APRIL Group's recently announced measures to ensure deforestation is completely eliminated from its supply chain in Indonesia will help the Singapore-based paper group increase its market share in Australia, according to managing director Goh Lin Piao.
Australia is a “very strategic” market for APRIL, Goh told Stationery News.
“We've had a presence in this market for nearly 12 years - with all its ups and downs - and we are really pleased that our Australian customers can now feel confident in buying our product,” Goh said.
Goh said APRIL's “sustainability journey” started in 2002 when the company pioneered the “Wood Legality Chain of Custody” system. Since then, the company has conserved 250,000 hectares and expanded its eco-restoration programme to 70,000 hectares as it works towards its 1-for-1 target, where one hectare of forest is conserved for every hectare of plantation.
On eco-restoration, the company is working with Fauna/Flora International, pledging US$17 million to date.
Stephen Gates, executive general manager of APRIL Australia, said the company's new sustainability credentials and PEFC status for its flagship PaperOne brand has been well-received by its key channel partners.
“Our sustainable forest management policy has given us an important social licence in the core uncoated wood free market,” he said. “The Oceania region accounts for 380,000 tonnes per annum, including 260,000 to 270,000 tonnes of cut-sized paper, and we are aiming for 25 per cent of that market.”
APRIL’s parent company, the Royal Golden Eagle group, earlier this year announced that new sustainability policies will be implemented by all other pulp companies in the group, including an end to deforestation.
Environment groups Greenpeace and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have welcomed APRIL Group's announcement.