Recommendations to the pulp, paper and packaging industry

WWF recommends companies producing, trading, and consuming pulp, paper and packaging products to follow the WWF Guide to Buying Paper.  Key recommendations include to:

  • Reduce paper consumption
  • Prioritize the use of recycled material to reduce the pressure on the forests
  • If virgin fibre is needed, only use paper that is FSC Certified, preferable FSC 100%
  • Avoid potentially illegal and other unacceptable sources including from companies that have been disassociated from FSC such as SMG/APP and RGE/APRIL
  • When such sustainable alternative products are not available, WWF recommends following the WWF Guide to Legal and Responsible Sourcing, and engage alternative suppliers to take a time-bound stepwise approach to have their fibre sources: 

Step 1:  Evaluated against basic legality and traceability
Step 2: Third party verified to meet FSC Controlled Wood standard
Step 3: Certified to meet the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management standard

In any case, companies producing, trading, and consuming pulp, paper and packaging should at least:

  1. Not enter into any new contract with companies that are implementing and/or linked with unacceptable forest practices (such as companies disassociated by FSC), as defined by the five unacceptable categories from FSC Controlled Wood.
  2. Publish a time-bound plan to phase out sourcing from companies that are implementing and/or linked with unacceptable forest practices (such as companies disassociated by FSC)
  3. Publish a sustainable pulp & paper procurement policy with a time-bound plan to:  
    • increase sourcing of FSC certified and/or recycled products and
    • source products complying with FSC Controlled Wood as an intermediate solution while improving
    • Eliminate any "unwanted sources"
  4. Publish regular progress reports against the time-bound plans (points 2 and 3) above.


"Unwanted" means a source that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The source forest or forests are unknown; OR
  • The source forest is managed by companies that are disassociated by FSC and or target of WWF campaigns; OR
  • Lack of evidence that the source is harvested legally; OR
  • The source is legally verified, but it is coming from a region where there is a high risk of not excluding controversial sources as defined in the FSC Controlled Wood categories

Specific recommendations to APP and APRIL
SMG/APP and RGE/APRIL are among few companies companies disassociated  by FSC, this means that they cannot use the FSC logo, unless they implement a roadmap that meet certain requirements.

WWF recommends both SMG/APP and RGE/APRIL to meet  framework of Criteria and Indicators for Performance developed by WWF WWF-Indonesia, together with other NGOs, in consultation with the world’s key private sector actors in 2017.
WWF recommends both companies to meet the above criteria and indicators which include re-associating with FSC so they, their affiliates and global wood supply partners can have any progress verified and reported through regular, independent third-party checks. The roadmap process to end disassociation can be follow in the FSC dispute resolution specific page for SMG/APP and RGE/APRIL.

The roadmap process was suspended since 2018 for APP, following a report demonstrating that APP is not willing to disclose its associated companies which continues their involvement in deforestation.

As of July 2021, we still recommend buyers and investors to follow WWF’s SMG/APP advisory and RGE/APRIL advisory.

The FSC concept of disassociation - extracted from FSC documents

Disassociation is the termination of all existing contractual relationships between FSC and an organization, such as FSC membership or an FSC trademark licensing agreement. Disassociation decisions are taken by the FSC Board of Directors and usually imply that an organization has been found involved in one of the unacceptable activities specified in the FSC Policy for Association. Disassociation leads to the suspension of any FSC certificates and organization may hold, as a valid FSC licensing agreement is a prerequisite for certification. Ending the effectiveness of a disassociation does not mean that any of the previous contractual relationships is resumed or any certificates are reinstated, but that there is no longer an embargo in principle if the organization wishes to do so.