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The Hazy World of Palm Oil

Forest fires in Indonesia this year have been the worst since the infamous 2015 fires which garnered international attention and condemnation.  In October 2019, analysis showed an area of 328,722 ha had been burned within 538 selected hotspots.

Aidenvironment and its partners conducted research on links between palm oil production and fires and identified 85,484 ha of burned land located within the concessions of 120 companies.  All of this is located on peatland which is incredibly important in the context of carbon sequestration.  All 120 companies are known suppliers to large companies (traders, processors, buyers or consumer goods).

Severe fire in Kumai Sentosa (GPS Group) concession in Central Kalimantan demonstrating a burned area of 4,038 ha. Kumai Sentosa is part of GAR’s, Mars, BLC’s and Unilever’s supply chain.

This research also demonstrated some very well-known brands within the top 10 companies with a supplier connected to fires

It is important that big companies lead the way and account for their own supply chain to maintain a positive pressure on upholding NDPE commitments.  There must be evaluations conducted so that companies know exactly where their supply comes from and immediately stop sourcing from companies that are burning land, otherwise these fires will be a regular occurrence.