The Group demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through its membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”). Compliance with RSPO standards is independently verified.
All its estates, whether they have a mill or not, and including all smallholder schemes attached to the Group’s projects, are run in accordance with the RSPO’s standards, which relate to environmental, social and ethical plantation practices.
The Group’s policy is for all its mills to be certified by the RSPO with any new mills achieving RSPO certification within 18 months of commencing operation. Of its three mills, two have been certified and its third mill, commissioned in May 2016, is expected to achieve certification before the end of 2017.
M.P. Evans sees smallholder co-operatives as central to the success of its new developments as they engender a supportive local community. The Group ensures co-operative areas are planted and managed to exactly the same standard as its own areas. Co-operatives potentially give a triple benefit to those living near our operations. Members receive a compensation payment if they offer land to M.P. Evans to develop; they may come and work for the Group for a wage; and in any case, members receive an income from a well-managed and productive asset that belongs to them.
The Group’s chief executive takes the lead in setting policy on sustainability. The Group has a dedicated sustainability manager based in Jakarta supported by dedicated field staff resident on the Group’s estates. In 2017 the Group has launched a social survey in collaboration with University of Indonesia that will collect information about the quality of life of people living on and around its operations in Indonesia. This will help ensure the Group understands the impact of its operations on those living and around its plantations.