Singapore paper brands use haze to publicise clean CSR message

Ten companies sign pledge stating they do not buy materials from five alleged haze-makers

Several paper brands in Singapore have jointly signed and publically released a statement declaring that they "have not procured or used" materials from five companies in Indonesia accused of contributing to the haze pollution.

Kimberly Clark, Taisin Paper, Fuji Xerox and Canon are four of 10 companies that issued the statement to the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Consumers Association of Singapore earlier this week.

The companies are manufacturers of paper products, such as office paper, tissues and toilet paper.

The haze has been a source of much concern to Singaporeans and has caused political tension between Singapore and Indonesia, as burning of rainforests in Sumatra and Kalimantan is leading to smog polluting the Lion City.

As the brands require materials such as wood and pulp to make their products, the release is a timely intervention that highlights their social awareness and could serve to enhance their reputations.

The statement also reiterates that all 10 businesses are endorsed under the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme, which is a government environmental certification mark.

An SEC study in 2013 found that 42 per cent of consumers said such ‘green’ certifications are important and add credibility to a product. 

Poh Leng Yu, senior vice president at Ruder Finn Asia, says while it is commendable that these companies are transparent in their procurement process, more important is what happens next.

"These companies need to clearly communicate what they have been doing as responsible corporate citizens, who their partners are, their challenges and how their action have impacted the various communities where they source their paper products," she said.

"In short, transparency and accountability are key drivers for a company’s CSR programme."            

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