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SPOTT: GAR is top four among sustainable palm oil companies

Posted: Mar 10, 2016 2 minute read Lim Shu Ling 927 views

As someone working in sustainability communications in GAR, I am often awed by the sheer scale of the challenges we face in setting up and running sustainable operations. These could range from how we find long-term solutions to forest fires and haze to how to convince and get the communities to come on board on joint conservation efforts. And sometimes it feels like no one out there truly appreciates what we are doing on the ground to make our palm oil production sustainable.

So it was extremely gratifying to discover that GAR is ranked fourth by SPOTT (Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit) in their scorecard of sustainable palm oil companies. SPOTT is a project from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to provide practical information and resources to stakeholders in the palm oil industry, in order to reduce its negative environment impacts.

Company Scores

CompanyScoreRSPO member? LandbankMarket capTrendUpdated Total
DAABON Group92.86%Yes, since 20048,448.64haprivate-11/5/201552/56*
Agropalma Group88.24%Yes, since 200439,000.00haprivate-11/5/201545/51*
New Britain Palm Oil Ltd86%Yes, since 2004135,203.00ha$966,592,640 -11/5/201543/50*
Golden Agri Resources Ltd67.86%Yes, since 2011451,084.00ha$1,724,584,064 -11/5/201538/56*
Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd66.07%Yes, since 2004995,538.00ha$17,654,669,312 -11/5/201537/56*
Musim Mas Group PT65.18%Subsidiaries212,538.00haprivate-11/5/201536.5/56*
R.E.A. Holdings plc62.50%Yes, since 200760,000.00ha$171,089,952 -11/5/201535/56*
United Plantations Bhd62.50%Yes, since 200445,421.00ha$1,713,372,928 -11/5/201535/56*
Cargill Inc57.14%Yes, since 200464,357.20haprivate-11/5/201532/56*
Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd57.14%Yes, since 200491,805.00ha$1,297,017,600 -11/5/201532/56*
Wilmar International Ltd57.14%Yes, since 2005242,615.00ha$16,301,739,008 -11/5/201532/56*
IOI Corporation Bhd56.86%Yes, since 2004226,000.00ha$10,632,278,016 -11/5/201529/51*
SIPEF52.94%Yes, since 200592,933.00ha$614,729,472 -11/5/201527/51*
Asian Agri Group51.79%Yes, since 200693,791.00haprivate-11/5/201529/56*
Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk PT50.98%Yes, since 2007398,000.00ha$1,061,403,648 -11/5/201526/51*
Hap Seng Plantation Holdings Bhd46%Yes, since 200539,803.00ha$1,429,234,176 -11/17/201523/50*
Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd44.64%Yes, since 2004741,480.00ha$2,225,346,048 -11/5/201525/56*
London Sumatra PP Tbk PT44.64%Yes, since 2004107,000.00ha$765,124,672 -11/5/201525/56*
Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd42.86%Yes, since 2004270,040.00ha$7,442,936,832 -11/5/201524/56*
First Resources Ltd41.07%Yes, since 2008172,668.00ha$2,416,983,040 -11/5/201523/56*
Archer Daniels Midland Company35.71%Yes, since 20078,040.00ha$25,612,000,000 -11/5/201520/56*
Olam International Ltd35.71%Yes, since 2011110,963.00ha$3,935,577,933 -11/5/201520/56*
Socfin Group S.A.34.82%Yes, since 2004214,078.00ha$708,805,632 -11/5/201519.5/56*
Bumitama Agri Ltd33.93%Yes, since 2007199,000.00ha$1,375,923,712 -11/5/201519/56*
M.P. Evans Group plc32.14%Yes, since 200683,729.00ha$336,034,656 -11/5/201518/56*
Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk PT30.36%Yes, since 2007164,302.00ha$336,238,624 -11/5/201517/56*
Astra Agro Lestari Tbk PT28.57%NoUnconfirmed$2,683,671,552 -11/5/201516/56*
Genting Plantations Bhd28.57%Yes, since 2006245,504.00ha$11,882,232,832 -11/5/201516/56*
Keck Seng (Malaysia) Bhd25.93%Yes, since 2008Unconfirmed$657,200,896 -11/5/201514/54*
Bakrie Sumatera Plantations Tbk PT25%Yes, since 2007154,464.00ha$54,895,060 -11/5/201514/56*
Boustead Plantations Bhd25%Yes, since 200483,400.00ha$1,647,035,008 -11/5/201514/56*
IJM Plantations Bhd19.64%Yes, since 200464,112.00ha$2,509,274,880 -11/5/201511/56*
Sampoerna Agro Tbk PT19.64%Yes, since 2007128,000.00ha$285,836,608 -11/5/201511/56*
Tunas Baru Lampung Tbk PT16.07%Yes, since 200675,000.00ha$292,817,312 -11/5/20159/56*
Kencana Agri Ltd16.04%Subsidiary193,570.00ha$170,789,152 -11/5/20158.5/53*
Eagle High Plantations Tbk PT14.29%Yes, since 2008425,000.00ha$933,372,608 -11/5/20158/56*
Noble Group Ltd12.50%Yes, since 201148,871.00ha$2,064,431,920 -11/5/20157/56*
Anglo-Eastern Plantations plc10.71%No128,000.00ha$351,132,672 -11/5/20156/56*
QL Resources Bhd10.71%Yes, since 200716,200.00ha$928,840,320 -11/5/20156/56*
TSH Resources Bhd7.55%Yes, since 2014123,200.00ha$673,601,984 -11/5/20154/53*
Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd7.14%No83,483.00ha$622,640,704 -11/5/20154/56*
Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd7.14%No72,653.00ha$765,275,904 -11/5/20154/56*
Triputra Agro Persada Group PT5.36%Yes, since 2007388,000.00haprivate-11/5/20153/56*
Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk PT4.72%Subsidiary51,199.00ha$557,595,328 -11/5/20152.5/53*
Daewoo International Corporation3.57%No34,195.00ha$1,969,682,400 -11/5/20152/56*
Glenealy Plantations Sdn Bhd3.57%No68,679.00haprivate-11/5/20152/56*
Tradewinds Plantation Bhd3.57%Resigned160,000.00haprivate-11/5/20152/56*
KS Oils Ltd1.79%No55,846.60ha$6,804,718 -11/5/20151/56*
Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd1.79%NoUnconfirmed$2,892,738,816 -11/5/20151/56*
Darmex Agro Group PT0%TerminatedUnconfirmedprivate-11/5/20150/56*

