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Asia Pulp & Paper hires former Singapore Environment Council CEO as media spokesman

Asia Pulp & Paper has hired the former CEO of Singapore Environment Council and press secretary to the minister for the environment as media spokesman for the company in Singapore.

 JOSE Raymond vice president corporate affairs Asia Pulp & Paper

Jose Raymond joins the Indonesian paper-pulp giant as VP of corporate affairs from Singapore Sports Hub, where he has been kept busy in recent months as senior director of communications and stakeholder management.

The Sports Hub has been the subject of media scrutiny over costs, the events schedule, and how much the organisation charges companies to use the $1.33 billion complex, questions which Raymond’s team fielded in a story in the Straits Times that suggested that the “domed architectural wonder” has not lived up to the hype.

Raymond will oversee stakeholder management, government and media relations for APP, and will be the company’s spokesperson in Singapore. 

He joins a closely watched company that, after many years of being the enemy of green groups, got public backing from Greenpeace after pledging to end deforestation activities in 2013.

APP has enjoyed better than usual PR since calling on its rivals to follow its lead, and head of sustainability and PR Aida Greenbury has been vocal in social media in backing #zerodeforestation.

APP ST storyBut the story turned bad in Singapore in October last year, when in the middle of a serious bout of haze pollution from burning forest land in Indonesia, APP products were linked to the problem and supermarkets removed them from their shelves.

The move by NTUC Fairprice and others came after the Singapore Environment Council, where Raymond was CEO from 2011 until January last year, withdrew its ‘Singapore Green Label’ certification for APP products.

His role at APP will involve communicating to stakeholders and partners in Singapore about the company’s policies and programmes, such as the sustainable forest management plan, sharing the challenges of land governance in Indonesia, building up trust with the Singaporean community and getting products back on shelves.

He will work closely with Jakarta-based Greenbury, and focus his efforts on the Singapore market.

Raymond began his career as a Straits Times photo-journalist, later moving to Mediacorp where he spent six years as a senior correspondent.

In 2007, he joined the Singapore Sports Council as deputy director of media relations and social media. He was press secretary to the minister of environment and water resources for a short stint, and later was appointed CEO of the Singapore Environment Council.

He left SEC in January 2015 to join Singapore Sports Hub.

APP uses Cohn & Wolfe as its public relations agency in Singapore.

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