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Created before Nov 2016
Last update: 2016-03-21 00:00:00
Karen Vermeer, BankTrack
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RGE, previously known as Raja Garuda Mas, is a global resources-based manufacturing group with companies operating in the palm oil, pulp and paper, cellulose, gas and oil industries. The company was founded in 1973 in Singapore, by Sukanto Tanoto, who still chairs it. The company employs some 50,000 people and has assets of more than USD15 billion.
80 Raffles Place, #50-01 UOB Plaza 1
Mr Sukanto Tanoto |
Founder and Chairman
The company is owned by its founder Sukanto Tanoto, listed by Forbes as one of Indonesia's richest businessmen.
APRIL and TPL holdings and suppliers are having profound negative impacts on biodiversity and the climate. Many concessions supplying the mills owned by Mr. Tanoto are in areas representing some of the last refuges for the critically endangered Sumatran elephant and Sumatran tiger. Forest clearance of these areas pushes these species closer towards extinction. Drainage of deep peat soils both for natural forest clearance and for plantation establishment is an issue of global concern due to greenhouse gas emissions: a study released by the University of Helsinki, shows that APRIL's Acacia plantations on peatland in Sumatra release around 80 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Additional concerns include the continued subsidence of peatland areas, caused by drainage, leading to longer terms risks of flooding and inundation.
The paper mills run by APRIL and Toba Pulp have had serious impacts on local communities, as a result of forest concessions being granted for industrial exploitation without the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the people with claims on the land and dependent on the forest resources for their livelihoods. This situation has led to significant social conflict and human rights violations. With the Constitutional Court ruling "MK 35" last year, there is also a material risk that areas in concessions allocated to APRIL, TPL and their suppliers and claimed by indigenous communities may be illegal.
Founder and Chairman of RGE Sukanto Tanoto is involved in one of the biggest tax evasion cases in Indonesian history. The verdict requires the RGE-controlled Asian Agri Group to pay fines of USD448 million. A number of company officials were sentenced with up to 11 years in prison. Outstanding question include whether these type of business practices constitute money laundering and whether they are pervasive throughout the group.
APRIL, REG finally commit to zero deforestation
Indonesian paper company APRIl and its parent RGE group have joined the growing industry movement to tackle deforestation, with new policies that promise to end development on forest and forested peatlands (source: eco-business.com).