'Plant Your Own Food' Initiative at IOI's Estates
27/12/2019Corporate Sustainability

We at IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI) understands that without the support and dedication of our employees (roughly, more than 28,000 today), IOI would not be the conglomerate it is today. We have come a long way since the 1980’s and today, the company heavily focuses on sustainability efforts entwining into its many level of operations, be it from the office tower, down to the estates. At IOI, there are four main pillars of sustainability which are People, Planet, Prosperity + Partnership. We support the global initiative for a greener earth and sustainable future by pledging, responding and committing to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). At current, we have positioned our goals to be aligned with six UNSDGs, which are Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 15: Life on Land and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. At the plantation level, great efforts have been implemented to continuously improve the living environment of our employees, such as providing comfortable accommodations to not only our employees but also to their immediate family members, regardless of their nationality.

Recycled tires used to plant beautiful flowers at Luangmanis Estate.
An employee tending the Bougainvillea plants at Moynod Estate.

This has further inspired our employees in maximizing their spare time into further enhancing their living environment whereby they planted simple but beautiful plants and flowers around their housing compound. Recognising the potential and positive benefits from this planting habit, the management has since partnered with our employees in the introduction of ‘Plant Your Own Food’ initiative whereby plots of land within their housing complex were allocated to encourage the planting of fruit trees and vegetable. Furthermore, this initiative is consistent with IOI’s sustainability commitments, that are:

  1. In-line with our sustainability pillars of People, PlanetProsperity + Partnership;
  2. Consistent with our UNSDG 2 on Zero Hunger, which encourages our employees to be self-sustained by planting their own food, while being responsible for their own nutritional intake;
  3. To cultivate the awareness of the positive impact of planting their own food and thereby reducing their carbon footprint and emission to the environment, which is in alignment with our UNSDG 13 on Climate Action and UNSDG 15 for Life on Land;
  4. To create strong partnerships with our employees, as per UNSDG 17 on Partnership for the Goal, in developing a conducive and pleasant working environment at our plantation.

Ultimately, UNSDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth is met through tangible benefits such as reducing employees’ cost of living while promoting balanced and nutritious eating habits as well as tighter communal relationships among our employees.

Gardening is one of the most productive and meaningful activities to utilise free time.
Evidently, this is already in practice at our Ladang Sabah Estates (Sandakan Region) where more than 50% of our estate frontline employees are part of the ‘Plant Your Own Food’ initiative. Some of the fast-growing vegetables and fruit trees that are planted within the community are chilis, eggplants, okra, lemongrass, turmeric, sweet potatoes, papayas, bananas, coconuts, and many more. These harvested vegetables are mainly for household consumption, which are shared among the community and at times, there are excess that were then sold to generate additional income. This initiative is a proven success and is also being introduced to other operating units and eventually, the management hopes to see this initiative to be a permanent part of IOI’s green initiatives.

There are certain areas where employees are not allowed to cultivate on, such as within the riparian reserves, a conservation area that plays a major role in maintaining a healthy riverine ecosystem. Our estate management maintains close monitoring to ensure that the initiative is carried out in an orderly manner.

Below are some of the pictures showing the vegetables and fruits planted at IOI’s Luangmanis estate and Moynod estate in Sabah.

Coconut trees planted around the housing community.

Here are some of the chilies, eggplants, and lemongrass planted.

Larger empty spaces are used to plant banana trees.

Plenty of sweet potatoes to go around once ready for harvest.