Fighting Fire with Film: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Uses Innovative Approach to Cultivating a Fire Free Community

Sukanto Tanoto is one of Indonesia’s most famous and well-regarded businessmen. The Founder and Chairman of RGE, the global resource-manufacturing giant that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas, his companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets worth over US $18 billion. Growing from a small business by the busy streets of Medan to the global behemoth operating in Indonesia, China, Spain, Canada and Singapore, Sukanto Tanoto’s story is one of going from rags to riches.

Sukanto Tanoto’s 5Cs Philosophy Does Good

Fighting Fire with Film: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Uses Innovative Approach to Cultivating a Fire Free Community

His success is not the only thing Sukanto Tanoto is known for, however. Sukanto Tanoto is well-known for his corporate philosophy of the 5Cs, to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company in whatever he does. It is a philosophy focusing on the creation of shared value, and is one his companies have imbibed. Today, his companies are known for their insistence on doing good for those around them. Palm Oil giant Asian Agri, for example, is known for its strong support of government initiatives. Pulp and Paper behemoth APRIL, on other hand, is well-regarded for its community-based initiatives.

APRIL Uses an Innovative Approach to Promote Fire Prevention

Most recently PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesia subsidiary, kept up this tradition when it carried out one of its community outreach programmes to inculcate in villagers the importance of fire safety and prevention. Notwithstanding the immense threats of health hazards and economic loss, using fire to clear land is an unsustainable practice that APRIL has consistently tried to stop. Through programmes such as the Fire Free Village Programme and the Fire Free Alliance, APRIL has committed itself to preventing and stopping forest and land fires.

To further promote the idea of only using sustainable production methods, APRIL recently engaged local villagers and farmers of Tumang Village, Siak through the movies. The innovative idea, which successfully captured the attention of both the young and elderly, managed to impress upon locals the many drawbacks of using fire as a production method. It seems to have worked, too. Head of Tumang village, Muhammad Tahir, described how his villagers are now much more alert and aware of the need to keep the lands free from fire.

The use of innovative methods such as films to inculcate the importance of fire protection and prevention is part of APRIL’s commitment to sustainability and shared value creation. Sailal Arimi, APRIL’s Fire Free Village Programme Manager, said that such methods of fire prevention are an important avenue for APRIL, given the ease of understanding that films provide and the high level of enthusiasm they manage to create.

A Fresh Start: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL helps Illegal Logger Go Straight

Sukanto Tanoto is an entrepreneur who came good despite the odds. Taking over his family’s spare parts business as a seventeen year-old, he was thrown into deep end. Yet the tenacious Sukanto Tanoto succeeded, cutting his business teeth in Medan, Indonesia and eventually starting the first of his many companies. Today, Sukanto Tanoto is chairman of RGE, a natural resource giant that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. With his companies collectively employing 60,000 people and owning assets worth 18 billion dollars, Sukanto Tanoto has indubitably made a name for himself.

Doing good and doing well

More impressively,Sukanto Tanoto is also an entrepreneur with a heart. Throughout 50 years of business, he has advocated the creation of shared value for the Community, Country, Climate, Customers, and Company – a philosophy that has come to be known as the 5Cs. It is something he has always insisted upon, and all of Sukanto Tanoto’s companies have similarly followed suit. There exist many inspiring stories of his companies existing with the community in a symbiotic relationship. One such example is that of APRIL and former illegal logger Tengku Effendi.

A Fresh Start: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL helps Illegal Logger Go Straight

Sukanto Tanoto helps illegal logger come good

47 year-old Tengku Effendi, used to be an illegal logger. Under the Community Development (CD) Programme ran by PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary, Tengku finally went straight. Joining the programme in 2006, today the father of three has truly become a role model for all as an award-winning entrepreneur.

