SHANGHAI, 2012, October 22 – The world’s leading pulp and paper manufacturer Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) and China Business News, one of the top business publications in China, have jointly initiated a new corporate social responsibility initiative aiming to enhance awareness of personal hygiene and help cultivate healthier lifestyle habits among youths living in China’s rural areas. As part of the initiative, APP-China will collaborate with schools in rural regions to support and educate students on the proper use of paper products to maintain their hygiene and health.
The new joint initiative commences with a pilot program in Hainan province in China, following a two-month extensive study¹ on the hygiene and lifestyle habits of rural school children in China, conducted by China Business News and the Guangdong College of Pharmacy². Offering insight into the personal hygiene conditions of children living in China’s rural regions, the survey found that the practice of proper hygiene habits among rural students was far behind that of students residing in cities within the same age groups, emerging as a widespread problem resulting from the disparity of development in different regions of the country.
Results of the study indicated that the practice of basic personal hygiene habits was lacking among those surveyed, contributing to a mere 50% habit rate. Particularly, the findings suggest that 80% of the children surveyed rarely or had never used tissue paper for sanitary purposes at schools.
According to the study, these unhygienic habits are rife among children living in rural areas due to the absence of proper personal hygiene concepts, signifying the need for further educational efforts.
In light of these findings, APP-China has proactively joined hands with China Business News in launching the new corporate social responsibility program, spearheading efforts to promote awareness of personal hygiene and proper lifestyle habits among school children in rural areas as the basis for positive development in their lives.
Commenting on the program, Ms. Liu Fang, Deputy Director of China Business News’ CSR Division, expressed confidence in the new program. “We are delighted to collaborate with APP-China on this meaningful endeavor, which extends corporate social responsibility to the realm of education and providing guidance for our younger generation.”
To highlight the role of household paper use in maintaining personal hygiene, APP-China and its subsidiary Gold Hongye Paper have donated various sanitary paper products worth over 50,000 yuan (almost USD $8,000) to the local Yangpu Number One Elementary School for this semester, as the first step in an initiative that underlines APP-China’s corporate citizenship with combined offerings of its products and expertise.
To further emphasize the importance of the school environment and education in cultivating the best habits in children, experts from APP’s Hainan mill facility Jinhai Pulp & Paper collaborated with the school in a pilot initiative to give introductory classes on environmental protection, with the aim to instill in students concepts of good lifestyle and hygiene habits that contribute to protection of the environment. The mill also arranged a tour for students to visit its production facilities, enlightening them on the importance of paper as a precious resource.
“As an enterprise firmly committed to corporate citizenship and aiding local community development in China, APP will continue its strong efforts in rural regions to help our next generation foster appropriate and positive habits that will benefit their health and growth in the long run,” said Kevin Zhang, PR Director of APP-China.
As an ongoing and long-term initiative, APP-China will continue to engage different schools in China’s rural regions as partners in this CSR program, incorporating paper donations, enhancement of school facilities, student volunteer teams and mill visits to foster maximum awareness among students.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is one of the world’s leading pulp and paper companies and is ranked one of the largest vertically-integrated pulp and paper producers in Asia. Since APP started investing in China in the early 1990s, it has over 20 pulp and paper mills in the form of subsidiaries or joint ventures, as well as forest plantations with a total area over 300,000 hectares. With over 39,200 employees, APP-China had a total production capability of 9.5 million tons in 2011. By the end of 2011, APP-China had spent RMB 6 billion (USD $937.5 million) in environmental protection facilities and RMB 600 million (USD $93.75 million) in various charitable causes and community development projects across the country. For more information, please visit www.app.com.cn.
¹The survey was conducted on 395 elementary school students in Northern Guangdong province.
²The Guangdong College of Pharmacy is a public university based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province which offers courses in pharmaceutical sciences. The University was established in 1958 as the Guangdong provincial health department’s advanced studies college.
July Cheng, (86 21) 6335 2222 (ext.7538)