TORONTO, 2012, November 14 – This week, Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) announced it has secured SVLK certification for all of its nine mills. SVLK is the Indonesian Wood Legality Verification System, and APP today confirmed that the full scope of its operations is now SVLK certified, meeting the highest global standards for wood legality.
Enacted in 2009 by the Indonesian government, SVLK creates a rigorous chain of custody process designed to ensure that mills only receive and process timber from legal sources, and that all products exported from Indonesia are traceable to verifiable points of origin.
The final certification was received by APP’s Pindo Deli Perawang mill on November 7, 2012, following the certification of eight other mills since July of this year. With this final certification, APP has achieved its aim of being wholly certified by January 2013.
Ian Lifshitz, director of sustainability for APP in North America, remarked:
“With the new requirements in the U.S. and Europe, we are seeing that market demands proof that all products imported from Indonesia come from legal, verifiable and traceable sources. We are pleased to have achieved our goal of one hundred percent compliance ahead of our self-imposed deadline.”
SVLK certification addresses U.S. law through country-of-origin verification requirements mandated under a 2008 amendment to the Lacey Act, the conservation law designed, in part, to protect against import of illegal timber-based products.
“Beyond fulfilling these legal requirements, on June 5, 2012, we initiated an ambitious sustainability program which includes eliminating deforestation in the supply chain by 2015, as detailed in our Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020,” continued Lifshitz.
Just as SVLK addresses U.S. legality standards under the Lacey Act, it also has an important role to play in helping Indonesian companies meet new European Timber Regulation (EUTR). In April 2011, Indonesia and the European Union concluded the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Under this agreement, SVLK is recognized as the credible system to guarantee the legality of timber from Indonesia. This VPA between the EU and Indonesia is expected to become operational in 2013.
Dr. Ir. Dwi Sudharto, M.Si, Director of Forest Product Processing and Marketing Development at the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, stated: “As the national timber legality standard, SVLK provides assurance to global markets that all Indonesian wood-based products are traceable to legal points of origin. Our standards are recognized internationally and facilitate the export of Indonesian products around the world. This would not be possible without the support of the industry, and APP has been a strong advocate of this program from the start. We commend APP on the achievement of having all its mills certified.”
Indonesia’s SVLK certification standard has been developed through years of multi-stakeholder engagement and consultation involving government, industry, civil society and the academic community. Certification is provided through the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) and independently monitored by the Forestry Independent Monitoring Network, which consists of civil society and forestry industry experts.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is a brand umbrella for paper products produced in Indonesia and China. The company markets products to more than 120 countries around the globe. In 2012, APP established its Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020, an industry-leading initiative that will allow the company to be wholly-reliant on raw materials from plantations alone by 2015. Most of APP’s production facilities are currently Chain-of-Custody certified by LEI and PEFC. APP mills are the first pulp and paper mills to receive the Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) certification in Indonesia. APP supports a variety of conservation initiatives, including a 178,000 hectare Biosphere Reserve in Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu and a 106,000 hectare Senepis Tiger Sanctuary in Sumatra. Other APP wildlife preservation initiatives include the support of the Kutai Orangutan Program in Kalimantan and the conservation of the Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park. For more information, visit http://www.asiapulppaper.com/.
Jaszver Bauzon, Cohn & Wolfe