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Palm oil assessments

Sarawak Oil Palms, established in 1968, is a Malaysia-based company, whose major business activities include

  • Landbank (oil palm):
    120,297 hectares
  • Palm cultivation revenue:
    99.72%
  • Market cap:
    433,639,000 USD
  • Thomson Reuters ticker:
    SOPS.KL
  • Bloomberg ticker:
    SOP MK
  • ISIN:
    MYL5126OO007
  • RSPO member?
    No
  • Website:

Company assessment: Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd – November 2018

SPOTT assesses companies against over 100 indicators across ten categories. Click on the icons or bars below to expand each category for further details, scoring and links to reports and sources.

Assessment date:

Total: 26.9% 33 / 122.5
  • Sustainability policy and leadership Sustainability policy and leadership 4 / 6 66.7%
    • Companies should publish sustainability policies or similar covering their entire supply chain — including third party suppliers — implemented and enforced through high-level leadership that engages with wider industry schemes.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      1. Sustainable palm oil policy or commitment for all its operations?

      The company has an Environmental Sustainability Policy and a Social and Community Policy

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      2. Policy or commitment applies to direct and third-party suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      3. High-level position of responsibility for sustainability?

      The Group Sustainability Committee reports to the Group Management Committee, which in turn reports to the Board of Directors

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      4. Sustainability report published within last two years?

      Sustainability Report included in Annual Report

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      5. Member of multiple industry schemes or other external initiatives to improve sustainability in relation to palm oil?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      6. Verification report on compliance with POIG Charter, if a POIG member?

      This indicator is disabled as it is not applicable to this company.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      7. Activities with government, NGOs or academic institutions to improve palm oil sustainability?

      The company reports taking part in various meetings and training sessions to support MSPO certification processes and uptake, as well as collaboration with both governmental bodies and universities in various research projects relating to palm oil sustainability

  • Landbank, maps and traceability Landbank, maps and traceability 7.5 / 19 39.5%
    • Companies should publicly report figures on their total landbank and details of different areas under their management. They should also disclose maps of their management areas and provide details on traceability of their products, both to mill and plantation level.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      8. Total land area managed/controlled for oil palm (ha)?

      120,297

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      9. Total oil palm planted area (ha)?

      88,094

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      10. Plasma/scheme smallholders planted area (ha)?

      2,326 - Native Customary Rights (NCR) land development

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      11. Unplanted (areas designated for future planting) (ha)?

      32,311 - The company states that 32,311 ha are reserves, unplanted and building sites, etc., but it is unclear how much of this has been set aside for future planting

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      12. Conservation set-aside area, including HCV area (ha)?

      200

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      13. Area for infrastructure (ha)?

      The company states that 32,311 ha are reserves, unplanted and building sites, etc., but it is unclear how much of this is for infrastructure

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      14. Number and names of company owned mills?

      7

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      15. Maps or coordinates of company owned mills?

      Some geo-referenced mill locations are made available on the One Oil Palm Maps Directory, but not all. The company published a static map of its palm oil mills in its Annual Report, but their exact locations are unclear. It has a webpage with addresses of its mills, but these do not pinpoint an exact location, and this source is undated

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      16. Number and names of supplier mills?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      17. Maps of estates/management units?

      Some of the company's concessions are available on Global Forest Watch. The company has published a static map of its locations but the locations cannot be accurately determined. The company's 2015 Annual Report states "To further improve transparency towards traceable palm products, the GPS coordinates for the Group's palm oil mills, estates, refinery and kernel crushing plants would be made available by 3rd quarter 2016 on its websites." As of the 2018 assessment, these are not available. A company webpage lists the addresses of its estates, but these do not allow the exact locations or boundaries of the estates to be determined

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      18. Maps of scheme/plasma smallholders?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      19. Time-bound commitment to achieve 100% traceability to mill level?

      The company stated in its previous Annual Reports that it was committed to trace the sources of its palm oil products up to the originating palm oil mills. However, this commitment was not time-bound, and is not stated in the most recent Annual Report

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      20. Time-bound commitment to achieve 100% traceability to plantation level?

      The company states it is "committed to trace the sources of its palm products to the originating sources" but it is unclear if this includes traceability to plantation level, and the commitment is not time-bound

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      21. Percentage of supply traceable to mill level (above 80%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      22. Percentage of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from own mills traceable to plantation level (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      23. Percentage of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from supplier mills traceable to plantation level (above 75%)?

  • Deforestation and biodiversity Deforestation and biodiversity 0.5 / 10 5%
    • Companies should commit to address deforestation and to set aside areas for conservation. They should report on any activities to manage or restore habitat in their conservation areas, or monitor deforestation in their supply chains. They should also provide evidence of species conservation and biodiversity protection.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      24. Commitment to zero deforestation?

      The company commits to develop plantations only on degraded or logged-over land, but does not clearly commit to zero deforestation

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      25. Deforestation commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      26. Criteria for defining deforestation?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      27. Evidence of monitoring deforestation?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      28. Examples of habitat management and/or habitat restoration?

