Aidenvironment Asia takes up a Lead Role in Halting Deforestation in SE Asia

Over the past three years, an increasing number of major palm oil refining & trading groups have developed “No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation Policies”. These policies apply to the plantations owned by these groups but also to Third Party Suppliers who sell Crude Palm Oil and/or Palm Kernel Oil to them. Our Asia office will be monitoring Third party Supplier compliance for three major palm oil refining & trading groups in 2016.

Aidenvironment focuses less on compliance through “product traceability”, which is a speciality of The Forest Trust (TFT). Our approach instead is to analyze the structure of the Third Party Suppliers. If it is a group company: what are the subsidiaries and what social and/or environmental risks exist at the level of the individual companies and the group? In this work we benefit greatly from the fact that a number of refiner/grower groups have made the courageous decision to publish the lists of their Third Party Suppliers: Wilmar, IOI Loders Croklaan, Musim Mas, Golden Agri-Resources and Apical. A credit goes to TFT for breaking this taboo!

Aidenvironment maps out the oil palm concessions that Third Party Suppliers control throughout Southeast Asia. We subsequently verify compliance with buyers and investors’ policies. We do not limit our analysis to the actual Crude Palm Oil (CPO) / Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) value chain. Our focus is on greenfield development by supplier groups, as this is typically where suppliers’ most serious non-compliance is observed. It is also the moment when corrective action can have the most effect. Even though no CPO/PKO has yet been supplied from these sites, several Third Party Suppliers have pre-emptively been suspended from accessing the global market until they demonstrate compliance with their buyers’ purchasing policies. 

Our work has changed dramatically now that deforestation and peatland development can be seen on satellite imagery on a near -real time basis. Today our staff spends a great deal of time studying ever more detailed imagery. We have started using Europe’s own new imagery from Sentinel, in addition to Landsat, SPOT, Ikonos and other sources. Furthermore, Aidenvironment currently owns two “drones” which are used in the field to capture pictures and video with amazing detail. Additionally, we conduct field investigations to document deforestation for oil palm expansion as it happens on the ground.

We submit our findings to our clients – the CPO/PKO buyers – whom make their purchasing decisions based on the facts supplied by Aidenvironment. Such interventions lead to unexpected outcomes, a matter that we will be reporting on later in 2016.

Our findings are filed with TPS buyers’ PoC (people-in-charge) whom intervene based on the facts supplied by Aidenvironment. Such interventions lead to unprecedented outcomes, a matter that we will be reporting on later in 2016.

For more information, contact Peter de Haan.