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Headquartered in Singapore, APP China Group is the sister company of Asia Pulp and Paper

  • Parent company:
    Sinar Mas Group
  • Landbank (timber/pulp):
    223,058 hectares
  • Thomson Reuters ticker:
    Private company
  • Bloomberg ticker:
    Private company
  • Activities:
    Pulpwood production, pulp and paper production, trading and distribution
  • Locations:
    China (Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Henan, Liaoning, Sichuan, Hubei, Fujian, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang provinces)
  • Headquarters:
    Singapore
  • Related companies:
  • Parent website:
  • Website:

Company assessment: APP China Group Ltd – July 2018

SPOTT assesses companies against over 100 indicators across ten categories. Click on the icons or bars below to expand each category for further details, scoring and links to reports and sources.

Assessment date:

Total: 36.4% 35.5 / 97.5
  • Sustainability policy and leadership Sustainability policy and leadership 4 / 6 66.7%
    • Companies should publish sustainability policies or similar covering their entire supply chain — including third party suppliers — implemented and enforced through high-level leadership that engages with wider industry schemes.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      1. Sustainable forestry policy or commitment for all its operations?

      The company states in its sustainability report that it has a Forest Operation Policy and an Environmental Guidance Policy. However, these policies could not be identified on the company's website

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      2. Sustainability policy or commitment applies to direct and third-party suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      3. High-level position of responsibility for sustainability?

      The company's Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee is chaired by the senior executive vice president

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      4. Sustainability report published within last two years?

      2016

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      5. Member of multiple industry schemes or other external initiatives to improve forest management or transparency?

      APP Group is a member of TFT, TFA 2020, GRI, HCSA, HCVRN, Natural Capital Coalition

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      6. Activities with government, NGOs or academic institutions to improve the sustainability of forest products?

      United Nations Global Compact China, a regional network dedicated to promote the sustainable development of Chinese enterprises

  • Landbank, FMUs and mills Landbank, FMUs and mills 2 / 10 20%
    • Companies should publicly report figures on their total landbank and details of different areas under their management. They should also disclose maps of their forest management units and provide forest management plans, as well as details on supplier pulp and paper mills.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      7. Lists countries and operations?

      Limited information available. Operations focused on the Yangtze River and Pearl River Delta regions

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      8. Total area of natural forest designated for wood/wood fibre production (ha)?

      This indicator is disabled as the company does not produce wood/wood fibre from natural forests

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      9. Total area of forest plantation (ha)?

      223,058 - The company reports the area of 'self-managed forests'

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      10. Area of plantation/natural forest within outgrower schemes (ha)?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not source wood/wood fibre from outgrowers

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      11. Unplanted (areas designated for future development as plantation forest) (ha)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      12. Conservation set-aside and/or HCV area (ha)?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      13. Area of Intact Forest Landscape (ha)?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not have Intact Forest Landscape within its landbank

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      14. Number of Forest Management Units (FMUs)?

      The company only states to have over 20 plantation farms and this information is undated

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      15. Maps of forest management units (FMUs)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      16. Forest management plans available for all FMUs?

      The company has committed to compile and implement forest management plans (2012-13 Sustainability Report). However, these FMPs could not be located

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      17. Monitoring of forest management plan implementation?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      18. Number of company owned pulp and paper mills?

      The company only states to have over 30 pulp and paper mills and exact number is not available. Data as of 2016

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      19. Maps or addresses of company owned pulp and paper mills?

      The company provides the names of several subsidiary companies, but it is not clear if these are also the names of the mills. Detailed addresses or maps are not provided

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      20. Number of company owned sawmills?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not own sawmills

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      21. Maps or addresses of company owned sawmills?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not own sawmills

  • Deforestation and biodiversity Deforestation and biodiversity 6 / 13 46.2%
    • Companies should commit to address deforestation and to set aside areas for conservation. They should report on any activities to manage or restore habitat in their conservation areas, or monitor deforestation in their supply chains. They should also provide evidence of species conservation and biodiversity protection.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      22. Commitment to zero conversion of natural forest?

      The company and its suppliers will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent HCV and HCS assessments. This policy became effective on February 1st 2013

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      23. Zero conversion commitment applies to outgrower scheme and independent suppliers?

      The company and its suppliers will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent HCV and HCS assessments. This policy became effective on February 1st 2013

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      24. Commitment to minimise the impact of logging roads?

      This indicator is disabled as the company does not produce wood/wood fibre from natural forests

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      25. Commitment to protect forest areas from illegal activities?

      The company commits to eliminate illegal logging. No references to wider forms of illegality could be found

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      26. Evidence of monitoring deforestation?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      27. Amount of deforestation recorded?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      28. Commitment to biodiversity conservation?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      29. Commitment to set aside areas for conservation?

      The company states that it consistently focuses on the protection of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      30. Examples of habitat management and/or habitat restoration of set-aside areas?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      31. Implementing a landscape-level approach to biodiversity conservation?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      32. Commitment to protect species of conservation concern, referencing international or national system of species classification?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      33. Commitment to sustainably manage the use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs)?

