Jakarta. APRIL Group, a leading producer of pulp, paper and fibre with substantial operations in Indonesia, has contributed around $26.4 billion to the country's economy since it started business in Riau more than decades ago, a recent study has showed.
APRIL’s activities in the province have helped create jobs for locals and increased household income in the region. Now in its third decade of operation, the group is aiming to further align its activities with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Institute for Economics and Social Research (LPEM FEB UI), a think tank attached to the University of Indonesia's School of Economics and Business Studies, said the pulp and paper manufacturer has contributed Rp 368.51 trillion ($26.3 billion) to Indonesia's GDP since it was first established in Pelalawan district, Riau.
"Their contribution to the economy is notable for its multiplier effects in various fields, including economic output, employment and fiscal impact. If the group sold Rp 1 million worth of paper, that could generate Rp 1.5 million in Riau and Rp 2.28 million in Pelalawan," the think tank's head researcher Uka Wikarya said.
The report showed APRIL Group accounts for 7.17 percent of Riau's annual non-oil and gas Gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2015-2018. The company contributed half of Pelalawan's gross regional product in the same period.
The company is now also ramping up its commitment to realize the UN SDGs.
Issued by the United Nations in 2015, the global blueprint focuses on 17 goals including mitigating climate change, reducing poverty, providing clean water access as well as promoting sustainable consumption and production.
"We are committed to integrating the SDGs into our business. It is interesting that this blueprint perfectly matches our long-running mission to cater to what we call the 5Cs – the community, country, climate, customer and company – in our operations," said Sihol Aritonang, President Director of PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, the operating arm of APRIL Group.
The company’s efforts to integrate the SDGs into its operations include collaboration with PwC to take a data-driven approach to addressing them.
In Life On Land, APRIL Group made commitment in 2015 of $100 million for restoration and conservation for the next 10 years. Under Restorasi Ekosistem Riau Program, APRIL commits to restore and protect land and biodiversity in Kampar Peninsula, Riau. Totaling 150.000 hectares, the restoration area on the Kampar Peninsula is approximately twice the size of Singapore.
"Our attempt to realize these SDGs is in line with three scales of priorities: global, national and regional. With this, we hope to further realize the government's mandate of focusing on investment, production and exports in the future," Sihol said.