The Group demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through both the publication of a standalone sustainability report, and its membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”). Compliance with RSPO standards is independently verified.
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. The Group employs accredited independent specialists to assess any land it intends to develop. Any high conservation value areas are demarcated and the Group assesses whether any of the proposed land comprises forest. Any forest areas or those with peat soils will not be developed by us.
In 2017, the Group launched a social survey in collaboration with the University of Indonesia that collected information about the quality of life of people living on and around its operations in Indonesia. A report on Musi Rawas was published in 2018 and the team from the University of Indonesia will now conduct a similar survey at Kota Bangun and Bumi Mas in East Kalimantan. This work will help ensure the Group understands the impact of its operations on those living on and around its plantations.
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.