Indonesia 2018 | INDUSTRY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Bernard Tan, Managing Director for Corporate Affairs, Sustainability and Global Communications, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), on the sector.

Bernard Tan

How do you characterize 2017 for APP, and what are your strategic priorities?

From both a sustainability and commercial standpoint, 2017 was significant for APP. We hit some important milestones, including the four-year anniversary of the launch of our Forest Conservation Policy, a groundbreaking commitment that eliminated deforestation from our supply chain. We made major progress with the Integrated Forestry and Farming System, which was designed to tackle poverty and deforestation. The program, launched at the end of 2015, has since benefitted more than 13,500 households in 200 villages. We also made significant progress in rolling out our Integrated Fire Management system, which set a new industry standard for preventing, detecting, and responding to fires. From a commercial standpoint, we saw an increase in both the volumes of pulp and paper traded as well as pulp prices. With the rise in the middle class globally and especially in emerging markets in Asia, APP expects a steady increase in demand. Innovation will also eventually see paper products reducing our current unsustainable reliance on single-use plastics. Paper, if sourced from sustainable supply chains, is a renewable resource. I therefore remain optimistic for the industry and especially for APP.