BG+: How much pain was being caused for the business at this point by Greenpeace? There were customer boycotts -- I presume that when you start to lose sales this becomes very real to the business? Was that the main driving factor by the decision to change the sustainability policy?
Greenbury: There was a mixture of elements. The customers, the NGOs, the management of APP and the shareholders of APP -- those four elements were all key to the massive change in our sustainability strategy.
It was tough for us at the time when Greenpeace launched reports and attacked us and launched boycotts -- it was very tough for us. It was hard for us to understand and realize what they said might be true, we were slightly in denial. We were trying to justify what we were doing, but looking back without them doing that we wouldn't be here. It was important.
BG+: So you've reached a point were you are almost thanking Greenpeace for the protests and the boycotts?
Greenbury: Not almost, we thank them. We publicly say that we thank Greenpeace for their role in helping us change our strategy.
You can ask Scott. He's the external person here, I have been with the company 10 years, but he is an external party who has watched the whole process unfolding for two years.
Scott Poynton: There has been a real journey within the company. When we finally made the announcement on Feb. 5, I said to one of the shareholders that it was a shame that when we had first met two years earlier the meeting had not gone well and there had then been two years of pain and suffering that could have been avoided. But she said, "You know what, we just weren't ready then, it was not clear to us what we needed to do, we thought we were doing things right and Greenpeace was being unfair. It took us that time to come to terms and understand what we needed to do."
APP is a big operation, a complex operation, where if you stop doing that there it could have an impact over here. There were a lot of unforeseen things that could have happened, a lot of nervousness about that. But I think what we have been able to do with APP since we started to engage with them in February 2012 is not only spend my time in the head office engaging with the senior management team, but also have the field teams out in the bush getting data. They were able to say, "If you did that, this would be the impact." They were starting to be able to make forecasts and plan into the future based on solid information.
APP had some of this data themselves, it was not as if they had no information, but we were able to say, "Your data's right," or, "You could probably do this like this and it would have this result." So there was a lot of interaction between the technical teams that fed up into the policy process that we were discussing back in Jakarta.
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