Jakarta. The April Group, a leading manufacturer in the paper and pulp industry, received the Best UN Sustainable Development Goals Program Award during the Sustainable Business Awards in Jakarta on Monday.
The award recognizes the April Group for its work to measure the impact of its operations and strategically align its sustainability investments moving forward, using the global framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sihol Aritonang, president director of Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, the operating arm of the April Group, accepted the award from National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD) president Shinta Kamdani.
The group also received a special recognition award in the business responsibility and ethics category.
"Our operations are already aligned to our core business vision, or 5Cs. This means we operate in a manner that is good for the community, the country, the climate, our customers and then the company. But the value of the SDGs lies in aligning our vision with a global development framework that's been universally endorsed by 193 countries, and really embed this framework into the way we do business," Sihol said.
"We welcome this award as recognition of the effort that we, as a company, put into connecting our strategies and our contributions to local, national and global priorities, and to translate this into action on the ground where we can really have an impact," he added.
The Sustainable Business Awards, organized by Global Initiatives in partnership with the IBCSD and professional services firm PwC, aim to increase awareness of sustainable business best-practices and demonstrate how responsible and sustainable business benefits companies, the environment and all stakeholders.
The award acknowledges the work April is undertaking with PwC to benchmark the company's social, environmental and economic contributions against the SDGs. The assessment will ultimately help to guide the company's decision-making, strategies and programs to help advance sustainable development in the areas where it operates. In doing so, the April Group aims to enhance its contribution to the achievement of the Indonesia's priority SDGs on a national, provincial and community level.
"The private sector has a very important role in supporting sustainable development in Indonesia. The role of the IBCSD is to work with companies across different business sectors to encourage them to incorporate sustainability commitments into their operations," Shinta said.
"This Sustainable Business Awards prove that many companies operating in Indonesia, such as the April Group, have a special focus on improving their performance, in the context of the sustainable development imperative and the SDGs set by the United Nations," she added.
Prior to the April Group's current endeavor with PwC, the Tanoto Foundation worked with the United Nations Development Program and the Riau provincial government to advance the implementation of a governance framework for implementation at a district level. A multi-partner pilot program was carried out in the province between October 2015 and February 2017 to incorporate the SDGs into subnational development strategies and plans.
This in turn enabled three districts to optimize approaches to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The program was supported by targets, indicators and a dashboard system to manage progress. It achieved its targets, transferred ownership to local stakeholders and secured its extension to four more districts through to 2020.