      This indicator is disabled as the company does not produce wood/wood fibre from natural forests

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      34. Commitment not to use genetically modified organisms?

      The company has made a commitment to not use transgenic tree species

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      35. Commitment to only use alien species where impacts can be controlled?

      The company has committed to preventing alien invasive species. No reference is made to the use of alien species in operations or to conducting risk assessment before their use

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      36. Examples of species conservation activities?

  • HCV, HCS and impact assessments HCV, HCS and impact assessments 2.5 / 8 31.3%
    • Companies should commit to the High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) approaches, and to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIA). They should develop and publish monitoring and management plans, and provide evidence through SEIA, HCV and HCS assessments, typically published in summary form due to the sensitive nature of certain sites.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      37. Commitment to conduct High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments?

      The company will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent HCV and HCS assessments

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      38. HCV commitment applies to outgrower scheme and independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      39. Commitment to only use licensed High Conservation Value (HCV) assessors accredited by the HCV Resource Network's Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      40. High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments available?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      41. High Conservation Value (HCV) management and monitoring plans available?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      42. Commitment to the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach?

      The company will only develop areas that are not forested, as identified through independent HCV and HCS assessments. It does not specify whether it commits to the HCS Approach

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      43. High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments available?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it hasn't expanded its plantation area since April 2015

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      44. Commitment to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      45. Social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs) available?

  • Soils, fire and GHG emissions Soils, fire and GHG emissions 1.5 / 10 15%
    • Companies should commit to protect peatland and undertake best management practices for soils and peat, as well as commit to reduced impact logging. They should also have policies on zero burning and to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Companies should report their GHG emissions, as well as any fires that occurred in or around their estates, along with plans for managing and monitoring fires.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      46. Commitment to best management practices for soils and/or peat?

      The company commits only to reduce soil erosion. It reports that it has no plantation operations on peatland

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      47. Commitment to reduced impact logging?

      This indicator is disabled as the company does not produce wood/wood fibre from natural forests

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      48. Commitment to no planting on peat of any depth?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not have landbank on peat

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      49. Commitment on peatland planting applies to outgrower scheme and independent suppliers?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it doesn't have suppliers with landbank on peat

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      50. Landbank or planted area on peat (ha)?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not have landbank on peat

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      51. Evidence of best management practices for soils and/or peat?

      Provides evidence of soil management. The company does not have plantations on peat

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      52. Commitment to zero burning?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      53. Commitment to zero burning applies to outgrower scheme and independent suppliers?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      54. Evidence of management and monitoring fires?

      The company states that it has strengthened its pre-warning systems for forest fires

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      55. Details/number of hotspots/fires in FMUs controlled by the company?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      56. Time-bound commitment to reduce GHG emissions intensity?

      The company only has a vague commitment to 'conserve energy, reduce emissions and practice global leading environmental standards'. This commitment is not target-based or time-bound

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      57. Progress towards reducing GHG emission intensity?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      58. Report GHG emissions from land use change?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      59. Methodology used to calculate GHG emissions?

  • Water, chemical and waste management Water, chemical and waste management 2 / 12 16.7%
    • Companies should commit to managing water use and water quality, providing evidence through time-bound reduction plans, policies on toxic chemical use, waste management and treatment of wastewater and mill effluents.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      60. Time-bound commitment to improve water quality?

      The company only has a general commitment to 'minimise the emission of pollutants, including COD and BOD'

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      61. Progress towards commitment on water quality?

      The company reports COD emissions up to 2016, which have increased since the previous year. It does not report figures for BOD and does not have a timebound commitment to improve water quality

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      62. Protection of natural waterways through buffer zones?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      63. Evidence of treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      64. Evidence of sawmill run-off containment and wastewater treatment?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not own sawmills

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      65. Time-bound commitment to improve water use?

      The company only has a general commitment to reducing water use in some mills through the UNGC 'Water Mandate', and has reduction targets in place for its mills. However, it does not disclose a timebound target for improving water quality

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      66. Progress towards commitment on water use?

      124,417,000 - The company reports on water use, and it has increased since the previous sustainability report

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      67. mmitment to eliminate chlorine and chlorine compounds for bleaching?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      68. Evidence of minimising or recycling solid waste produced during sawmilling processes?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not own sawmills

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      69. Commitment to minimise the use of chemicals, including pesticides and chemical fertilisers?

      The company states an intention to reduce the impact and use of 'dangerous chemicals' and herbicides in its operations, but does not have a timebound commitment

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      70. No use of World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1A and 1B pesticides?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      71. No use of chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention and Rotterdam Convention?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      72. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      73. Chemical usage per ha or list of chemicals used?

  • Community, land and labour rights Community, land and labour rights 10.5 / 19.5 53.8%
    • Companies should commit to respect human rights, including those of indigenous peoples and local communities, consulted with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Companies should respect the rights of workers, report relevant workforce data, and comply with health and safety legislation.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      74. Commitment to human rights, referencing the UN Declaration of Human Rights or UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?

