The Provision of Free Medical Services in Riau – an APRIL Group Initiative

As of September 22, the province of Riau in Indonesia has been provided with renewed medical aid to assist its population. APRIL Group’s main subsidiary, RAPP, has been managing the operations of introducing a number of free health clinics in the area, as part of a philanthropic effort from the RGE group to alleviate the detrimental effects of poverty in the area.

Hundreds of Patients Provided with Medical Aid Free health clinics opened in September 2015 in Riau, and people from Kampar, Pelalawan, Slak and Kuansing have enjoyed medical checkups, treatments and masks to be used as protection against the smoke and heat produced by illegal land clearing through forest fires in the area. All these benefits have been provided completely free of charge, courtesy of APRIL Group’s newfound initiative to reduce health hazards in the region.

RAPP representatives have stated that they are extremely concerned of the health problems that the fires may pose, particularly in such a dry period, when local inhabitants are most exposed to the dangers caused by the haze produced from illegal land clearing.

While free medicine and masks continue to be distributed, the group has also set in place a strict no-burn policy in many areas, while monitoring them 24/7 to ensure the prevention of illegal forest fires.

APRIL Group’s Fire Prevention Program

The fire prevention program launched earlier this year by APRIL seeks to work in close collaboration with the local inhabitants of villages in the Riau province to help stop and prevent fires throughout the region.

While rendering assistance in case of a forest fire, APRIL has also set in place programs for educating the people and teaching them about the importance of preventive measures, as well as of using safer, alternative land management solutions that would present far lesser risks than burning.


Asian Agri Organizes an Unprecedented Cooking Oil Bazaar to Help the Local Community

Showing renewed initiative with its plans for social responsibility, Asian Agri recently organized a cooking oil bazaar, selling a total of over 5,000 liters of cooking oil at affordable costs, well below the regular market rate.

According to government officials, the bazaar also had a lasting impact on the community and country at large, helping to alleviate cooking oil prices throughout Indonesia.

The Impact of the Bazaar

APRIL’s recent Fire Free Village Programme was not the only important event scheduled for August by the distinguished RGE companies. Asian Agri recently came up with an idea that would not only help them gain additional trust from the community, but also assist in alleviating poverty through the reduction of cooking oil prices.

The post-Hari Raya Idul Fitri bazaar brought affordable cooking oil to hundreds of local residents in Riau, with prices ranging around IDR 7,500, as opposed to the regular market cost which is about IRD 15,000 ($0.97 USD).

The bazaar was a complete success, and further outlined Asian Agri’s commitment to RGE Chairman Sukanto Tanoto‘s 3 C philosophy – doing good for the country, community and the company.

Good for the Country and Community

The bazaar was, of course, good for the company – because of the large volume of sales – and for the community, due to the reduced cooking oil prices. But what about the country?

According to Indonesian government officials, the bazaar had a positive impact on the country’s economy, as these types of events help the government alleviate inflation on products like cooking oil, and keep quality oil at an affordable price that everyone can manage.

Asian Agri’s initiative is just one of many that prove the company’s commitment to the local Riau community and to the entire country of Indonesia. The company has big plans for the future and continues to support local inhabitants according to the RGE philosophy set forth by Chairman Sukanto Tanoto.

Relief Efforts for Mount Sinabung Eruption Evacuees – Tanoto Scholars Lend a Hand

The Mount Sinabung eruptions have affected the entire country of Indonesia, with many people still being displaced as a result of the natural catastrophe that has hit the poorest of the population in a country where proper education, healthcare and food rations are still very much in lack.

However, there is still hope for the thousands of evacuees, as initiatives such as those set forth by the recipients of Tanoto scholarships (Tanoto Scholars) have brought food, educational resources and even enjoyment to the children whose families have suffered as a result of the eruption.

Being an Evacuee

Being evacuated from your home is bad enough, but knowing you may never see the house you grew up in again is even worse. As a child or a young student, an event like the eruption of Mount Sinabung can have lasting psychological effects, and for parents, it can be the last blow to strike someone who has struggled for so long to provide for their family.

The conditions that the evacuees have to live in are far from adequate. They usually spend their nights in temporary tents without proper heating and a limited supply of resources that usually has to be rationed as wisely as possible. Also, children’s education in the area had to suffer, and now many of the children are left without the opportunity to learn and secure a brighter future.

