Greenpeace’s investigative report ‘A Deadly Trade Off’, published 27 September 2016, mentions AAA/Apical’s link with ANJ and TH Plantations which were said to be violating Apical’s sustainability commitments. We have responded to Greenpeace’s queries before the report was published as posted below:
“Based on our records and preliminary investigations, Apical does not currently buy from any of the mills in the list you presented to us. We will investigate further when we have gathered more specific information from your report. We would want, for instance, to further clarify with these companies on ownership of other mills which we do not deal with, or are not aware of. Apical will not knowingly purchase from suppliers that do not conform to our rigorous standards. We pre-qualify new suppliers and require our suppliers to comply with our Sustainability Policy. We will not hesitate to cease doing business with serious repeat violators of our policy, and those who fail to take immediate remedial action on the violations.”
After reviewing Greenpeace’s report, Apical is now able to confirm that there is NO trade relation with ANJ mills since May 2015, and our refineries have not sourced any physical oils from mills of TH Plantation since December 2013.
To reinforce our full commitment to sustainability, Apical has launched its Sustainability Policy since 2015 focusing on three core policy commitments:
- Protection of high conservation value (HCV) areas and high carbon stock (HCS) areas
- Protection of peat regardless of depth
- Driving positive socio-economic impact for people and communities.
Apical has put that into hardcore action through on-going supplier engagement for supply chain transformation, and clearly this is a substantial undertaking as palm oil supply chains across the industry tend to be complex and involve many thousands of suppliers, and we expect this work will continue for a number of years as we seek to establish a fully transparent and responsibly and sustainably managed supply base. Greenpeace’s report also highlights a challenge that many in the industry are now facing: it is easier to trace the physical supply we receive, but much more difficult to monitor the conduct of other mills and plantations within the same parent group as our suppliers, that we do not source any oils directly from. Nevertheless, our Sustainability Policy is clear that we will cease doing business with any suppliers who breach our policy and do not take immediate action to correct their violation. Besides that, regardless of remedial action, we will not do business with serious repeat violators of our policy.
All such cases as this follow our grievance process, which is explained on our Sustainability Dashboard. From there you can also access a grievance list that shows transparently the progress of our engagements with third-party suppliers. As part of our grievance process, we will engage with suppliers at company or group level if any of their mills are implicated. TFT and others help us by alerting us regularly to potential issues with suppliers at both mill and company level. We also continue to welcome feedback from other stakeholders, including NGOs, as we work towards a more sustainable palm oil industry.