By Nudge Sustainability Reporter James Moo
In August last year the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (TAPA) was passed in Singapore. Since the enactment, it has given the government more strength in fighting against errant firms that operate overseas. Their reckless practices, such as burning plantations, have brought about prolonged haze. This has led to negative consequences for Singaporeans regarding economy and health.
Recently, for the first time, the National Environmental Agency asked the Singapore-based Indonesian firm Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) for clarification. They were addressed because of subsidiaries and measures taken by its suppliers in Indonesia to extinguish fires in their territories. APP, under the parent firm of Indonesia's Sinar Mas Group, is one of the world’s largest producer of pulp and paper.
This has caused major local supermarket chains to pull APP’s entire line of products off the shelf, resulting in an increased pressure to solve the problem at hand in Indonesia. The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has also enforced a provisional suspension on the use of the “Singapore Green Label” certification for APP products. With the “Singapore Green Label” SEC confirms that the products have been made from sustainable resources.
However, a recent survey has shown that Singaporean consumers remain behind other countries in terms of showing preferences towards goods produced within a sustainable supply chain. This recent spate of events has given us a timely reminder that procuring goods from sustainable sources must be considered more in the future.