Source: SPOTT
* Scores have been weighted

The palm oil sector is often attacked for not being sustainable – it’s accused of causing widespread deforestation, harming orangutan habitats and of course blamed for the haze. Yet few people are aware that many major palm oil companies have conservation and sustainability policies. In fact, since GAR led the way in 2011 with its Forest Conservation Policy, many big players have followed suit.

At GAR, we’re concentrating on making sustainability part of our everyday business. There are now 126 people at Head Office in Jakarta and 189 on the ground working on making sure that sustainability is no longer seen as something extra we do, but something that is part of everything we do.

We were the first to adopt a Forest Conservation Policy in 2011, and last year we were also the first to put out an updated sustainability policy version 2.0 – the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP). Nearly 2,000 employees have been trained on GSEP implementation as part of our efforts to make sustainability an integral part of our business.

To tackle fires and haze, we have launched a pilot programme focusing on long-term prevention and helping villages to move away from traditional methods of clearing land with fire. We’re helping to equip and train them to prevent fires and we’ll back it up with CSR support for villages that remain fire-free.

Hitting the highs in sustainability rankings - GAR makes it to the top 4 on SPOTT

We’ve also finished a major exercise mapping our downstream supply chain. It means that we are increasing our outreach and engagement with nearly 500 suppliers, and we can tell them that when it comes to sustainability, we’ve been there, done that and here’s a possible solution. After all, there’s no point just being sustainable on our own – that’s only half the battle – we want to bring our whole supply chain with us on this journey and in the process contribute to making the industry better.

At the plantation, we’ve stopped using paraquat since January this year. We’re carrying out a peat rehabilitation project in PT AMNL in West Kalimantan, aimed at preventing a peat area of around 2,600 hectares from drying out and becoming combustible. More importantly we’re trying to get the local community there to agree to jointly conserve the area with us so that it is not disturbed in the future. Concentrating on peat rehabilitation is important as peat fires are the primary cause of haze, and perhaps this project can become an example of how to manage peat properly.

What’s in store for the future? Keep reading this space. For now, I’ll end with this message to my colleagues in sustainability – your efforts are being noticed, so keep up the good work!

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