Under the CD programme, Tengku received from Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL, in terms of business and management training. APRIL didn’t just stop there, and even helped Tengku secure the loans required for his business. With a supportive framework in place, Tengku’s new transportation business took off, and has never looked back since. Today, Tengku’s business is thriving, and one of their biggest customer is APRIL, for whom Tengku transports fertilisers. In 2014, his company won a PT RAPP award for implementing workplace health and safety principles.

Country Roads, Take Me Home: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Repairs Road for Local Community

Sukanto Tanoto is the founder and chairman of RGE, a resource-based company started in Indonesia that has since gone global. Providing management services to companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas, Sukanto Tanoto’s companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets of over USD$18 billion. It is a meteoric rise to success for the billionaire entrepreneur; he was forced to take over his family business at the tender age of seventeen.

5Cs, the Tanoto Way

Country Roads, Take Me Home: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Repairs Road for Local Community

His success, while staggering, is made even more impressive by its foundation in a corporate philosophy known as the 5Cs. Aiming to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company in everything they do, it aims to create shared value for everyone. The 5Cs are testament to Sukanto Tanoto’s foresight and vision; many of his companies are now known for both their success and responsible practices.

APRIL Helps the Community

APRIL, in particular, has readily answered Sukanto Tanoto’s call. The pulp and paper giant has set in place a host of initiatives under their Community Development (CD) programme, run by its Indonesian subsidiary PT RAPP. As a result of these programmes, communities around the area of PT RAPP’s operations who benefit have had a traditionally positive relationship with RAPP.

Most recently, APRIL helped rebuild a road in Sentajo Raya sub-district of Kuansing, Riau, Indonesia. Mobilising two units of heavy equipment from RAPP, an excavator and motor grader were used rebuild the road that had fallen into disrepair. Village head Koto Tuo, Sumanhijar, was especially thankful, for the poor conditions of the road had previously made the area difficult to access. A spokesperson for the company said that the company remained supportive of communities around it, and that helping them was only in accordance of their 5Cs principle.

APRIL Impresses: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Praised by Delegation from National Resilience Institute

Sukanto Tanoto is one of Indonesia’s more famous businessmen. The 68 year-old is chairman and founder of RGE, a global resource giant that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. With over 60,000 employees and 18 billion dollars in assets owned collectively, Sukanto Tanoto’s resource empire is one that often draws looks of amazement – and rightly so; his rise to the top of the game, from a seventeen year-old taking over a family business, to the success he is today, is inspiring in itself.

Philanthropy as a passion

While the billionaire entrepreneur’s success is widely-acclaimed, he has kept his feet firmly planted on the ground throughout. It was in part a result of his involvements in philanthropy, a passion nurtured over the years. Through Tanoto Foundation, which he started with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto, Sukanto Tanoto has managed to help the lives of many through his passion. The resource king has also transferred the same sense of duty to the community into his businesses. Sukanto Tanoto is a firm believer of the 5Cs, to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company. It is a philosophy espousing the creation of shared value, and is one that all his companies have adopted.

APRIL praised for good work done

This same philosophy was recently praised, when Maj. Gen. Nunu Nugraha led a team from the National Resilience Institute to visit APRIL’s operations. During the visit to PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary, Maj. Gen. Nugraha and his team learned about the advanced paper making processes employed by the company. The team also learned about APRIL’s many community-centred programmes, signs of APRIL’s commitment to the community around it. In particular the visitors, hosted by RAPP President Director Rudi Fajar, were introduced to the Fire Free Village Programme (FFVP). The crown jewel of APRIL’s fire-prevention and protection arsenal, the hugely successful programme will see 18 participants this year, up from nine.

APRIL Impresses: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Praised by Delegation from National Resilience Institute

APRIL’s highly successful Fire Free Village Programme

Maj. Gen. Nugraha and his team were noticeably impressed by the entire visit. The general was quick to comment, and said, “The paper we use, PaperOne, is of good quality and doesn’t damage easily. We are also amazed by the company’s programmes for the people and the surrounding region.”