The recent suspension by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) of our Group’s certification, for non-compliance of certain RSPO Principles and Criteria, is a very serious matter and has given rise to new challenges for us. We wish to assure all our stakeholders that after the complaint was made to the RSPO one year ago, we have taken corrective actions to review and enhance our sustainability practices. These include rehabilitating affected areas, improving our firefighting capabilities and engaging consultants to advise on all relevant Indonesian laws and regulations which are the subject matters of the complaint.
These are some of our recent actions:
Put in place a new Sustainability Team Structure where the Sustainability Heads at all operating divisions have a reporting line to the Group Head of Sustainability, who reports directly to the Group CEO. This will ensure that the operations personnel strictly adhere to all Sustainability policies, practices and commitments of the Group;
- Setting aside equivalent lands within our development areas for conservation as a compensation measure for the affected HCV area;
- We are a joint funder of the two-year High Carbon Stock Study, together with several large plantation companies and multinational corporations, which has resulted in a science-based HCS+ methodology. We are committed to conduct field trials and testing of the HCS+ in our new planting developments;
- IOI is in the process of identifying and appointing an internationally reputable organisation as our implementation partner and sustainability consultant particularly for matters related to new developments.
Pursuant to the letter from RSPO dated 14 March 2016, we have submitted a comprehensive action plan in the prescribed format on 23 March 2016. We will actively work with the complainant to jointly verify the issues and to engage another licenced HCV assessor from the HCV Resource Network to conduct an additional peer review of our HCV assessments report.
IOI, as one of the founding members of RSPO, has participated in the drafting of the RSPO Principles and Criteria and is fully committed to upholding all the RSPO Certifications and Processes. We place great emphasis on the importance of Sustainability in our business practices and also as a corporate Core Value which is embedded in our Vision IOI as expounded by our founder and early pioneers of our company since twenty years ago.
Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor
Group Chief Executive Officer
IOI Corporation Bhd
31 March 2016