Since January 2019, TFT has become Earthworm Foundation.
Wilmar International Limited (Wilmar) launched a new and ambitious time-bound plan, developed in collaboration with The Forest Trust (TFT), with the goal of obtaining a 100 percent independently, verified No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) compliant supply chain from 2020 onwards.
“This new action plan is us further strengthening our commitments and continuing to take the lead for sustainability in the oil palm industry. Over the last five years, we have managed to raise the bar on transparency in the industry, reduced our impacts on deforestation and improved labour conditions. However, our work does not stop here. We must continue to push for improvements where tough challenges remain and where more complex issues are raised,” said Jeremy Goon, Wilmar’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“With this action plan we are looking to ensure 100 percent NDPE compliance across Wilmar’s entire supply chain and that of its suppliers’,” Bastien Sachet, CEO of TFT said. “We are encouraged by the commitment Wilmar is making and will be monitoring their progress carefully. A tough road lies ahead, but we believe that by implementing these commitments we can move significantly closer to the goal of responsible palm oil production that benefits both people and the environment”.
Progress updates will be reported regularly from January 2019. Wilmar will collaborate closely with TFT and other implementation partners to continue driving change in its supply chain. The detailed action plan is attached as Annex.
Key priorities of the plan are as follows.
1. Delivering higher transparency and verification of Wilmar’s No Deforestation commitment across its entire palm oil supply chain
With the support of TFT and other partner organisations, Wilmar will provide even higher levels of transparency across its entire palm oil operation, as well as those of third-party suppliers, to further ensure that they are compliant with its commitment to No Deforestation as stipulated in the NDPE policy.
To achieve this, Wilmar will use near real-time satellite monitoring and provide independent verification of land use change on its own as well as its third-party suppliers’ plantations and operations at the group level.
Wilmar will start working on the global monitoring mechanism now, with the aim of fully deploying it across supplying mill locations and concession maps at group level, during the first quarter of 2019.
2. Leading cross-industry collaboration to tackle deforestation beyond Wilmar’s supply chain
Oil palm often covers the majority area in the landscapes where Wilmar sources its palm products, although other commodities do co-exist within the same landscapes. Hence, while current efforts by Wilmar are focused on ending deforestation in its own supply chain, TFT and Wilmar understand that forests cannot be protected by only focusing on a single commodity as other commodities are also implicated in deforestation.
As an industry leader, Wilmar is in a key position to drive such changes in the palm oil supply chains and beyond. In order to secure forest conservation across these landscapes, Wilmar will lead the initial development of a collaborative platform to provide accurate data about at-risk forests to initiate constructive discussions with government bodies, local and international civil society organisations and the relevant commodity industries.
By prioritising these areas and monitoring them, it will be possible to understand what is driving deforestation and mobilise multiple actors to take joint action on forest conservation and explore options for remediation/restoration. To achieve the above, Wilmar will work with civil societies, clients, governments and industry peers to identify forest areas that are a priority for conservation efforts and, for large, high priority areas, to run a deforestation driver analysis, with findings reported during the first quarter of 2019.
3. Monitoring labour and community issues to ensure No Exploitation
Wilmar has developed a three-stage process that it plans to implement with the support of partner organisations to tackle labour and community related issues in its own operations and across its supply chain.
This involves a thorough review of all the work that has been undertaken to date so as to identify ways to strengthen its practices. Wilmar will design a framework for social audits across its entire supply chain to demonstrate compliance or otherwise of its No Exploitation Policy.
It will also undertake independent community and labour assessments in line with the audit framework by the first quarter of 2019. An updated public time-bound action plan will be published at the beginning of the second quarter of 2019.
About Wilmar’s Sustainability
As a leading agribusiness group, Wilmar recognises we have a fundamental role to play in developing quality products required by the world while ensuring a responsible and sustainable manner of production. We adopt a holistic approach to sustainability that is fully integrated with our business model. Guided by the philosophy that our business must enhance stakeholder value while minimising our environmental footprint, our business practices are aligned with universally acceptable social and environmental standards. Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policy underpins our aspiration to make a positive impact and drive transformation across the palm oil industry. For more information, go to www.wilmar-international.com/sustainability.