Paper Giant Thanks Greenpeace

A paper company that was continually at loggerheads (excuse the pun) with Greenpeace is now thanking the group.

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) had been pursued by Greenpeace for years over its logging of natural forests. Greenpeace’s lobbying had seen APP lose some pretty big clients.

The campaigns paid off. In February, APP committed to end all logging of natural forests.

In its Forest Conservation Policy, it has made 4 commitments:

1. APP and its suppliers will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent HCVF and HCS assessments.

2. APP will support the Government of Indonesia’s low emission development goal and its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

3. In order to avoid and resolve social conflicts across its supply chain, APP will actively seek and incorporate input and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders.

4. APP sources fibre from all around the world and is developing measures to ensure that this sourcing supports responsible forest management.

The full policy can be viewed here (PDF).

So, that’s reasonably old news. A new development is that according to Business Green, Greenpeace’s badgering has not just been met by surrender, but thanks.

AAP has admitted to being “slightly in denial” over the problem (perhaps an understatement) and has publicly thanked Greenpeace for its intervention.

Whether the thanks was through gritted teeth is anyone’s guess, but it’s rare to see a corporate goliath make such a public admission.

All that remains is the sustained follow through on AAP’s part.

Aside from the threat and consequences of enduring boycotts, I think the other important aspect of persuading companies to take more action on sustainability is to show them how it will financially benefit them to switch from business-as-usual practices – because the warm and fuzzy facade is a thin one, what everything really boils down to in business is money.

But its not just corporate giants that respond to the lure of the other sort of green (bucks). For example, the solar power revolution in Australia hasn’t been primarily fueled by hippie households; it’s been Mr. and Mrs. Average looking to save bucks on their power bills – the green aspect is just a nice bonus.

They win, the planet wins – and that is how the sustainability battle needs to play out in order for it to be won. While the idea of saving the planet for future generations is noble, the average person wants to be shown how they can benefit from their efforts right now.