PT SMART has received the highest ranking in an evaluation on sustainability carried out by Chain Reaction Research – a consortium consisting of Aidenvironment, Climate Advisers and Profundo.
Ten of Indonesia’s largest listed palm oil companies were ranked in the “2016 Sustainability Benchmark: Indonesia Palm Oil Growers” with PT SMART the only company to receive a Green ranking (likely not perfect, but on the way).
Companies could score a total of 12 points based on:
- Aligning with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies (maximum six points)
- Active membership of the RSPO (maximum three points)
- Recent practices (maximum three points)
In addition, the report noted that GAR (PT SMART’s parent company) is recognised as being amongst the few companies taking the lead in ensuring that suppliers comply with sustainability policies.
The score is a reflection of our sustainability implementation on the ground since we adopted the first Forest Conservation Policy in the palm oil sector in 2011. Our sustainability policies have evolved over the years and are now contained within a single GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP). This applies to all our operations, investments and suppliers.
It is also a reflection of our substantial investment to ensure we reach our goal of sustainable palm oil. In the last one and a half years the Sustainability Department has grown to include about 130 personnel in Jakarta head office and nearly 200 on the ground working with plantation operation teams. In addition, more than 6,000 employees have been trained on the GSEP since it was launched in 2015.
On an industry level, the report also pointed out that the sustainability practices and risk profile vis-à-vis sustainability factors had improved since the ten companies were last evaluated in mid-2015. Four out of the ten had strengthened their sustainability practices and policies since then. This I believe is further evidence that sustainability is no longer something extra that a company should do to protect its reputation. Rather it has become an essential part of business strategy and risk mitigation.
The scores reveal that much work still needs to be done. As our sustainability journey shows, real improvements can be made on the ground, over time, with sustained effort and investment. A recent report on the New York Declaration on Forests has also highlighted that the palm oil sector has taken the most action on deforestation – now we will have to maintain the momentum and continue to search for broad collaborative solutions with multiple stakeholders to successfully tackle the balancing act of protecting the environment and promoting economic growth.