Complaint calling on the FSC to acknowledge Paper Excellence's connection to APP

TORONTO AND JAKARTA – Today, Greenpeace Canada and Auriga Nusantara, an NGO in Indonesia, submitted a complaint to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), calling for it to recognize the connection between Paper Excellence, the largest logging company in Canada, and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a globally notorious rainforest destroyer.

In October 2022, Greenpeace Canada and others released an investigation showing that Paper Excellence is a sister company of APP, controlled by the same parent – the Sinar Mas Group. The evidence provided in the investigation includes corporate filings, lobbyist registration and official government documentation. In March of this year, a media investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and joined by several Canadian media organizations confirmed these findings. Canada’s Minister of International Trade Mary Ng referred to Paper Excellence as “Sinar Mas from Indonesia” as recently as 2021.

The FSC formally disassociated from APP in 2007 as a result of its involvement in social conflicts and environmental destruction. Based on the clear and compelling evidence, the complaint submitted today calls on the FSC to publicly acknowledge Paper Excellence’s relationship with APP / Sinar Mas and take appropriate measures to also disassociate from Paper Excellence and its affiliates. According to its Policy for Association, FSC proscribes businesses related to disassociated companies from obtaining certification. This policy specifically includes parent, subsidiary, and sister companies. 

Today, Paper Excellence owns 42 pulp, paper, and saw mills with FSC certifications in Canada, USA and France. The company is now operating in 5 Canadian provinces and managing 22 million hectares of forest land, including an estimated 7.3 million hectares in Quebec and Ontario certified by the FSC. Paper Excellence even holds a seat on FSC Canada’s Board of Directors through its newly acquired company Resolute Forest Products, highlighting the need for much greater transparency.

Shane Moffatt, Head of the Food and Nature campaign, Greenpeace Canada, said:

“The FSC might be the last to acknowledge that Paper Excellence and APP are two sides of the same coin. It now has a clear decision to make – to enable a shady forest takeover by a multinational logging giant or be honest with the public about what’s really happening here. Over 10,000 Canadians have already called on Paper Excellence to be more transparent and their calls will only get louder.”

Timer Manurung, Chairman, Auriga Nusantara, said: 

“For too long Sinar Mas has been expanding its operations in North America without any consequences from the FSC. To maintain its credibility, we expect the FSC to implement its own policies and disassociate with Paper Excellence. Canadians, who like us Indonesians are already dealing with uncontrollable forest fires and dangerous air quality, deserve to know that Paper Excellence’s sister company APP has in Indonesia one of the worst corporate track records not only on deforestation but for forest fires as well.”


Note to editors:

  • You can find the full complaint here
  • The media backgrounder can be found here
  • Greenpeace Canada’s public petition calling for greater transparency from Paper Excellence is here;
  • Greenpeace Canada 2022 investigation – “Papering over corporate control” can be found here
  • Timeline: Paper Excellence’s takeover of the logging industry in Canada is available here

If you require more information or to speak with Greenpeace Canada and/or Auriga Nusantara, please contact: 

Dina Ni, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada , dina.ni@greenpeace.org, +1 416 820-2148

Hilman Afif, Campaigner, Auriga Nusantara, hilman@auriga.or.id