Asia Symbol’s recent showcase of its paperboard product innovations earned praise from industry attendees.
A recent exhibition event held by Asia Symbol Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd., offered fellow industry professionals a close-up look at the company’s innovative packaging and containers. The 2014 Asia Symbol Showcase on Paperboard Products for Food Packaging demonstrated the company’s ingenuity and technological skill in building its liquid packaging board production line, as well as other initiatives.
One of the companies that makes up Indonesian businessman Sukanto Tanoto’s RGE Group of natural resources-based manufacturing firms, Asia Symbol has served as a leader in the pulp and paper industry in the Shandong and Guangdong provinces in China for close to a decade. Its plant in the city of Rizhao represents the largest single pulp production line in the world. Asia Symbol’s annual production capacity is set at more than one million tons of pulp product each year, and at hundreds of thousands of tons of paperboard and fine paper annually, with distribution in more than 20 countries.
At Asia Symbol’s exhibition, which took place at Rizhao’s Landbridge Jinjiang Hotel, corporate representatives from across China were able not only to admire new products, but to learn more about the company’s operations as well. Attendees took a trip to the site of Asia Symbol’s centralized control room servicing its mill, and visited its wastewater recycling location, wood chip dock, and the production line for its liquid packaging board. Company representatives provided additional insights through a question-and-answer session.
Event participants remarked on the cleanliness of Asia Symbol’s facility, and on the technologically advanced production methods in use at the plant. Additional comments focused on the company’s attention to maintaining high standards of environmental responsibility, which attendees believed could be used as benchmarks for the entire industry.
Asia Symbol’s liquid packaging board line, launched only three months before the showcase event, operates with a 300,000-ton yearly capacity. Its innovative, German-made processing machinery utilizes self-generated wet pulp, which increases efficiency, reduces waste, and results in a high-quality product made at a lower cost.
PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper, or RAPP, has initiated a new fire management program in the Pelalawan Regency of Riau Province, in cooperation with local government agencies that manage forest lands, enforce environmental protections, and deliver disaster response. RAPP selected four villages to participate in a pilot program to curb forest and land fires. Through this “Fire Care Village” program, a village that managed to avoid fires completely from July to September would be awarded a special bonus of 100 million Indonesian rupiah in assistance, the equivalent of more than $8,000 USD. Villages in which fires affected less than 1 hectare of land, and in which residents controlled the blaze within 24 hours, would receive 50 million rupiah.
RAPP, a subsidiary of APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited), is among the constituent companies of the RGE Group, the $15 billion corporation established by Indonesian entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto. As such, RAPP takes its responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously. Following Mr. Tanoto’s business philosophy based on keeping the needs of company, community, and the planet equally in mind, the APRIL concessions in Riau practice a zero-burn policy and strive to maintain compliance with all applicable regulations and environmental best practices. Innovating to find new ways of crisis management (in this way is forest fire) is also part of the important criteria of a successful entrepreneur.
RAPP’s Fire Care Village program came in response to extensive forest and land fires that occurred in Riau in the spring of 2014. The situation became so dire that the Indonesian government declared a state of emergency. RAPP executives noted local village residents might need added incentives to take an active role in fire management.
International environmental organizations viewed the spring fires with concern. One group listed more than 3,000 verified fire alerts on Sumatra for the period from late February to mid-March. June through September is typically Indonesia’s dry season, and the country saw very few fires during the early spring of 2013. The spring 2014 figures are far higher than those during a June 2013 fire and haze crisis on the island. Experts believe that unusual drought conditions in Sumatra in the early part of 2014 contributed to the problem, with the majority of the fires occurring in Riau.
Environmental organizations admit difficulties in gathering accurate data on exactly which concession boundaries any particular fire has affected. The situation is a complex one, and the solutions will require better communication between government agencies and companies, as well as better monitoring systems on the ground. RAPP continues to look for ways to take a leading role in fighting this shared problem.