Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Leadership, APRIL Continues Commitment to Education

Businessman and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, founder of RGE, its various business groups including APRIL and Sateri, and the Tanoto Foundation, has always emphasised the importance of creating shared value for the stakeholders. It is best encapsulated in his 4Cs philosophy – to create good for the community, country, climate, and company. It is this same philosophy that has been ingrained within the processes all his organisations; this stakeholder-centric view has allowed organisations led by Sukanto Tanoto to become the best in their fields. In a recent visit to APRIL’s facilities, 26 educators were left feeling thoroughly impressed by the impressive work being done within the company.

Educating the educators: APRIL at the forefront of industry practices

As part of a programme to introduce APRIL’s successful applications of plant nursery technology, the educators were brought on a visit to facilities including the RGE technology centre, the APRIL information centre, as well as the farms belonging to partners from the APRIL Community Development (CD) programme. The visit provided an insight into the processes, initiatives, and achievements of Sukanto Tanoto’s pulp and paper giant.

 

Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Leadership, APRIL Continues Commitment to Education

APRIL’s commitment to education and the community

Needless to say, the educators were left impressed. Een Kostini, a vocational school teacher who was impressed with the technology implemented by APRIL said, “In this industry visit programme, we see RAPP planting plants in accordance with the learning activities in school, then there is the technology we want to learn such as how to give water, maintenance and so on”. More than that, the educators were heartened by APRIL’s conservation work, with their efforts being described as ‘complete’, and ‘beneficial’.

The visit marked yet another example of APRIL’s commitment to improving education in the local communities, with educators given first-hand evidence on how theory was brought into practice. More importantly, these purveyors of knowledge were given a peace of mind that their young charges, some of them apprentices-to-be  at Sukanto Tanoto-led APRIL, would be in safe, and green hands.

 

APRIL’s Corporate Social Responsibility – In Line with Sukanto Tanoto’s RGE Group

With APRIL Group’s new initiative in halting all harvesting of natural forests for its endeavors in the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia, the company has once again drawn attention to its environmental and its corporate social responsibility.

Operating in line with the philosophy of the RGE Group (of which APRIL is a part of) set in place by Chairman Sukanto Tanoto – doing work that is genuinely helpful for the company, the community and the country – APRIL shows that it is a company dedicated to continue its streak of positive accomplishments achieved in the past few years.

Understanding CSR

APRIL’s Kerinci mill is a good example of a remarkable achievement that has brought prosperity not only to the company, but also to the local community and to the country, by improving the local industry to a great extent. All this is fully in line with Sukanto Tanoto‘s philosophy, focusing on the famous 3 Cs, and has drawn significant attention to the small town of Kerinci which in 1993 was a tiny village with only 200 inhabitants.

The RGE member managed to turn the tides in favor of the Kerinci community, building on the infrastructure, creating new jobs and building remarkable new opportunities for the local inhabitants, forming an unbreakable bond between APRIL and the growing Kerinci community.

Today, APRIL’s vital understanding of corporate social responsibility has paid off for everyone involved. The company managed to expand, while improving the livelihood and income opportunities of locals who previously could only earn a living from fishing.

APRIL’s Impressive Achievements

Throughout the 23 years since APRIL has been operating in Kerinci, they have managed to – both directly and indirectly – create more than 90,000 jobs and help over 1,000 households in becoming community farmers. Among their other achievements are also the provision of start-up capital for 128 businesses and the delivery of more than 17,000 scholarships.

With remarkable dedication, APRIL Group has proven that they are definitely a part of the solution to Indonesia’s difficult current situation. Through their constant effort toward sustainability and responsible innovation, the country’s economic, industrial and environmental future seems to be in very good hands.

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PM.Haze Report Details APRIL’s Sustainability Efforts

In October 2014, the Singapore-based social activist group People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze) toured facilities operated by April Group in Riau Province, Indonesia, as part of an investigation into APRIL’s environmental practices. PM.Haze’s report, issued in February 2015, detailed what members observed on the tour, as well as commendations and recommendations for further action on APRIL’s part.

APRIL has received criticism that it does not adequately control fires on its plantation lands. One of the divisions within the $15 billion RGE Group, the company produces wood pulp, paper, and forestry products on concession lands in Riau. Its paper mill in Kerinci, Riau, produces more than 7 percent of the total world pulp output.

In recent years, agricultural fires on village lands and within the concessions of several companies in Indonesia have generated haze conditions that have affected air quality in Singapore and Malaysia. Late in 2014, Indonesia became the final nation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

APRIL recently launched its APRIL Dialog website in order to respond to questions from the public in a direct and timely manner. The company practices a zero-burn policy and has accepted the creation of an independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which issues regular reports on its progress toward increased sustainability.

The PM.Haze report praised APRIL’s willingness to participate in discussion with interested non-governmental organizations and commended its corporate social responsibility programs that focus on improving quality of life for the people who live near its concessions. Among additional efforts, the group also praised the company’s APRIL Dialog project, its fire-management policies, and its commitment to preservation of the peat forest core on the Kampar Peninsula. RGE Group founder and CEO Sukanto Tanoto, among Indonesia’s most successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists, has conveyed his commitment to effective and long-lasting environmental protection policies and social responsibility programs.

PM.Haze also focused on ways in which APRIL could improve. These include publicizing concession maps of APRIL’s and its suppliers’ lands, and clearly indicating areas set aside for conservation and the benefit of communities. The group also advised APRIL to immediately begin to use 100 percent plantation fiber, and to assist its suppliers in engaging more constructively with the public.

