APRIL Group, one of the world’s leading pulp and paper companies, maintains an integrated pulp and paper mill in Pangkalan Kerinci, in Riau province, in Sumatra, Indonesia. Fiber for the pulp and paper mill is derived from more than 450,000 hectares of plantation, as well as supply partners’ concessions,located in Sumatra, Indonesia. 

APRIL is committed to sustainable forest management as part of a production-protection model that integrates economic and social development with environmental protection. This includes a commitment to zero deforestation, responsible peatland management, and close alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on goals 12, 13, 15. 

In 2018, APRIL began working with PwC to carry out an impact assessment of its operations in Riau Province, benchmarking its current performance against the SDGs. The assessment will ultimately help to guide the company’s decisions on which SDGs it should prioritise to advance sustainable development in the communities where it operates and best contribute to Indonesia’s achievement of the SDGs. 

“The SDGs are a catalyst to align and benchmark our contributions as part of a global program,” says APRIL Group Chairman, Bey Soo Khiang. “This project helps us to connect our strategies and contributions to community, national and global priorities, and to translate strategy into action at a local level.” 

“The SDGs help us address two key issues: whether we are meeting the needs of communities at a local level, and how we measure and report the impact of our operations,” he added. “Ultimately, the SDGs are a global concept but we are working with stakeholders like the UNDP to ensure intervention happens on the ground, at a local level, among communities.” 

Prior to this current project, APRIL worked with the UNDP and the Riau provincial government to advance the implementation of a governance framework for SDG implementation at a district level. Between October 2015 and February 2017, a multi-partner pilot program was carried out in the province to incorporate the SDGs into sub-national development strategies and plans. 

This in turn enabled three districts to optimise 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. 

“The sustainable management of resources is important for the future of all countries, but it’s especially important for a country like Indonesia, which is developing quickly, but has to provide for the needs of a huge population,” says Triana Krisandini, Assistant Director, Sustainability, APRIL. 

“We are currently working with a range of stakeholders and partners, including community leaders and the UNDP to support cross-sector collaboration as this is what really makes a difference as we look to achieving the 2030 sustainable development agenda,” she added.