Joseph Lawson, Major Driver of APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy

Since Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited, or APRIL, a leading pulp and paper manufacturer, adopted a sustainable forest management policy in 2014, its stakeholder advisory committee has played an important role in advising and monitoring the implementation of the company’s commitment across the social, environmental and governance spheres, as well as engaging regularly with nongovernmental organizations to listen to their views.

The committee, which by its constitution is independent of the company and comprised of national and international experts on forestry, social issues and business, meets three times a year. It also appoints an assurance provider to evaluate APRIL’s sustainable policy implementation.

In its 2018 report, the stakeholder advisory committee reviewed the full four years of APRIL’s efforts in responsible fiber supply, landscape-level conservation and restoration of natural forest, reduction of forest fires, transparency and supplier compliance with the sustainable forest management policy.

The committee is chaired by Joseph Lawson, a leading sustainable forestry expert and co-author of the “Guide to Sustainable Procurement of Forest Fiber and Forest Products.”

Lawson’s career paralleled the emergence of sustainability as a social, political and eventually a business platform.

After initially working on regulatory compliance, he moved on to chair several committees that revised and improved standards, which brought him into contact with big brands at the consumer-facing end of the supply chain.

“My experience was that we had moved from a political license to operate, to gaining a social license. Certification was, to me, a great advancement because it embraced every aspect of sustainability,” Lawson said.

He explained that the business was required to consider input from outside stakeholders, including environmental organizations and NGOs.

“Frankly, some of the most significant changes to forestry practices were, in large part, influenced by campaigning NGOs,” Lawson said.

He soon became involved in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. His role in the council also evolved into him leading the World Resources Institute’s efforts in creating the sustainable procurement guide.
more at:

Back To Top
×Close search