For quite a few years, a large Indonesian pulp and paper conglomerate called Sinar Mas has been everyone’s favorite whipping boy in the ENGO community. Sinar Mas does business under its more well-know subsidiary name of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). From my perspective, it has always been a bit hard to tell whether they were, in fact, an evil personification of all short sighted resource exploitation; or rather just a typical corporation trying to do business in a challenging corner of the world.
Back in 2007, FSC took the unprecedented action of actually blacklisting APP and all of its associated partners and entities from any participation in the FSC program. This was applauded by the ENGO community, but created lots of confusion in the business community. What began as an ad hoc policy eventually lead to a more broad-based Policy for Association. This, in turn, has lead to still more policy confusion that continues to this day – but that’s another story.
I was surprised and pleased to see an announcement earlier this month from Greenpeace. Another piece on the same subject was in a recent RISI newsletter. It appears that the folks at APP have found a way to address the concerns of their critics and perhaps negotiated a release from “green purgatory”.
What does this mean for FSC? I can’t believe that APP and Sinar Mas neglected to consider their blacklisted status when they negotiated the recent understanding with Greenpeace. Was FSC at the table? Is another announcement pending? I’ve thrown out some questions in the social media, but so far have had no nibbles. If anyone reading this has any information, please write. I’d love to share it.