Partnerships for Sustainable Palm Oil Production
For 20 years Aidenvironment has been working to reduce unsustainable practices in the palm oil sector. Recently, a complaint lodged by Aidenvironment led to the suspension of IOI from the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). We rarely take such a confrontational approach, though. Much success is achieved in partnerships with growers, refiners, and traders, and more is expected in future from a landscape management approach. In a recent impact report, Aidenvironment describes what it has achieved through years of research and collaboration with major players in the palm oil sector.
Carrot or Stick?
Over the years, Aidenvironment has experienced first-hand that market intervention strategies are just as important as public campaigns and government-led initiatives. That is why we now work in partnership with palm oil growers, refiners, and traders who have committed themselves to sustainable palm oil development through “No Deforestation, no Peat, no Exploitation” (NDPE) policies”. These policies apply to the companies’ own operations as well as those of their suppliers and are being increasingly widely adopted. Our work in this domain includes Social and Environmental Risk Assessments, third party supplier compliance monitoring, and boardroom consultancy on strategies for sustainable plantation development.
Our cooperation with palm oil companies has already made significant progress on halting deforestation. Through our partnerships with growers, refiners, and traders, an estimated 350,000 ha of forest, peat, and community land has been set aside and can no longer be used for unsustainable oil palm development. Active engagement and collaboration with six growers has resulted in the adoption of NDPE policies, with a total plantation land bank of 750,000 ha in Indonesia. Furthermore, the IOI suspension proved to be an excellent occasion for over 20 of IOI’s key buyers to review their collaboration, which resulted in a moratorium on purchases until IOI takes concrete steps toward sustainability.
The next steps in sustainable palm oil development will take us beyond plantation level and toward sustainable landscape management. By taking this approach, companies will be better able to address issues such as water management and fire prevention, while taking a more active part in local economic development. Frontrunners in the sector are increasingly interested in this approach and Aidenvironment is in the process of developing joint long-term landscape programs in Kalimantan and Papua.
Click here to read Aidenvironment Asia’s full impact report.