PEFC’s contribution to many SDGs certainly ticks the right boxes
17 May 2022 Certification on the ground
In our interview series ‘Meeting our certified companies’, we ask PEFC-certified companies around the world what drives them to work with forest products, and what certification means for them and their sector.
In the latest edition, we hear from Genevieve Chua, CEO of OVOL Singapore, a supplier of paper and print media, and a certification pioneer in the region.
Genevieve shares her thoughts about sustainability and the benefits of certification for the paper industry.
Can you give us a brief introduction to your company and its position in the market?
We are OVOL Singapore, member of the Japan Pulp & Paper Group, a wholesale supplier of print media and one of the oldest and largest paper suppliers in Singapore. We are proud to be a pioneer and early adopter of sustainably managed forests chain of custody certification here.
In the context of forest-based product sourcing, what is your company’s goal?
We believe in providing our customers with eco-friendly, sustainable, certified products to enable them and their own clientele base of companies to support their sustainability initiatives.
OVOL Singapore is an active member of organisations that promote sustainability and responsible business practices such as the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) and the Packaging Partnership Programme.
We were also pioneers in the paper and print industry to be certified and make sustainably sourced paper available in our market.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background? What are your main responsibilities within the company?
I am the CEO of OVOL Singapore which was formed through an amalgamation of two established paper suppliers in Singapore - Spicers Paper and JPP Far East. These companies have a footprint in Singapore starting from the 1930s.
I started in this industry in 1990, so have been with the paper and print industry for over 30 years. I was also involved with PEFC International as a Board member from 2010 - 2020.
What led you to choose PEFC certification?
OVOL Singapore pioneered the promotion and use of paper from sustainably managed forests in Singapore back in 2007. We embarked on PEFC certification in 2009, because we strongly believe in providing more choices to our customers for certified paper from credible sources.
PEFC being the largest forest certification system in the world and its contribution to many Sustainable Development Goals certainly ticks the right boxes. Today, our PEFC-certified sales comprise about 40% of our total sales.
What does it mean for you personally to work for a company that takes its responsibility for forests seriously?
I drive the sustainability initiatives with my Sustainability Committee and management team. It helps that my personal values are aligned with our parent company in Japan's Group Charter of Behaviour and commitment to environmental protection.
As a leading company in the paper and print industry in Singapore, it has been gratifying that we have been strongly promoting and advocating the use of certified paper from sustainable sources for over ten years and see the results of our efforts through increased sales.
We continue to do what we can by joining in the OneMillionTrees movement by NParks of Singapore in a year-long programme to contribute a portion of every single sales order from our customers to help restore nature back into our city through the planting of trees in Singapore.