Sustainability Policies & SOPs
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Performance Measures

We want to ensure that GAR upstream and downstream palm oil operations are deforestation-free, traceable and bring benefits to the people and communities where we operate. Core to this are:

  • Environmental management
  • Social and community engagement
  • Work environment and industrial relations
  • Marketplace and supply chain


Our Commitments and Progress

Our Most Material Sustainability Issues Our Key Sustainability Commitments Key Achievements/Progress 2016 Ongoing and Future Targets
Deforestation of High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and peat lands Related UN SDG:

No development of
and the conservation
of HCS forests
  • Identified up to 18,846 hectares of HCS areas in our concessions
  • Rolled out HCS Approach in GAR’s 18 concessions
  • Carried out conservation planning with local communities – secured agreement from 10 villages to protect over 7,000 hectares of HCS
  • Complete community conservation planning in PT PGM, PIP and KPC
  • Start the process in four other PTs
No development of and the conservation of peat lands of any depth
Develop strategies for long-term rehabilitation of peat lands
  • Progressed with physical rehabilitation of 2,600-hectare Peat Ecosystem at PT AMNL, West Kalimantan – restored water levels and began seedling nursery
  • Launched Alternative Livelihood pilot at Lembah Hijau Village to support community conservation partnership in PT AMNL
  • Continue to consult and engage local communities in the Peat Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project
  • Continue rolling out Alternative Livelihood Programmes
  • Mapping of peat depth in line with government regulation
  • Peat management study in cooperation with University Tanjungpura, Pontianak
No burning for new plantings, replantings or other development (Zero Burning Policy)
  • Virtually zero fire incidents on our concessions
  • Desa Siaga Api community fire prevention pilot successful, expanded to Desa Makmur Peduli Api programme – focus on fire prevention, conservation, food security
  • Three villages chosen as national showcases
  • Continue working with relevant stakeholders on long-term fire prevention

Degradation of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas and biodiversity Related UN SDG:

No development of and the conservation of High Conservation Value areas
  • Identified up to 53,248 hectares of HCV areas
  • Began riparian rehabilitation in 12 concessions – rehabilitated 1,200 hectares riparian buffer zones
  • Implement riparian buffer zones
  • 630 hectares of riparian zone to be rehabilitated in 2017
Conserve and protect rare, threatened and endangered species as well as ecosystems and critical habitats of rare, threatened and endangered species
  • Supported the release of 87 wildborn, ex-captive orangutans till May 2017 in partnership with OFI
  • Continue working to release up to 100 orangutans – target date may be extended beyond 2017 due to difficulties in finding suitable release sites for orangutans and time required to obtain permits
Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for indigenous and local communities Related UN SDG:
Respecting the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent for indigenous peoples and local communities and recognising the need for food security in new developments
  • As of end 2016, GAR has rolled out Participatory Mapping (PM) which aims to respect and safeguard community FPIC rights in 67 villages in 13 concessions
  • FPIC remediation begun in four concessions
  • Continue rolling out PM in three concessions involving 16 additional villages
  • Start FPIC remediation in four more PTs in H2 2017
Community relations and resolution of community conflicts Related UN SDG:
Responsible handling of complaints and grievances
  • In 2016, eight new grievances were raised - we have resolved and closed one for monitoring
  • Closed three earlier grievances
  • Continue to actively review and work towards a resolution of grievances with stakeholders on all outstanding grievances
Responsible resolution of conflicts
  • Resolved two out of four social conflicts
  • Continue to minimise conflicts through multistakeholder consultation
Supply chain sustainability (Including smallholders) Related UN SDG:
Traceable and transparent supply chains 15 GAR mills achieved full Traceability to the Plantation (TTP)
Overall, GAR mills achieved 88 percent TTP in 2016
Commenced training and support for third-party mills to achieve TTP by 2020
  • Pilot projects to train and support independent mills, smallholder farmers and FFB agents on traceability and responsible practices
  • 100 percent TTP for all GAR-owned mills by end-2017
  • 100 percent TTP for independent mills by 2020
Engaging and supporting our suppliers
  • Visited 36 suppliers since 2015
  • Site visit and analysis of Belawan Refinery suppliers completed to help guide future action
  • Two SMART Seed workshops for suppliers in 2016 to help them upgrade responsible practices
  • Dedicated Supplier Support Team and Helpline set up
  • 1,300 hectares of independent smallholders plots have been replanted under Innovative Finance Scheme
  • GAR, Neste and SPKS sign agreement to collaborate on mapping independent smallholders in Riau to help them achieve certification
  • Conduct site visits to complete sustainability overview reports of our remaining refineries/ bulking stations by 2018
  • Conduct capacity building events to assist and support suppliers to improve practices
  • Extend engagement and sustainability support efforts beyond the mill to suppliers at plantation level including agents and smallholders
  • Facilitate collaborations on a landscape level between GAR, independent suppliers, farmers, government, and civil society to improve responsible practices
Labour relations and human rights Related UN SDG:
Respecting human
  • No incidents of discrimination or abuse reported in 2016
  • In 2016, there were 189 Labour Unions representing 47,909 non-management employees across our plantations
  • BSR study on GAR labour practices commenced in Q4 2016
  • TFT “No Exploitation” study carried out in February 2016
  • Use results from studies by external parties to improve labour practices
  • Continue to maintain peaceful and productive industrial relations through open dialogue, fair labour practices, and respectful communication in the workplace
Ensure plantations and mills have an OHS policy in place and regularly report against it
  • Number of fatalities lower than 2015
  • Conducted thorough investigations of each accident to uncover underlying causes, using expert investigators to help develop additional and enhanced safety measures
  • Zero fatalities
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of accidents

