Sihol Aritonang, President Director of Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) speaks during a discussion at the Indonesia Pavilion at Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 4, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL Group)
Solar Panels, Fire-Free Villages on APRIL's Climate Strategies
NOVEMBER 05, 2021
Jakarta. Pulp and paper producer APRIL Group shared its climate strategies during the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The strategies include solar panel installation in their operation and partnership with local communities to reduce fire hazards through its Fire-Free Village Program (FFVP).
Fire prevention remains one of APRIL's key focus areas, according to Sihol Aritonang, President Director of Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), APRIL Group’s operating arm.
Sihol said the company had been keeping its flagship community engagement initiative Fire-Free Village Program (FFVP) on track — with 33 villages engaged in the program last years.
The FFVP focuses on raising local community awareness and resilience in managing fire risks. APRIL offers incentives or rewards for participating villages who manage to keep their land fire-free for a year.
“We do not provide incentives in the form of money, but through programs which the community members will decide among themselves. They can be a facility improvement, agricultural equipment procurement, and so on,” Sihol told a separate Indonesia Pavillion discussion on Thursday.
Other key approaches of this program include encouraging villagers to abandon slash-and-burn practices, by providing more sustainable alternatives for land clearing.
As of 2020, the area under the FFVP MoU spanned at 711,439 hectares, with 22 hectares burnt on the same year. This represents 0.003 percent of the MoU-covered area. Compared to 0.3 percent area burnt in 2013, this can be regarded as a very positive results, Sihol revealed.
"At the heart of a successful fire [incidents] reduction are three components. [Firstly,] the recognition that prevention is key," he said.
"Secondly, it has to recognize incentive as an important mean. Thirdly, it has to include a multi-stakeholder collaboration.”
Likewise, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Alue Dohong highlighted how a multi-stakeholder collaboration plays a pivotal role in combating forest fires.
"It goes without saying that in addressing forest and land fires, no government agency can [do it] alone without the support and coordination with other agencies and stakeholders, including the community and the private sector," Alue said.
Solar Panel Installation
Starting this year, APRIL is installing a 20-megawatt solar panel at its operational site in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau Province. So far, APRIL already commissions 1 MW solar energy project, according to Basrie Kamba, Director of Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), a viscose rayon producer, on behalf of APRIL Group.
“Once [fully installed] in 2025, it will become one of the largest solar panel installations [operated] by a private sector — contributing to the government’s nationally determined contribution [NDC] target of greenhouse gas emission reductions,” Basrie shared during a discussion at Indonesia Pavilion on Wednesday.
“With the support of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), We will be the first company in Indonesia to install solar panels on closed landfills,” he said.
The solar project will pave the way for APRIL towards achieving their APRIL2030 commitments.
Under APRIL2030’s Climate Positive pillar, the paper giant aims for a 25 percent reduction in its carbon emissions intensity from its fiber products by 2030. The pillar also includes a goal of sourcing 90 percent of mill energy needs from renewables. In 2020, APRIL’s renewable energy consumption already reached 80.2 percent.
“[The solar panel project] will help APRIL in reducing 400 kilogram of coal consumption per megawatt-hour,” Basrie said.
It will also result in a reduction of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by 993 kilogram and 30 kilogram per megawatt-hour, respectively.
“When its completed, the solar panels would contribute to 2-3 percent of our energy needs,” Basrie said.