How will your organisation promote the RSPO internally and to other stakeholders?
1. Since its inception, through PT Smart (SMART) and PT IMT (IMT), we have been supporting and co-operating with RSPO and its member organisations to develop sustainable palm oil throughout the entire supply chain. For example, we have been actively involved in developing verification systems as guidelines for sustainable and environmentally friendly plantation practices in the palm oil industry. Our plantations in North Sumatra and South Kalimantan were registered with the RSPO Executive Board as trial locations for developing the RSPO principles and criteria model.
As an active member of the RSPO Indonesia Smallholder Taskforce, SMART also played an integral role in establishing national standards for RSPO applications for smallholders. We work closely with our stakeholders and peers to tailor the generic RSPO principles and criteria to our local context.
On 21 September 2010, the RSPO had recommended courses of action for resolution for SMART and IMT in response to the conclusions of the Independent Verification Exercise report published on 10 August 2010. Since then, we have jointly announced with the RSPO Grievance Panel and have committed to working with the RSPO to ensure that their concerns are addressed and that SMART and IMT is in full compliance with RSPO Code of Conduct. An immediate result of the meeting was the clarification that GAR intends to seek full ordinary membership of the RSPO, effectively committing all its majority owned subsidiaries to the RSPO Code of Conduct and certification processes. GAR and its majority owned subsidiaries are committed to sustainable palm oil production and will work towards the requirements of the RSPO.
In addition, we have strengthened our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be aligned with the RSPO principles and criteria. These procedures are implemented in all our plantations which involve staff training and field audits.
Where relevant, what processes is the organisation establishing to engage with interested parties, for example to resolve conflict or to use sustainably produced palm oil?
GAR is committed to producing sustainable palm oil and is targeting to obtain RSPO certification for its existing 433,200 ha of plantations and 40 mills (as of 30 June 2010) by December 2015.
We comply with the RSPO Panel in relation to community engagement and have strengthened the community engagement process by formalizing a grievance department to manage conflicts that may arise. We will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against our employees who do not comply with our SOPs and will take the appropriate remedial measures to correct such non-compliance.
Where relevant, how will your organisation work towards implementing the RSPO Principles and Criteria or assessing supplier performance against these criteria?
We strictly operate on land designated and licensed by the Indonesian government for oil palm cultivation. The land designated for oil palm cultivation is usually secondary forest or areas degraded by earlier widespread logging, shifting cultivation and other activities that have exposed the land to damage from the rain and wind. Furthermore, we are committed not to develop on any peat land.
We support efforts to preserve High Conservation Value (HCV) Areas and are committed to conducting careful and comprehensive risk assessments and subsequent identification of potential HCV before we start any new plantation.
Plantation development takes into account the incorporation of HCV assessments, which are measured against industry standards. HCVs are designated as strictly off limits for cultivation and we take measures such as signages and patrolling to prevent intrusions into these areas.
We are the industry pioneer on zero-burning and adhere to the ASEAN Policy on Zero Burning. All our land is cleared manually, bulldozing and stacking the trees, preventing air pollution and preserving the soil structure and nutrients.
All production waste is recycled as organic fertilizer and an energy source. This practice is fully integrated in our fertiliser management plan. We are careful to minimise and mitigate the impact of chemical pesticides on the environment and deploy biological controls through using beneficial plants, natural predators, pathogens or bacteria, and handpicking or mechanical traps where possible, as part of our integrated pest management approach. Pesticides are deployed only to control outbreaks of infestation and are used carefully in compliance with national laws.
Any other information that would support the application such as what your organisation hopes to gain from joining RSPO and how it would support RSPO?
As the leading producer of palm oil in Indonesia and industry leader; we play a vital role in finding solutions to producing sustainable palm oil. For example our research institute, SMARTRI, continues its research to enhance the sustainability and productivity of palm oil production in our estates and smallholdings. An example is the biannual International Conference on Palm Oil and Environment (ICOPE) which is led by SMART. This year (2nd) conference focused on finding solutions to measure GHG emissions.