      The company reports an ongoing project in collaboration with Sarawak Forestry Corporation, to rehabilitate its Tinbarap Conservation Forest. This was the only example of habitat management/restoration found

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      29. Implementing a landscape-level approach to biodiversity conservation?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      30. Commitment to biodiversity conservation?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      31. Commitment to not endanger species of conservation concern, referencing international or national system of species classification?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      32. Commitment to no hunting or only sustainable hunting of species?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      33. Examples of species conservation activities?

  • HCV, HCS and impact assessments HCV, HCS and impact assessments 0 / 11 0%
    • Companies should commit to the High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) approaches, and to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIA). They should develop and publish monitoring and management plans, and provide evidence through SEIA, HCV and HCS assessments, typically published in summary form due to the sensitive nature of certain sites.

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      34. Commitment to conduct High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      35. HCV commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      36. Commitment to only use licensed High Conservation Value (HCV) assessors accredited by the HCV Resource Network's Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      37. High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for planting undertaken prior to January 2015, and associated management and monitoring plans?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      38. High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for all estates planted since January 2015?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      39. High Conservation Value (HCV) management and monitoring plans for all estates planted since January 2015?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      40. Satisfactory review of all High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments undertaken since January 2015 by the HCV ALS Quality Panel?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      41. Commitment to the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      42. High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      43. Commitment to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      44. Social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs) undertaken, and associated management and monitoring plans?

  • Peat, fire and GHG emissions Peat, fire and GHG emissions 4 / 15 26.7%
    • Companies should commit to protect peatland and undertake best management practices for soils and peat. They should also have policies on zero burning and to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Companies should report their GHG emissions, as well as any fires that occurred in or around their estates, along with plans for managing and monitoring fires.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      45. Commitment to no planting on peat of any depth?

      The company commits to no peat development but it does not specify of any depth

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      46. Peat commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      47. Commitment to best management practices for soils and peat?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      48. Landbank or planted area on peat?

      65% - Approximately 65% of the company's 2010 yield was planted on peat. Data more than five years old (2011)

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      49. Evidence of best management practices for soils and peat?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      50. Commitment to zero burning?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      51. Zero burning commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      52. Evidence of management and monitoring fires?

      The company states that firefighting sessions are "conducted on a regular basis by respective Emergency Response Team (ERT) at each operation units"

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      53. Details/number of hotspots/fires in company estates?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      54. Details/number of hotspots/fires within surrounding landscape/smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      55. Time-bound commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      56. GHG emissions from land use change?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      57. Methodology used to calculate GHG emissions?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      58. Progress towards commitment to reduce GHG emissions intensity?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      59. Percentage of mills with methane capture (100%)?

      The company in stated in its 2016 Annual Report a target to have biogas plants at all its palm oil mills within 5 years, and in its 2017 Annual Report states "biogas plants for all the palm oil mills are in the pipeline." It is not clear if any biogas plants are yet built and functioning

  • Water, chemical and pest management Water, chemical and pest management 3.5 / 12 29.2%
    • Companies should commit to managing water use and water quality, providing evidence through time-bound reduction plans, policies on toxic chemical use and treatment of palm oil mill effluent (POME).

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      60. Time-bound commitment to improve water use per tonne of FFB Processed?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      61. Time-bound commitment to improve water quality (BOD and COD)?

      The company has a commitment to reduce water pollution but it makes no reference to either BOD or COD and it is not time-bound

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      62. Progress towards commitment on water use?

      The company reports the same water consumption figure of 1.7 MT per MT of FFB for both 2016 and 2017, thus not indicating progress

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      63. Progress towards commitment on water quality (BOD and COD)?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      64. Protection of natural waterways through buffer zones?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      65. Evidence of treating palm oil mill effluent (POME)?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      66. Commitment to minimise the use of chemicals, including pesticides and chemical fertilisers?

      The company has a commitment to the "gradual" reduction of chemicals but does not commit to the reduction of pesticides or fertilisers specifically

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      67. No use of paraquat?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      68. No use of World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1A and 1B pesticides?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      69. No use of chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention and Rotterdam Convention?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      70. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      71. Chemical usage per ha or list of chemicals used?

  • Community, land and labour rights Community, land and labour rights 7.5 / 19.5 38.5%
    • Companies should commit to respect human rights, including those of indigenous peoples and local communities, consulted with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Companies should respect the rights of workers, report relevant workforce data, and comply with health and safety legislation.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      72. Commitment to human rights, referencing the UN Declaration of Human Rights or UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?

      The company has a policy which commits to respecting human rights but it does not refer to the UN Declaration on Human Rights

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      73. Commitment to human rights applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      74. Commitment to respect legal and customary land tenure rights?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      75. Commitment to respect indigenous and local communities' rights, referencing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or ILO 169?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      76. Commitment to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      77. FPIC commitment applies to independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      78. Details of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process available?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      79. Details of process for addressing land conflicts available?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      80. Commitment to mitigate impacts on food security?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      81. Commitment to provide essential community services and facilities?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      82. Commitment to respect all workers' rights?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      83. Reference to Fundamental ILO Conventions or Free and Fair Labour Principles?