Assistance from Tanoto Scholars

Tanoto Scholars have come to the aid of the community with educational resources, books, food and toys for the children, as well as many activities and games they have organized to help improve spirits after the catastrophic event.

Many of the children welcomed them with smiles on their faces, and they have gladly engaged in the various games and activities, while their parents were overjoyed to see the attention and effort invested by Tanoto Scholars.

These initiatives have certainly had the desired effect of at least temporarily improving on the young evacuees’ condition until such time as they may be able to return to their homes and villages.

The Efforts Invested by Tanoto Foundation in Capacity Building in Rural Indonesia

Due to the poor results recorded by students in areas of rural Indonesia, who are unable to

continue their education past high school, the Tanoto Foundation has increased its efforts

of providing young adults with better opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in

order to pass university exams more efficiently.

The State of Indonesia’s Education

Compared to neighboring countries like Malaysia, the state of Indonesia’s rural education

is quite poor. In 2014, reports have shown that only 28% of students aged 19-23 have

continued their education by enrolling into a university, a number that has brought concern

to parents, government institutions, as well as organizations like the Tanoto Foundation,

which is actively involved in numerous projects designed for the improvement of local

education in the country.

One of the main reasons why students in rural areas are unable to complete their

education is that they cannot compete with those living in urban areas, who are far better

equipped to attend and pass their exams successfully.

Capacity Building Programs for Students

To tip the scales, the Tanoto Foundation has organized several capacity building activities

to help students comply with the requirements set forth by the universities they plan on


During the months of May and June 2015, the Tanoto Foundation organized a try-out in

Medan, inviting students from general and vocational high schools who are also recipients

of Tanoto scholarships to attend and use the try-outs to prepare for furthering their


Aside from the try-outs themselves, tutors were provided up to three times a week to help

the students improve their knowledge and general grasp of the materials included. With

their help and along with additional motivational speeches and tips for getting the best

results at their university exams, the students were able to sail through their exams with


Capacity building has long been one of the main tools used by the Tanoto Foundation to

improve education in Indonesia, the result being that more than 5,200 students across the

country have benefited from Tanoto scholarships already.

Tanoto Scholars Aim to Lighten the Load for Mount Sinabung Evacuees

More than 10,000 people were evacuated as a result of recent eruptions by Mount Sinabung, the Indonesian volcano which erupted nearly ten times since 2010. To ease the burden on evacuees, particularly the young who have seen their education halted as quickly as their spirits have been dampened, recipients of the Tanoto Scholarship visited with children who have been displaced by these natural disasters.

The key goals of the visits were simple. The Tanoto Scholars went to provide a positive atmosphere for children, playing games and offering various activities that provided a sense of normalcy to the boys and girls who perhaps don’t understand their current circumstances.

One of the Tanoto Scholars explained the mission, “We hope the children realized that although their current condition was far from normal, there were people who cared for them.”

Tanoto scholarships are offered to undergraduate and graduate students attending both public and private universities full time. Many of the most prestigious universities in Indonesia, China, SIngapore and the US have partnered with the Tanoto Foundation as part of the scholarship program

Keeping an Eye on the Essential Aspects of Business – Sukanto Tanoto’s Diversification Efforts

One of the main reasons for Sukanto Tanoto‘s success in the palm oil industry, as well as in several other industries that the RGE is currently involved with, was the gradually increasing focus on diversification adopted throughout the years by the renowned entrepreneur.

While having started work as a Pertamina contractor in the 1960s, Mr. Tanoto soon realized that, in order for his business ventures to thrive, he had to expand through investments and new business contracts to other profitable ventures.

The Limitations of Being a Contractor

At the Wharton Global Modular Course in Singapore, Mr. Tanoto gave an insightful lecture outlining the importance of diversification and why simply being a contractor wasn’t enough to ensure future success during his beginning business ventures.

He talked about how the lack of a solid, diverse base of clients represented an important risk during the first years of his business. If, for example, a client would choose to buy assets from one of his competitors, the business would suffer greatly, and it would have been very difficult to continue on the same path.

This is what prompted the young entrepreneur to begin investing in new profitable endeavors. By learning about commodities and understanding how producing materials such as plywood and palm oil would be a far more advantageous prospect, than importing it.

