Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper president director Sihol Aritonang speaks at a press conference in Jakarta on November 29, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL Group)

APRIL2030 Sees Significant Progress in First Year

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Jakarta. Pulp and paper producer APRIL recently announced the progress that the company has made in the first year of its sustainability agenda, APRIL2030.

The four-pillared APRIL2030 encompasses planned concrete actions to drive sustainability over the next decade. Since APRIL2030 entered into force last November, the paper giant has been making a lot of progress towards its goals, according to Sihol Aritonang, the President Director of APRIL’s operating arm Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP).

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As part of its Climate Positive pillar, APRIL has installed a one-megawatt out of the targeted 20 megawatt-solar panels in its operational area in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau. The Environment and Forestry Ministry has also granted a license for APRIL to set up the solar panel in a closed landfill.

And once fully installed, APRIL will have one of the largest solar panel technologies among the private firms in the country.

“We have installed the first megawatt and are planning to go for the next four megawatts next year,” Sihol told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.

The Climate Positive Pillar puts emphasis on slashing carbon emissions. The solar panel installation will also help the government’s goal in ramping up the renewables share, according to Sihol. 

To further slash emissions, APRIL has rolled out two electric buses for its employees within its complex in Riau. This clean transportation system also involves local communities to provide the service. 

APRIL2030’s Thriving Landscape pillar is seeing significant progress with the establishment of the Eco-Camp facility equipped with a laboratory for tropical peatland research. 

“Indonesia must become a fertile ground for research advancements in the tropical peatland,” Sihol told the conference. 

Last year, the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau — APRIL’s flagship ecosystem program— took part in returning a rehabilitated female Sumatran tiger named Corina back into the wild. 

Meanwhile, APRIL2030’s Inclusive Progress pillar focuses on helping the local community. APRIL along with its think-tank partner Smeru Research Institute has identified villages struck by extreme poverty within a 50-kilometer radius outside its operations. 

“We notice that the majority of these villages rely on agriculture for income. In response, we have teamed up with the Tani Foundation to train these farmers to adopt better and sustainable farming,” Sihol told the discussion.

Other forms of assistance to help local communities include improving their education quality. APRIL even expanded this program from 112 to 172 schools, of which some are even outside the targeted 50-kilometer radius.

Last but not least is the Sustainable Growth pillar which highlights a more efficient production, in which it eyes to ramp up its chemical recovery to 98 percent by 2030. 

During the discussion, Sihol reaffirmed the company’s support for  Indonesia’s goal to turn its forestry and other land use (FoLu) sector into a net carbon sink by 2030.

“APRIL2030 aligns with the government’s goal of 2030 FoLu Net Sink. We also adopt a one-for-one commitment approach to protect and restore one hectare of forest for every hectare of the plantation we manage,” Sihol said.

Sihol also said partnerships between governments, the private sector, multilateral institutions, and civil society will be essential to ensure we meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Climate Agreement targets.

"The Cop-26 shows that the private sector plays a crucial role. The private sector has the resources for its production, which can also be leveraged to help the climate, environment, and the community,” Sihol said.

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