- Thomas Robertson,Dean, Wharton School
- Sustainability ProgramWharton School
- Sustainability ProgramUPenn
- Gifts Accounting & AdministrationUniversity of Pennsylvania
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania: Stop awarding medal to and receiving donation from Sukanto Tanoto
Wharton School is awarding Sukanto Tanoto with the Dean's medal. Sukanto is infamous for rainforests destruction and tax embezzlement in Indonesia.
Whaton School should not promote curropt business behavior and operation that destroy the environment, causing global warming, and destruct the habitat of human and animals.
- Dean, Wharton School
- Wharton School
- University of Pennsylvania
Gifts Accounting & Administration
I have noted with concern that you accepted donation from Sukanto Tanoto and awarded him the highest award: Wharton School Dean's medal in 2012.
Sukanto Tanoto is the CEO of APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited). APRIL is a company which is known to be responsible for clearing massive areas of rainforest in the Indonesian province of Riau to create acacia plantations.APRIL is also draining large areas of peat bog. APRIL's production methods are an ecological, social, and climatic catastrophe.
The rainforest on Sumatra is a highly diverse ecosystem – if the forest dies, the native animals and plants will have no chance to survive. This development especially threatens the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger – the greatest threat to this animal is listed as "the loss of habitat through palm oil and acacia plantations." In 2010, APRIL was banned from the FSC certification system as a consequence of its production methods.
Furthermore, the rainforest is home to agricultural communities that process products traditionally and sustainably. The plantations are threatening to drive these farmers from their land and destroy their livelihoods.
The peat bogs in particular are important natural carbon sinks. In destroying the bogs, massive quantities of stored greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. Due to the destruction of its rainforests, Indonesia is the third-largest CO2 emitter in the world. The acacia plantations created to manufacture PaperOne paper exacerbate the negative impact on our climate.
Dean Thomas Robertson wrote that:"Wharton is committed to reducing our environmental footprint and continues to advance our sustainability efforts through operational improvements and the commitment and innovation of the Wharton community." You should uphold to your words and question whether Sukanto Tanoto worth the medal.
Sukanto Tanoto's oil palm company was found guilty of $390 million tax evasion in Indonesia. Sukanto Tanoto is also reponsible for destruction of the environment through his other companies: Inti Indorayon Utama, Asian Agri, Unibank for bad debts during asian crisis.
As a respected university, you should share responsibility for ensuring that the donation you accept does not come from operation that destroy the environment, causing global warming, and destruct the habitat of human and animals.
I emphatically request that you consider the award, consequently setting a positive example of how universities can embody corporate responsibility, respect for human rights, and environmental protection.
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