RGE and its business groups have for 50 years strived to become more sustainable; it was to honour this endeavour via the RGE Forestry, Fibre, Pulp, and Paper Sustainability Framework launched in 2015. Since then, the framework has been adopted and adapted in every aspect of its operations. Two years on, the framework remains at the heart of all that RGE does. Here’s a look back at the progress made in the past year:
APRIL received two awards at the Indonesia Green Awards 2017 – in the "Biodiversity Development and Energy Efficiency” and "New and Renewable Energy Development” categories. The awards further confirmed APRIL’s commitment to sustainability. This was APRIL’s third and fourth award in two years.
An independent review of the Fire Free Village Programme (FFVP), conducted by Carbon Conservation in 2017, noted a doubling in the number of villages covered, from 9 to 18, and a 38% increase in FFVP land coverage compared to 2015.This was the third year of FFVP's operations, and highlighted the steady progress made in APRIL's efforts to combat the haze and forest fire issue.
Sateri’s pulp sourcing policy, first published on June 16, 2015, was updated to reflect a greater commitment to sustainability and conservation. Updates to the policy include a preference for FSC fibre, a louder call for the conservation of ancient and endangered forests, and an affirmed commitment to drive the development of new and alternative fibres through research and development.
Bracell launched, in March 2017, its own sustainability policy. Bracell’s framework emphasises a compliance with rules and regulations, responsible work practices, environmental protection and conservation, development of local communities, transparency and accountability, impact identification and monitoring, and the reduction of carbon footprint.It was a alignment of values with RGE, a sign of its commitment towards upholding the values espoused by the RGE family.
Asia Symbol was awarded the 2016 “China Excellent Corporate Citizen” for innovation in CSR and environmental education. They have also invested RMB27 million (USD3.9 million) in desulfurisation and denitrification facilities, expected to be ready by July 2017.
Outside the forestry, fibre and pulp & paper business groups, both Asian Agri and Apical were also recognised for their sustainability initiatives. Asian Agri was honoured in 2016 with the Company Performance Improvement Award (Green Category) or the Penilaian Programme Peningkatan Kinerja Perusahaan, by Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, M.Sc. Apical, on the other hand, launched its Sustainability Dashboard and has been actively organising workshops for its suppliers and partners to increase awareness on sustainability and traceability.
While much has been achieved in the past two years, there remains much work to complete for RGE and its business groups. As RGE marks its 50th year of business this year, Vice-Chairman Bey Soo Khiang encouraged all of the need to press on with the journey if RGE is to soar even higher for decades more.
“It is easy to make public pronouncements on what we want to achieve, and the commitments we pledge to undertake. But those of you who have been with the Group long enough know that we are active ‘do-ers’ who deliver on our promises,” said Bey.