The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, released in August, stated that the earth’s climate systems are experiencing changes which will have impacts across the world. Many of these changes are described as ‘unprecedented’, with some effects, like rising sea levels, described as being “irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years”.
Without rapid and large-scale efforts, the report says, limiting global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be impossible.
But the report did offer some cause for optimism. There is still a possibility to reduce, stop, or even reverse this condition with “strong and sustained reductions” in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Finding the solutions to these challenges will be the focus of the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Known as COP26, the summit will bring together heads of states, environmental experts, NGOs and private sector leaders to discuss the way forward to address climate change, with countries under pressure to be more ambitious with their respective emission reduction targets.
As many of the most vulnerable communities, who will be most impacted by climate change driven by rising emissions, are located in developing or emerging countries, developed nations are being urged to mobilize financial support for the measures that will be required.
The need for massive financial investment in climate change mitigation strategies has drawn attention to the role of the private sector in supporting global climate goals. In recent years, it has become widely acknowledged that corporations across a range of industry sectors also have a major role to play in driving the adoption of best practices in sustainability.
Last year saw a number of global corporations setting out long term sustainability targets. Among their number was leading pulp and paper producer APRIL Group, which has substantial plantations and manufacturing operations in Indonesia.
In 2020, in line with the Indonesian government’s sustainability agenda, APRIL launched its APRIL2030 strategy, a series of tangible targets to be achieved by 2030, geared towards delivering positive contributions to climate, nature and communities.
“Sustainability is an important part of our business. That is why we launched our 10-year commitment last year on how APRIL can contribute positively to climate issues,” said Sihol Aritonang, the President Director of PT Riau Andalan Pulp Paper, the operating arm of APRIL Group.
The APRIL2030 strategy builds on the commitments embedded in APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP 2.0) and on the progress made in its implementation since 2015.Two pillars of APRIL2030, Climate Positive and Sustainable Growth, reflect the company’s focus on making a meaningful contribution to reducing climate change impact, while growing its business sustainably.
As part of its Climate Positive targets, the company aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions from land use and reduce the intensity of carbon production by up to 25 percent by 2030. APRIL also aims to source 90 percent of mill energy consumption rom cleaner and renewable energy sources.
APRIL has also launched several initiatives to support the delivery of its long term commitments. To help reduce carbon emissions, APRIL is installing 20MW solar panels in its operational site in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau Province. With a capacity of 20 MW in its operational site. Once its fully operational in 2025 this project will be one of the largest, private sector, solar panel installations in Indonesia
APRIL has also committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) framework. Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof their growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
APRIL will increase its material efficiency by chemically recovering its lime and soda waste, reducing water consumption, and utilizing 20 percent of recycled textiles in their viscose-rayon production, while generating 80 percent less solid waste.
To support the continued push for increased circularity, APRIL’s flagship brand PaperOne recently launched the Paper Once More! recycling program during the 2020 Expo in Dubai.
Running across key markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, PaperOne will collaborate with document disposal and recycling partners in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support the collection of paper waste.
Collectively, PaperOne estimates that the Paper Once More! program will help recycle around 20,000 tons of paper waste in its first year of operation, with a potential for expansion. PaperOne will also recycle 1 ton of waste paper for every ton its customers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia purchased through official branded online channels.
This article is joint collaboration with The Jakarta Post and April Group.