APP: ‘hear firsthand about our commitment to sustainability’, Greenpeace: this is greenwash

Controversial paper company Asia Pulp & Paper has launched a press campaign that invites readers to see how the firm operates and “hear firsthand about our commitment to sustainability”.

The ad, which is running in newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald today, announces the launch of a program offering those “interested in forestry, paper production and the environment the opportunity to see our operations in Indonesia for themselves”.

The news comes four months after APP’s Australian arm Solaris was caught astroturfing around a story about a Solaris campaign defending its activities in Indonesia and a video of a captured tiger on land Solaris had been developing.

Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner, who was referred to as ‘scum’ by Solaris astroturfers, said in a statement:

Unfortunately, Asia Pulp & Paper and its affiliates are once again crudely greenwashing its destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests.

This invitation comes shortly after a tightly controlled  tour provided by APP for a group of journalists from The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and the Australian just 2 months ago. Of course, this tour did not include visits to its operations where its suppliers have recently destroyed rainforests and Sumatran tiger habitat to make products like cheap toilet roll. And the journalists, including the Australian’s Graham Lloyd didn’t swallow it whole.

Invitees should insist on being taken to concessions such as the large operation in Nilo District, Sumatra, controlled by PT Araba Abadi which supplies APP. In this concession in July, an endangered Sumatran tiger died after being trapped in a trap set for a boar or deer. Less than 15km away, rainforests identified as tiger habitat were documented being cleared to feed APP’s voracious mills that produce cheap throw-away products like toilet paper.

Greenpeace Indonesia has just spent 3 weeks on a “Tiger Tour” documenting the impacts and bearing witness to this environmental crime on Sumatra and would be happy to assist those interested in identifying exactly where they should insist on going as part of APP’s tour.

Solaris’s PR agency, PPR, had not returned Mumbrellas calls at press time.


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