APRIL – that is, the Asia Pacific Resources International Limited – is not only one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pulp, fiber and paper, but also a company that has become well-known and has gained world-wide appreciation for carrying out their activity in an environment-conscious, highly responsible manner.
As a result of putting these values into practice, APRIL has always been at the forefront of implementing sustainable technologies and facilitating environment protection activities in synergy with local communities and local authorities. Having recognized the risks that illegal fires pose not only for the plantations used for production purposes, but also for the local community and for nature itself, APRIL has developed partnerships with the local police departments, disaster management teams, and the Indonesia Ministry of Environment and Forestry, in order to improve the efficiency of fire suppression measures.
The expert leadership at APRIL emphasizes that help needs to reach beyond coordination, and effective fire suppression is impossible without possessing suitable equipment and tools. The company has so far invested over 6 million dollars in the project and they have bought two helicopters, two airboats, more than two hundred water pumps and 39 lookout towers.
The company is actively involved in the training of professional and amateur fire fighters. They have contributed to the establishment of several rapid response fire fighter teams, and they have also helped with the training and supplied the necessary equipment for as many as 28 community-based groups of fire prevention.
APRIL is well-aware of the importance of fire prevention, as this is evidently the ultimate solution to all fire threats. Earlier in 2015, they launched a special program in Riau, the Fire Free Village Program, which supports the local community in their efforts to prevent fire through capacity building, incentives, and numerous other measures.
Sustainability and social responsibility have become two major considerations that any large company has to take into account nowadays. If they hope to grow and improve, large, established companies dealing with natural resources, such as Asian Agri, need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to building new, sustainable systems and staying in close touch with the locals.
Asian Agri’s Example
Asian Agri is one of the most successful companies in Indonesia. Part of the RGE Group of corporations led by Sukanto Tanoto, the world class palm oil company has been a major producer for more than 30 years, its newest achievements being even more impressive.
Recently, the company has announced the construction of five new biogas power plants, each capable of generating up to 2 MW of power. The power plants use the by-product of crude palm oil, and are equipped with advanced Japanese technology, being far more sustainable and environmentally friendly than any similar biogas based plants currently available in Indonesia.
Asian Agri has also achieved an unprecedented level of social responsibility through the assistance they have provided to local smallholder farmers throughout the years. The company has helped farmers make significant progress with their work and achieve better opportunities through the professional training and support offered.
RGE’s Three C’s
Improving sustainability and social responsibility along with productivity is considered extremely important, and RGE companies like Asian Agri know full well the advantages that following the three C philosophy (good for the company, community and country) established by Sukanto Tanoto can bring.
Through sustained development and a greater focus on improving the community and the environment, companies such as Asian Agri are able to achieve better profits, while also counting on the support of the locals in any endeavor. They are also able to work together with the government as part of various plans geared toward sustainability, while bringing in more jobs, and contributing to the improvement of the country’s economy.
The Gardens’ SG50 celebrations have provided an opportunity for many young environmentalists to come together and take part in environmental initiatives such as the improvement of the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio butterfly habitat.
The main sponsor of the event was APRIL Group, a company that’s part of the RGE Group of Corporations led by Chairman Sukanto Tanoto, and that has been supporting the National Parks Board (NParks) through a 5-year sponsorship of $100,000.
One of the main initiatives of the enhancement project was to plant no less than 300 trees to provide a larger natural habitat for butterflies to breed and thrive. 15 new plant species were also introduced to the ecosystem in the hopes that they would attract at least 7 new species of butterflies.
Numerous other landscape improvements were also added, and the park now serves as somewhat of an outdoor classroom that visitors can use to observe a large number of species of plants, butterflies and caterpillars, without disturbing their habitats.
April Group’s Efforts for Environmental Awareness
APRIL has played an active role in helping the environment while keeping in close touch with locals as part of their policy of community engagement and conservation.
The partnership between APRIL and NParks has been happily received by both entities, and their sustained efforts to preserve biodiversity and protect the ecosystem in Indonesia has inspired many others to show interest in the event and launch similar initiatives.
APRIL Group is one of the largest producers of fiber, pulp and paper in the nation and has long been known to closely abide by the philosophy of the 3Cs, as outlined by RGE Chairman and philanthropist, Sukanto Tanoto: that a company should strive to improve not only itself, but the community and country it is a part of as well (good for country, community and company).