SINGAPORE - Palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources announced on Monday (Sept 18) that it has become the first palm oil company to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index under the food, beverage & tobacco sector.
This makes it the fifth Singapore-listed company to gain entry into the indices, which were launched in 1999 to recognise and track the performance of large listed companies with best-in-class sustainable business practices.
"We are proud to achieve international recognition for the efforts and resources we have put into ensuring responsible palm oil production, said Agus Purnomo, Golden Agri's managing director for sustainability and strategic stakeholder engagement. "This will help spur us to continue to make sustainability an integral part of how we do business."
The company said its key responsible palm oil initiatives include efforts to make forest conservation a practical reality. Having identified an area equivalent to the size of Singapore to be set aside for conservation, the company is now entering into partnerships with local communities to secure agreements on communal conservation forests. Meanwhile, Golden Agri is helping the communities start alternative livelihoods such as organic farming on spare communal land so that they can earn an income without disturbing sensitive eco-systems.
The company is also using methane capture facilities to cut greenhouse gas emissions and recycling 100 per cent of its production waste to minimise its environmental footprint.
Another key initiative includes supply chain transformation through intensive engagement, said Golden Agri. Aside from working with its suppliers to achieve traceability to the plantation, the company is using the increased interaction to understand issues facing suppliers when adopting responsible palm practices. This information is used to design targeted intervention strategies such as special training, workshops and the setting up of a dedicated supplier support team and helpline.
These initiatives are based on the company's belief that helping its supply chain become more responsible will eventually help transform the industry as a whole.
There is a capital goods company listed in the emerging markets sector of the indices which has an arm producing palm oil as well. Golden Agri-Resources is listed under the food, beverage & tobacco sector of the indices.
Correction note: This story was edited for clarity.