      The company refers to no child labour, minimum age, no forced labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, no discrimination, but not to equal remuneration

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      84. Total number of employees?

      11,000 - The company states in its 2017 Annual Report that it currently has 11,441 employees

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      85. Percentage or number of temporary employees?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      86. Percentage or number of women employees?

      3,813 (33.38%)

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      87. Commitment to pay minimum wage?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      88. Commitment to address occupational health and safety?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      89. Time lost due to work-based injuries?

      7.64 - For 2017, the company reports a lost-time injury rate (number of lost-time injuries per one million man-hours worked) for its plantations (7.64), milling (5.33) and downstream operations (0.78)

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      90. Number of fatalities as a result of work-based accidents?

      2 - The company reports 2 fatalities in 2017

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      91. Provision of personal protective equipment and pesticide training?

      The company states training on protective equipment is reinforced following fatal accidents. It also mentions providing training to suppliers of chemicals, but does not refer specifically to providing personal protective equipment

  • Certification standards Certification standards 2 / 17 11.8%
    • Companies should become members of credible certification standards and report in accordance with all appropriate categories of membership. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) requires members registered as growers to submit data relating to certification targets for their estates, scheme smallholders and independent fresh fruit bunch (FFB) suppliers, via an annual communications of progress (ACOP) report.

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      92. Member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      93. Submitted most recent RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP)?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      94. Listed all countries and regions in which operates in most recent RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP)?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      95. Time-bound plan for achieving 100% RSPO certification of estates within 5 years or achieved 100% RSPO-certification of estates?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      96. Time-bound plan for achieving 100% RSPO certification of scheme/associated smallholders within 5 years or achieved 100% RSPO-certification of scheme/associated smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      97. Year expected to achieve 100% RSPO certification of all palm product processing facilities?

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      98. RSPO-certified within three years of joining the RSPO or by November 2010, for companies joining prior to finalisation of the RSPO certification systems in November 2007?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      99. Percentage of mills RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      100. Percentage of area (ha) RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      101. Percentage of scheme/associated smallholders (ha) RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      102. Percentage of FFB supply (tonnes) from independent FFB suppliers that is RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      103. Percentage of all palm oil and oil palm products handled/traded/processed (tonnes) that are RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      104. Sells or processes/trades RSPO-certified palm oil through Segregated or Identity Preserved supply chains?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      105. Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certified (100%)?

      This indicator is disabled as it is not applicable to this company.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      106. Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certified?

      The company states in its 2017 Annual Report "four palm oil mills, one Refinery and 50% of the Group planted areas ? have been certified under MSPO. All the planted areas of the Group are scheduled to be certified under MSPO by the end of 2018"

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      107. Certified under voluntary sustainability certification scheme (e.g. ISCC, SAN, RSB, etc.)?

      The company states in its 2017 Annual Report "six palm oil mills, one Refinery 83% of the Group planted areas have been certified under the ISCC"

  • Smallholders and suppliers Smallholders and suppliers 1.5 / 7 21.4%
    • Companies should report details of any programmes or schemes to support both schemed and independent smallholders, as well as criteria to assess suppliers on compliance with company policies, and in what cases suppliers should be suspended or excluded due to non-compliance.

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      108. Programme to support scheme smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      109. Number or percentage of scheme smallholders involved in programme?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      110. Programme to support independent smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      111. Number or percentage of independent smallholders involved in programme?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      112. Process used to prioritise, assess and/or engage suppliers on compliance with company's policy and/or legal requirements?

      The company states it has organised MSPO seminars for suppliers and smallholders to encourage adoption of sustainable cultivation practices

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      113. Suspension or exclusion criteria for suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      114. Percentage of suppliers assessed and/or engaged on compliance with company requirements?

      A new article on the company's website states over 380 participants attended a briefing on MSPO certification in September 2016

  • Governance and grievances Governance and grievances 2.5 / 6 41.7%
    • Companies should operate in an ethical manner at all levels, providing accessible channels and clear procedures for both employees and external stakeholders to raise any grievance or complaint with the company, as well as allowing for whistleblowing.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      115. Commitment to ethical conduct and prohibition of corruption?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      116. Whistleblowing procedure?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      117. Own grievance or complaints system?

      The company's whistleblowing policy states that it has a separate policy for handling employee grievances, but no further details could be found

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      118. Grievance or complaints system is accessible to internal and external stakeholders?

      The grievance system is for employees. It is not clear if it is also accessible to external stakeholders

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      119. Details of grievances disclosed?

Media monitor: Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd

SPOTT monitors global media sources for coverage of assessed companies. The media monitor gathers reports about specific activities related to the assessment indicator categories. ZSL does not assess the validity of media coverage, but users can explore the media monitor to provide context on implementation, and infer risks associated with reported operations on the ground.

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Research protocols: Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd

Research protocols guide how ZSL conducts SPOTT assessments and allocates scores to ensure a fair and consistent approach, setting the expectations for companies on how they should publish ESG data. The full palm oil indicator framework contains 119 indicators across 10 categories, aligned with corporate reporting initiatives.

SPOTT is a ZSL initiative.
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