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PUBLISHED: Nov 24, 2014 4:44pm

Malaysian palm oil firms amongst world best, and worst


Sim Wie Boon

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Malaysian palm oil companies are amongst the most transparent companies in the world in terms of sustainability according to a research conducted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Its research, titled “Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit” (SPOTT), ranks 25 of the world’s largest publicly listed palm oil companies from the best to the worst with 15 Malaysian companies making it into the list.

Six Malaysian companies are amongst the top 10 highest scoring companies of the research with United Plantations Bhd coming in third with a score of 58.2%.

The other companies include Sime Darby Plantations (5th with 54.5%), IOI Corporation Bhd (6th with 52%), Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd (8th with 45.5%), Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (9th with 41.8%) and Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd (10th with 34.5%).

The research uses nearly 50 sustainability indicators across seven categories, greenhouse gas emissions policy, protection of forests and supply chain traceability.

SPOTT aims to push palm oil companies to compete over sustainability by publicly displaying the indicators which also enable green groups to monitor the companies compliance and best practices.

Unfortunately, some Malaysian companies are also listed in the research with low score rating such as QL Resources Bhd (21st with 10.9%), Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd (22nd with 7.3%), Sarawak Palm Oils Bhd (23rd with 7.3%), TSH Resources Bhd (24th with 7.3%) and lastly Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd with 1.8%.

ZSL noted that because SPOTT only includes public listed companies, there is still a significant gap in its coverage.

However so, the project is one of the first to rate palm oil producers in a very rigorous and methodical process.




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