It was refreshing to hear a speech that wasn’t a speech at last week’s Sydney Peace Foundation’s Annual Forum, held in Sydney Australia.
Matthew Tukaki, Australian Representative, United Nations Global Compact stood up to speak declaring he wasn’t going to make just another speech. Instead he said he wanted to start a new ‘call to arms’ for businesses, governments, NGOs and communities to work together to achieve sustainable peace through social, economic and environmental development.
For Matthew, there was an unbreakable linkage between social, economic and environment progress and he argued that to achieve a sustainable world, commitment and action is required from citizens across all sectors of society, from government, to business to the leaders of the next generation, today’s youth.
As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, Solaris Paper understands this all too well. Through our affiliate Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, we play an important role in developing economies and employ thousands of people around the globe.With our plantation and manufacturing operations focused in maturing countries such as Indonesia and China we are acutely aware that our responsibility to produce pulp and paper in a responsible way goes further than how we manage our forests.
In addition, we have a critical role in helping to alleviate poverty, empower individuals and communities and grow developing economies.
So we were privileged that Matthew chose APP as a company to praise for its work in communities around Pekanbaru and Perawang in Indonesia, where APP is not just providing direct employment, but is investing in micro-financing projects that empower women into business, investing in skills-based agriculture and horticultural production for children between 15-18 years old and providing much need social support, including building health centres in remote locations and schools to educate tomorrow’s leaders.
Along with our significant conservation programs and Roadmap for sustainable pulp and paper production we are working with like-minded stakeholders, including the UNGC, to continually refine our activities and look at new ways to demonstrate social, economic and environmental best practice.
Solaris Paper welcomes Matthew’s call to arms and we urge organisations to follow his lead.