Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) was founded in 1973 by Sukanto Tanoto when he decided to exploit a gap in the market that he had observed, and began locally producing plywood in Indonesia. Previously raw logs would be exported to countries like Japan or Taiwan to be converted into plywood, before being imported back into Indonesia.
Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL) was founded in 1993 as part of the RGE managed group of companies, and operates some of the world’s largest pulp and paper mills. With its huge annual production capacity of 2.8 million tons of pulp and 820 000 tons of fine paper, the operation has regularly been the focus of environmental activist groups for contributing to the deforestation of the Indonesian rain forests. In the past, APRIL has been described by Greenpeace as the “largest driver of deforestation in the sector of Indonesia”
In 2013 the APRIL group established the RER (Restorasi Ekosistem Riau) project, which is a multi-year collaborative project with Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and The Nature Conservancy, to restore and conserve the ecologically important deforested peatland areas in Indonesia’s Kampar Peninsula.
In 2015 the April group has pledged to donate up to US$ 17 million over the course of 10 years to the RER to help restore the peat forest and protect the rare animal species that inhabit its environment. Of Kampar’s 700 000 hectares of peat forest, this project will cover an estimated 20.265 hectares.
Anderson Tanoto, an assistant manager at APRIL and the youngest son of Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Tanoto, says the company wants to improve its relationship with environmental groups who have previously protested the practises of the pulp and paper company. “It is the aspiration of the second generation that we be more interactive with the environment to navigate a changing world” – Anderson Tanoto.