For the past several years, APP has been a proud member of the Sustainable Consortium, as a matter of fact, we co-chair the consortiums Pulp & Paper working group. I recently attended their annual members summit in Washington, DC. One of the primary themes of the conference was addressing complexities of a sustainable and global supply chain. In other words, the need for a connection between suppliers, buyers & retailers, as a mechanism for trust.
APP is not a retail company, we are not a consumer brand. We are deep within the supply chain of some members of the consortium, and as a result, we have a unique perspective on building trust with the end-users of our product. For us to have that connection we must engage with paper distributors, paper merchants, converters and advertising agencies, before we have any visibility with the actual end user of our products — the brands.
As a result of these layers, transparency emerges as one of the key cornerstones. A visible supply chain is essential for a sustainable supply chain. End users must check the integrity of every link within that chain and demand access to their respective suppliers. Sustainability reports only touch the surface — suppliers should be prompting sustainable values, opening their doors to third-party evaluations and engaging stakeholders directly.
From APP’s perspective, we take any opportunity to meet our customers as well as continually manage and promote our online dashboard, and provide governments, outside agencies and NGOs with our supplier concession maps. Furthermore, via our Strategic Advisory Forum aka SAF, we are engaged with key stakeholders to help us continually improve, implement and evolve our Forest Conservation Policy (FCP).
To quote the Consortiums: “It’s about assuring the customer, allowing consumers to buy the products they love from the retailers they love and be assured that these purchases are sustainable” only when we open doors and engage at all levels of the supply chain can this trust be established.