The Importance of Diversification

Mr. Tanoto made his first investment in a plywood mill in 1975. This was a symbolic victory for the aspiring entrepreneur due to a demand in the local market that saw no one else trying to solve the problem of the expense and difficulty in importing plywood from places like Taiwan.

After this success, it became clear that diversification was extremely important, and the years that followed came with additional investments in palm oil and acacia plantations, pulp and paper mills, viscose fiber in China and LNG exporting efforts in China and Canada.

By juggling many new commodities and producing their own, Sukanto Tanoto and the RGE Group became widely successful, particularly due to Mr. Tanoto’s effort and engagement in making his investments as beneficial as possible for the Company, Community and Country.

Asia Symbol Launches Leading Edge Sustainable Copier Paper in China

Asia Symbol has recently launched the first type of copier paper bearing both the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and CFCC (Chinese Forestry Certification Council) logos.

The ceremony to commemorate the event was held in Beijing, and marked an historic moment in China’s efforts for obtaining a higher level of sustainability in its paper industry.

First Copier Paper Bearing the PEFC and CFCC Logo

June the 3rd became an extremely significant date for the Chinese paper industry, as Asian Symbol has successfully proven the company’s commitment toward sustainable forest management.

The copier paper launched by the firm is the first paper actually placed on the market since CFCC managed to obtain the PEFC endorsement in 2014. It is also the first type of green paper produced in China that bears both the PEFC and CFCC logos.

Asia Symbol became certified in accordance with PEFC standards in 2014 and it has CFCC certification since the year 2012. Although a large part of the copier paper the company produces is sold domestically, a growing number is sold on the global market, the figures recently having reached about one third of the company’s total production this year.

According to Asia Symbol, not only have their efforts for promoting sustainable paper increased during the past three years, but clients are also becoming increasingly more interested in supporting the use of environmental friendly products.

Full Compliance with Sustainability Benchmarks

The PEFC endorsement came through as CFCC managed to obtain full compliance with PEFC standards for sustainability. These standards are recognized worldwide in 40 countries as one of the most comprehensive sustainability benchmarks available.

The basic concept is that the paper is only to be produced using traceable sources from sustainable forests, as specified by Chain of Custody (CoC).

Experts consider this to be only a first step on China’s road to a more sustainable industry, but it is also considered a significant event that is set to inspire other companies in the paper industry to set more sustainable goals for their production line

A Quick Overview of APRIL Group’s Path to Successful Infrastructural Development

The development of infrastructure in Indonesia has seen a remarkable improvement in past years due to RGE member APRIL Group’s newly implemented solutions for offering new jobs, building roads and implementing various programs for better education and amenities.

RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulpp & Paper), the company’s main subsidiary in Indonesia, has made some remarkable progress in infrastructural development, creating new opportunities and improving living standards for the local population.

Building Better Roads

One of RAPP’s most remarkable initiatives was the building of quality asphalt roads in areas such as Kuansing and Pulau Padang. The five kilometers of roads from Benai to Cerenti, for instance, was extremely well-received by local inhabitants, particularly in Talontam, Banjar Benai and Kuantan Siningi.

According to the local governor of Kunasing, locals used to be forced to close their windows and doors just to prevent the dust from the roads entering their homes.

Similar efforts were made in the Pulau Padang area, where RAPP managed to connect no less than 20 villages with their newly built roads. Aside from the 12 km of roads, the company has also provided assistance and equipment for road maintenance and repair, and these efforts were greeted with gratitude by local councils, many of which believe that they will mark a fresh new start towards improving the local economy in the area.

Good for the Company, Community and Country

The achievements obtained by RAPP are guided by the 3P principle of people, planet and profit and the RGE philosophy implemented by visionary Sukanto Tanoto, aiming for achievements that are good not only for the company’s profit, but also for the local community and the country in which the company is operating.

They have also made a real effort toward implementing a more sustainable approach to production, improving their ability of promoting environmental friendly production practices and obtaining numerous certifications, including OHSAS 18001: 2007 for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and a certification from the Wood Legality Verification System.

All of the company’s efforts are in line with the 3 Cs introduced by Sukanto Tanoto, and future developments are also being planned toward even more sustainable infrastructural improvements.

