Asia Pulp & Paper Mill’s New SVLK Certifications Address U.S. Legality Standards
Asia Pulp & Paper Group’s (APP) announcement that its production mills are achieving SVLK certification under Indonesia’s new Wood Legality Verification System is a major stride in addressing the most stringent requirements for legality around the world, including those in the U.S. and E.U. Thus far, three APP mills have secured certifications, and the company’s remaining Indonesian mills anticipate securing certifications before year’s end. “One of the growing desires from customers in the U.S. and around the world is verification that the products they source are legal and traceable,” said Ian Lifshitz, North American Director of Sustainability and Public Affairs for APP. “SVLK certifications provide chain of custody verification, administered by independent agencies and in line with government protocols, to ensure the products coming from APP mills are from legal and sustainable sources.” SVLK certification addresses U.S. law through country-of-origin verification requirements mandated under a 2008 amendment to the Lacey Act, the conservation law designed, in part, to protect against import of illegal timber-based products. Similar expanded legality requirements are pending in the E.U. as the European Union Timber Regulation framework is expected to be implemented early next year. In April 2011, through a Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Indonesia, SVLK became recognized as the credible system to guarantee the legality of timber from Indonesia. Enacted in 2009 by the Indonesian government, the SVLK system creates a rigorous chain of custody process designed to ensure that mills only receive and process timber from legal sources and that all products exported from the country are traceable to verifiable points of origin. Certification is provided through the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) and independently monitored by the Forestry Independent Monitoring Network, which consists of civil society and forestry industry experts. Lifshitz continued, “SVLK is being embraced by well respected governments leading the global effort to ensure legality and sustainability. In turn, we are working with our customers to help them better understand the evolving global landscape of certifications and how APP is working to meet the highest standards.”APP’s SVLK certification audits are being conducted by an independent testing and assessment organization, PT TUV Rheinland Indonesia. The company is a member of TUV Rheinland Group headquartered in Cologne, Germany. APP launched its 2020 Sustainability Roadmap in June, setting the company on a path to become wholly reliant on raw materials from plantations alone by 2015. The company also suspended all natural forest clearance on its plantations as independent auditors are now conducting assessments in a commitment to the internationally-accepted principles of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF). The first round of reporting from that audit process is expected in the coming months. About APP Indonesia: Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is a brand umbrella for paper products, which are produced by several mills in Indonesia such as PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, and PT Ekamas Fortuna. APP is headquartered in Indonesia and markets its product to more than 120 countries. Most of APP’s production facilities are Chain-of-Custody certified by LEI and PEFC. APP supports several main conservation initiatives, including a 178,000 hectare Biosphere Reserve in Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu and an area of 106,000 hectares for the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary. Both are located in the province of Riau, Sumatera. Other APP wildlife preservation initiatives include the support of the Kutai Orangutan Program in Kalimantan and the conservation of the Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park.
Saturday, March 2, 2013