Thursday, September 30, 2010

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) - good or bad? ITS is saying APP is good and actually Greenpeace is bad!

We had an interesting discussion going on here on the paper company APP and its operations in Indonesia.

We interviewed Ian Lifshitz, APP's Sustainability & Public Outreach Manager at Asia Pulp & Paper. Ian presented in the interview APP's point of view regarding the company's activities and the accusations against it. One of the issues discussed in the interview was a Greenpeace report "How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet", where Greenpeace claimed that APP "is destroying Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands."

Afterwards we interviewed Rolf Skar, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace, who responded to the interview with Ian and presented Greenpeace's position in this case.

Now, we have a third party that is getting involved in this debate, defending APP and accusing Greenpeace in making false accusations against APP. This is International Trade Strategies Pty Ltd, trading as ITS Global Asia Pacific (ITS Global), which consults on dynamic international issues. According to their press release, ITS Global focuses on four core areas: international trade, environmental policy, development aid and strategy and communication. ITS skills are research, policy analysis and corporate affairs and communications strategies.

ITS is claiming to present a peer-reviewed audit. According to the press release, "the audit systematically analyzed 72 Greenpeace claims against APP that included more than 300 footnotes and approximately 100 references. The evidence shows that Greenpeace provided quotes that don’t exist; maps that show concessions that don’t exist; and used source material with high margins of error that was cited as absolute fact, said Alan Oxley, chief executive office of the Melbourne-based ITS Global."

The press release adds that "ITS Global commissioned two independent academic experts, one in forestry and economics and the other in agricultural science, to review Greenpeace’s claims. The audit shows that both describe the Greenpeace report as “highly misleading." No names attached.

You can see Alan Oxley, Managing Director of ITS and the Chairman of the Australian APEC Study Centre and Founder of WorldGrowth presenting ITS' audit in this video:

The audit itself is available here:

So what do you think? Is this audit the crucial proof APP was looking for to show that they're right and Greenpeace is wrong? I don't know..One thing I do know is that this is not the final word in this debate. We'll try to have Rolf's response to this audit and see what Greenpeace has to say about these allegations against its report.


1. Check out what Rehtt Buttler at has to say about this audit ("
Asia Pulp & Paper hires its PR firm to do a hit job on Greenpeace but comes up short"). Thanks to Peter Nowack (@printleadership) for the reference to this excellent article!

2. Here's Greenpeace's response to the audit -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!


Papyrus said...

I hope this discussion is helping to illuminate why APP keeps hemoraging clients that are concerned about environmental risk, and why they need to turn it around.

I think the piece on Mongabay nailed it on the head. We all love acronyms in this field, but ITS is in fact not a credible, independent third party qualified to do an audit, as they are the exact same thing as Alan Oxley's radical organization World Growth International.

APP should STOP putting energy into sneaky, preposterous PR campaigns, and clunky 20th century eco-wars, and instead START putting energy into being a company of the 21st century that is more transparent, takes responsibility, and earns trust through REAL sustainability solutions.

Rajan Alexander said...
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