In addition, PM.Haze noted that APRIL should continue to rely on stakeholder, researcher, and NGO input as it moves forward to take on a leading role as a model of sustainable practices in its industry.

Capital Weekly Recognizes Sateri Holdings for Fourth Year in a Row

For the fourth consecutive year, Sateri Holdings Limited received an award from the prestigious publication Capital Weekly. The publication’s Listed Enterprise Excellence Award recognizes companies that demonstrate outstanding abilities to develop high-quality corporate governance structures, nurture positive investor relations, and deliver significant returns on investment through maintaining sound business strategies. The award additionally promotes corporate social responsibility by acknowledging major CSR contributions on the part of the honored companies.

Sateri Holdings is part of the internationally known RGE Group headed by Indonesian entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as the Hong Kong Small Cap Index of Morgan Stanley Capital International, the company focuses on production of the viscose staple fiber that is a vital component in the manufacturing of medical and personal care supplies, textiles, and other consumer products. By the start of 2015, Sateri had moved out of other aspects of its operations to concentrate solely on its viscose staple fiber business. Sateri now does business only in Mainland China as a brand within the Pacific Viscose Limited group.

Sukanto Tanoto, who grew RGE from a small family-run business into a multi-faceted natural resources manufacturing firm worth an estimated $15 billion, works to promote the interests not only of his companies, but also of his country and community. This is one reason the CSR aspect of the Capital Weekly award is particularly meaningful.

Capital Weekly, published in Chinese in Hong Kong, is devoted to delivering news about the international investment market, trends in the global economy, and political events that affect money and trade. The publication takes both a micro and a macro look at developing stories, and offers its readers guides for investing over the short, medium, and long term. Capital Weekly’s publisher, South China Media Limited, believes that it fills a need not supplied by other financial publications, in that it aims to include a range of viewpoints and commentary from multiple perspectives.

The Developing World Needs More Entrepreneurship Training

Sukanto Tanoto became one of Indonesia’s most successful executives through his hard work, ability to seize and make the most of business opportunities, and dedication to lifelong education. Mr. Tanoto heads RGE Group, a $15 billion corporate family that includes agricultural, forestry-based, and energy development companies. A former student at the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Tanoto additionally heads the nonprofit Tanoto Foundation, which works to deliver university scholarships, teacher training, entrepreneurship workshops, and other services with the goal of empowering Indonesia’s underserved citizens and making the country more economically competitive.

Mr. Tanoto understands the value of public-private partnerships in fostering innovation and strategic risk-taking among new entrepreneurs. That is the reason for his foundation’s sponsorship of regular lectures through its Entrepreneurship Series. The series hosts distinguished businesspersons who share their knowledge and experiences with the emerging generation of independent business leaders in Indonesia.

The series thus aims to assist the rapidly developing country with the goals expressed in the recent National Entrepreneurship Movement launched by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. In 2014, Yudhoyono went on record saying that, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in possession of abundant natural resources and untapped potential, Indonesia is poised to offer numerous opportunities to entrepreneurs, who can in turn give back to the country by contributing to its ongoing development.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine, United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker wrote of her address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Morocco, and made points that are particularly applicable to entrepreneurship in growing economies such as Indonesia’s. She believes in the power of peer-to-peer networking and mutual information-sharing among entrepreneurs, as well as in the necessity of government structures that support, rather than impede, the formation of new businesses. Among Pritzker’s ingredients for a thriving entrepreneurial culture are strong public-private-academic partnerships, a level playing field, and access to sufficient capital for everyone. In addition, she believes that governments must enact strong laws that protect intellectual property rights and make it easier for businesses to form and dissolve as needed.

Sateri Wins Award and Narrows Its Focus

Sateri Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading producers of wood pulp cellulose and viscose staple fiber, recently earned a fourth consecutive award for its business practices from the prestigious business publication Capital Weekly. The magazine, based in Hong Kong, regularly presents its Listed Enterprise Excellence Award to companies operating in its administrative region. In 2014, only 18 companies out of a total of 1,500 met the publication’s criteria for success in general business strategy, dedication to corporate social responsibility, and best practices in corporate governance and investor relations. Sateri is one of the companies operated under the $15 billion RGE Group, founded by Sukanto Tanoto, one of Indonesia’s most prominent businessmen.

The Capital Weekly award only recognizes companies performing at the top of their game. For example, in 2010, international sports apparel manufacturer China Dongxiang (Group) Co., Ltd., received the award, as did NVC Lighting Holding Ltd., also one of the world’s leaders in its field. In 2012, the Hong Kong-based utility Towngas earned its second consecutive Capital Weekly award in acknowledgement of its 150 years of providing a reliable and safe source of energy for the region. In 2013, Luk Fook Holdings (International) Limited, which maintains more than 1,300 retail shops worldwide, was among the companies so honored.

This year, Sateri shared the Capital Weekly acknowledgement with several notable corporations, such as e Lighting Group Holdings Limited, a leading Hong Kong-based designer and seller of furniture and lighting products established in 2003.

At the time of the award, Sateri had recently announced a move toward a more focused business strategy by selling off its viscose staple fiber operations. The company will  concentrate on its dissolving wood pulp business, particularly the high-value specialty grade market. Because of the very high purity of its product, and its widespread demand in a variety of industrial applications, the dissolving wood pulp division promises to deliver the best return on investment to shareholders. In addition, because of the multiple difficulties associated with entering this tightly focused market, Sateri is well positioned to increase its dominance of the industry.