Imelda Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation’s Support in Improving Educational Resources

The Tanoto Foundation has long been known to provide assistance to schools and educational facilities throughout Indonesia. Recently, however, the Foundation has taken its initiatives one step forward by inaugurating the launch of two brand new facilities at Universitas Bhayangkara Jaya – the Tanoto Library and the Grha Tanoto.

Present at the event was none other than Imelda Tanoto, daughter of RGE Chairman and Tanoto Foundation leader Sukanto Tanoto. Miss Tanoto has given an enlightening speech to outline the current and future plans that the Tanoto Foundation has for local education in Indonesia.

Sustainable Development Goals

According to Imelda Tanoto, there are two significant goals for achieving a more sustainable education: improving the “hardware” and “software” of education in Indonesia.

The “hardware” part has to do with the actual educational resources, such as classes, libraries and other facilities, as well as access to books, international journals and other resources students would need in order to have access to improved educational opportunities.

The “software” element, on the other hand, has to do with the quality of the education itself. For the purpose of improving that level of quality, the Tanoto Foundation is also actively involved in programs designed to train teachers to impart information and use creative teaching techniques for making the teaching process more engaging.

Making Real Progress

Through the inauguration of the Grha Tanoto and the Tanoto Library on June 15 of this year, the Tanoto Foundation hopes to provide students at the Universitas Bhayangkara Jaya with the ability to train and study much more efficiently than ever before.

Built through the collaboration of the Tanoto Foundation with the Brata Bhakti Foundation, the facilities provide several new classrooms and a highly advanced auditorium, while also making use of an hi-tech RF Identification-based security system.

While outlining the advantages of this new achievement, Imelda Tanoto has also pointed out that improving education is a major step toward poverty alleviation, and it is one of the main tools the Tanoto Foundation uses on a regular basis to help local communities attain a better quality of life.

Tanoto Foundation’s Support for Improving the “Hardware” and “Software” of Educational Development in Indonesia

Universitas Bhayangkara Jaya was the center of an event that marked a milestone in Indonesia’s

educational development, as the Tanoto Foundation launched the Grha Tanoto and the Tanoto

Library – two important buildings designed for enhancing the educational resources and capabilities

of local students.

Imelda Tanoto, daughter of well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist and Chairman of the RGE

Group, Sukanto Tanoto, was also present at the event, and spoke to outline the principles on which

the Tanoto Foundation has based its efforts of improving education in the area, as well as the goals

it hopes to achieve through these new establishments.

The Hardware of Educational

Imelda Tanoto has outlined the extreme importance of education that Sukanto Tanoto and the

Tanoto Foundation consider to be one of the major factors in poverty alleviation. As Ms. Tanoto has

stated, communities where children and students have better access to educational resources and

where there are better possibilities to obtain higher education, have a far improved chance of their

younger members reaching adulthood with an opportunity of improving their lives, incomes and


As Imelda Tanoto has stated, through the building of new facilities such as the Grha Tanoto and the

Tanoto Library, the Tanoto Foundation hopes to obtain an enhancement in educational development

by “upgrading its hardware.” This basically means that students will have access to a secure and

resourceful learning centers in which they can improve and further their studies.

A good example is the Library, which not only provides access through the Grha Tanoto to

classrooms and auditoriums, where students can truly have an improved educational experience, but

also with access to countless international journals for improved learning and an advanced radio

frequency-based system for keeping the library secured and well-organized.

Improved Support for Students and Teachers

If the “hardware” part is represented by the actual learning facilities themselves, the “software” is

the ability of the teachers to impart knowledge and assist students through an engaging and

informative curriculum that can help them pave a better path toward higher education.

Imelda Tanoto talked about the vital importance of helping teachers refine their skills and employ

better techniques at improving their ability to reach out to students. This is one of the major goals

that the Tanoto Foundation has pursued in the past few years, mainly through teacher training

programs designed to improve the quality of education in Indonesia.

Another important method the Foundation has used has to do with the scholarships they have

awarded to 28 universities throughout Indonesia. Their number has increased beyond 5,000 and

continues to grow each year, as the Foundation’s supporters and members like Imelda Tanoto

continue to pursue the goals that visionary Sukanto Tanoto has outlined through his philosophy of

assisting the community by improving education.