Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) wants to ensure that our palm oil operations are deforestation-free, traceable and bring benefits to the communities where we operate. We were one of the first major agri-businesses in the world to publish a Forest Conservation Policy, now embedded in our GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP).
The Forest Conservation Policy was developed in 2011 in partnership with The Forest Trust (TFT) and since then GAR has focused on implementation of its many requirements, first on our own plantations and managed estates, and more recently throughout our supply chain.
GAR committed to protect forests that included high carbon stock (HCS) and high conservation value (HCV) areas in 2011. Since then we have assessed our plantations and mapped 72, 000 hectares which are now set aside for conservation.
With no development on HCS forests and HCV areas and peatlands, it requires us to engage with and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. This is underpinned by legal compliance and a commitment to demonstrable industry best practice through the achievement of national and international standards and certifications.
Recognising that we produce GHG emissions from our operations, we are continuously looking for ways to reduce emissions using the best available technology. In Sumatra, we have installed a closed biodigester facility (a covered lagoon) to capture methane gas from palm oil mill effluent (POME) at our Sei Pelakar mill, and a tank digester system at our Libo and Ramarama mills. The Sei Pelakar mill biodigester reduced our GHG emissions by nearly 37,000 tonnes CO2eq in 2015. We utilise biogas from the methane capture projects for energy by using biogas engines to generate electricity for the operations in our mills. From now till 2020, we plan to expand our methane capture activities.
GAR has also invested in building two biodiesel plants in South Kalimantan and near Jakarta, which will extend our product range to include the use of palm oil as a biofuel, and is in response to the policy of the Indonesian government supporting biofuel production. The first biodiesel plant in South Kalimantan has been completed in the first semester of 2016 and we expect the second to begin operation in 2017. Together the two plants will have a total capacity of 600,000 tonnes per annum.
We are also particularly focused on working with the local communities in and around our concessions. We are involving the community in conservation efforts through inclusive approaches including Participatory Mapping (PM) and Participatory Conservation Planning (PCP). Through PM, GAR and local communities map the land use in its concessions. The mapping allows all stakeholders to identify and designate critical areas for the community such as areas important for food security as well as conservation areas. This spatial plan is recognised formally and lodged with local authorities. The exercise also allows us to involve the community in conservation planning.
Participatory mapping guide