      The company has a commitment to respect human rights, but does not refer to UN Declaration on Human Rights or UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      75. Commitment to human rights applies to outgrower scheme and independent suppliers?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      76. Commitment to respect indigenous and local communities' rights?

      The company has a commitment to 'acknowledge and respect rights of community citizens including traditional rights of ethnic minorities', but does not refer to the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples or ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      77. Commitment to respect legal and customary property rights?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      78. Commitment to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)?

      The company has a commitment to adhere to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principles during decision-making processes, but it is not clear that this applies to all new developments

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      79. FPIC commitment applies to independent suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      80. Details of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process available?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      81. Details of process for addressing land conflicts available?

      The company states only that a conflict/dispute resolution mechanism has been introduced. No further details are available

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      82. Commitment to mitigate impacts on food security?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      83. Commitment to provide essential community services and facilities?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      84. Commitment to respect all workers' rights?

      The company commits to respecting labour rights, but does not specify that this commitment applies to all workers

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      85. Reference to Fundamental ILO Conventions?

      The company refers to all Fundamental ILO Conventions, except for No.138, on Minimum Age

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      86. Total number of employees?

      22,870 - The company reports 21,051 'directly employed staff' and 1,819 'indirectly employed staff'

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      87. Percentage or number of temporary employees?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      88. Percentage or number of women employees?

      28%

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      89. Commitment to pay minimum wage?

      The company states that it pays its employees above the minimum wage, but no evidence is provided

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      90. Commitment to address occupational health and safety, referencing the ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Forestry Work?

      The company has a commitment to health and safety, but do not reference the ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Forestry Work

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      91. Time lost due to work-based injuries?

      1,159.8 - Hours lost per million working hours

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      92. Number of fatalities as a result of work-based accidents?

      1 - The company states there was 1 fatality in 2016 'at work and by occupational diseases'

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      93. Provision of personal protective equipment and related training?

  • Certification standards Certification standards 3 / 10 30%
    • Companies should be certified by credible certification standards, or have time-bound commitments to achieve 100% certification of both forest management units and outgrower schemes. They should also commit to only sourcing certified wood/wood fibre and ensuring that their supply is verified as being in legal compliance.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      94. Percentage area (ha) verified as being in legal compliance by a third party?

      223,058 (100%) - The company states that in 2016 it achieved 100% certification of its self-managed forests for the first time. This appears to be certification under a mix of PEFC and CFCC (China Forest Certification Council)

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      95. Percentage wood/wood fibre supply verified as being in legal compliance by a third party?

      21.91%

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      96. Time-bound plan for achieving 100% FSC FM certification of FMUs?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      97. Commitment to source only wood/wood fibre that meets FSC Controlled Wood requirements?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      98. Percentage area (ha) FSC FM certified?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      99. Percentage of wood/wood fibre supply from outgrower scheme and/or independent suppliers that is FSC FM certified?

    • Yes
      2 / 2
      Source

      100. Percentage area (ha) PEFC certified?

      223,058 (100%) - The company states that in 2016 it achieved 100% CFCC/PEFC certification of its self-managed forests

  • Smallholders and suppliers Smallholders and suppliers 2 / 3 66.7%
    • Companies should report details of any programmes or schemes to support both schemed and independent smallholders, as well as criteria to assess suppliers on compliance with company policies, and in what cases suppliers should be suspended or excluded due to non-compliance.

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      101. Programme to support outgrower scheme smallholders?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not source wood/wood fibre from outgrowers

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      102. Percentage of outgrower scheme smallholders involved in programme?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has informed ZSL that it does not source wood/wood fibre from outgrowers

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      103. Process used to prioritise, assess and/or engage suppliers on compliance with company's policy and/or legal requirements?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      104. Suspension or exclusion criteria for suppliers?

      The company states that it will withdraw from 'all purchases and other agreements with any suppliers' that do not comply with its HCV, HCS, and natural forest protection commitments

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      105. Percentage of suppliers assessed and/or engaged on compliance with company requirements?

  • Governance and grievances Governance and grievances 2 / 6 33.3%
    • Companies should operate in an ethical manner at all levels, providing accessible channels and clear procedures for both employees and external stakeholders to raise any grievance or complaint with the company, as well as allowing for whistleblowing.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      106. Commitment to ethical conduct and prohibition of corruption?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      107. Whistleblowing procedure?

      The company has an email address to report whistleblowing. No details of the whistleblowing process could be identified

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      108. Own grievance or complaints system?

      The company states they have a complaints and disputes mechanism, but only limited information is available on this process

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      109. Grievance or complaints system is accessible to internal and external stakeholders?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      110. Details of grievances disclosed?

Media monitor: APP China Group Ltd

SPOTT monitors global media sources for coverage of assessed companies. The media monitor gathers reports about specific activities related to the assessment indicator categories. ZSL does not assess the validity of media coverage, but users can explore the media monitor to provide context on implementation, and infer risks associated with reported operations on the ground.

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