Community investment Related UN SDG :

Empowering people through community development programmes
  • Supported 217 schools ranging from kindergarten to junior high. These schools employ over 1,600 teachers and educate 28,200 students
  • Provided free medical and dental services for approximately 4,900 patients
  • Provided 150 polyclinics with 310 medical personnel treating more than 700 patients daily
  • Provided health education, environmental, and other awareness programmes for some 3,500 participants
  • Provided support for child health and nutrition (including multivitamins and supplementary feeding) to around 5,100 beneficiaries
  • Sold more than 348,000 litres of our branded cooking oil at below market prices in impoverished areas
  • Encouraged micro enterprise – helped community set up soy milk business
  • Helped community set up goat breeding programme
Continue to empower communities and multiply the positive impacts of our business through a range of education, healthcare, social and economic empowerment programmes
Operational Footprint Related UN SDG:

Report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Set up a total of seven methane capture facilities to date
  • Each facility can reduce an estimated 40-55% of operational GHG emissions
  • Carried out assessment of emissions of Kalimantan operations
  • Develop emissions baseline by 2017
  • Set short, medium and long term reduction targets by 2018
  • Explore reduction of GHG and expand methane capture activities from now till 2020
  • Participate in industry Life Cycle Assessment study of certified palm oil by RSPO (due by
  • December 2017)
We recognise concerns over the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and aim to reduce and minimise their use

We will stop the use of paraquat

Pesticides that are categorised as World Health Organization Class 1A or 1B listed by the Stockholm or Rotterdam Conventions, are not used, except in specific situations
  • Stopped using the herbicide paraquat in our estates – replaced with glufosinate ammonium
Intensify efforts to develop practices that reduce pesticide use
Identify, reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose of waste in an environmentally responsible way
  • 100 percent of liquid and solid waste from CPO production process is reused
  • Reduced 300 tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2016
  • Maintain 100 percent reuse of solid and liquid waste generated from CPO production process
  • Expore further optimisation use of solid and liquid waste generated
  • Explore further ways to reduce packaging waste
Water use Water use is on a rising trend In 2016, we began assessment project to help us better manage our water usage
Certification Compliance with all relevant national laws and international certifications’ principles and criteria
  • Achieved RSPO certification for 262,442 hectares of plantations including 51,149 hectares of smallholder estates, 29 mills, nine kernel crushing plants, five refineries, seven bulking stations and one oleo-chemical plant
  • 186,307 hectares of plantations and 30 mills have received ISPO certification – recognised by the Indonesian government for receiving the most ISPO certificates
  • 291,351 hectares of plantations including smallholder plantations of 57,755 ha, 29 mills, two kernel crushing plants, five refineries and 14 bulking stations have received ISCC certification
  • We have extended the time frame for completion of RSPO certification until 2020 for the remaining operations which includes 213,415 hectares of plantations and encompasses 49,233 hectares of plasma estates and 16 mills. This extension reflects our conservative estimate for the time needed to acquire the HGU or Land Cultivation Right and the liability data as required recently by RSPO
Yield improvement and palm oil research and development Related UN SDG:
Continuous yield improvement to reduce pressure on new land development without intensification of the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers
  • GAR Nucleus: 4.2 tonnes per hectare
  • Plasma: 4.4 tonnes per hectare (Yields in 2016 affected by severe El Nino in 2015)
  • 2016 National average yield: 3.5 tonnes per hectare
Continue to achieve above national average yields
Develop advanced planting materials capable of achieving CPO yield of more than 10 tonnes per hectare at prime age (Eka 1 and Eka 2 registered in Indonesian catalogue of seeds in 2017 and approved for cultivation)