Sinar Mas subsidiary again under attack over deforestation

June 15, 2011
Greenpeace Mattel APP deforestation campaign

Global toy giant Mattel has temporarily bowed to Greenpeace pressure and dumped Indonesian-owned paper and packaging company Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) (APP) until an investigation of the deforestation allegations has been completed.

At the same time Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the head of a taskforce on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Indonesia agreed that the national moratorium on clearing rainforests had not lived up to its high expectations, according to Reuters.

Mattel came under intense pressure from Greenpeace in the past week for using APP materials in its toy packaging and under high-profile campaigning in the US.

It certainly isn't the first time APP, the Singapore-listed subsidiary of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, has been named as responsible for devastating Indonesia's rainforests. Another of Sinar Mas's subsidiaries, PT Smart was found to be in breach of environmental laws in an audit last year.

Greenpeace released a report, How APP is Toying with Extinction, including laboratory analyses of packaging for Barbie dolls and other toys containing fibre from Indonesian rain forests and documents tracing the supply chain from Mattel to APP.

Greenpeace activists unfurled banners on Mattel buildings in several cities, depicting a frowning Ken doll and the caption, "Barbie, it's over. I don't date girls that are into deforestation."

Mattel reacted by launching an investigation into deforestation allegations and those against APP and promised to create a sustainable procurement policy for all Mattel product lines.

Already Carrefour, Tesco, Kraft, Nestlé and Unilever have announced sustainable policies on pulp and paper and are re-examining their relationship with APP. Unilever, Kraft and Nestlé have also have cancelled contracts with the Sinar Mas group's palm oil division.