leading companies are said to have already responded to Greenpeace evidence of the Sinar Mas group’s destructive practices by cancelling their contracts with the Indonesian palm oil and paper giant. Kraft has confirmed that is phasing out APP paper and packaging, whilst Kimberly-Clark, Nestle and Unilever are implementing new policies that will also rule out supplies from APP, unless the company and its suppliers make substantial changes. Unilever, Kraft, and Nestle have also dropped contracts with Golden Agri Resources (GAR), the Sinar Mas group’s palm oil arm, following recent Greenpeace campaigns. In the financial world, HSBC Global Asset Management announced it dropped all holdings in GAR.

“It’s time for companies like Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Kentucky Fried Chicken to catch up. We’re calling on companies in this report to stop doing business with Sinar Mas immediately. In addition, we urge them to publicly support the immediate protection of Indonesia's peatlands and back a moratorium on rainforest destruction,” continued Skar.
 

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