The trends demanding for transparency drives innovation through technology, especially satellite data-driven solutions to help make supply chains more transparent and traceable. Real-time satellite imagery provides information on risk and performance and most importantly, it is reliable.

Apical believes a good understanding of the complexity of an effective oil palm monitoring is necessary to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring sustainability in the entire supply chain as outlined in our Sustainability Policy. We use satellite imaging technologies and tools to reach the target of deforestation-free supply chains and to identify the source of our palm oil, covering various estates and plantations.

How are we using satellite monitoring

 When our Sustainability team monitors our supply chain and receive deforestation notifications through monitoring applications, we engage with our direct suppliers linked to the mills within the area where the alert was detected. The engagement enables Apical to understand if the alert has direct link to our supply chain.

When identifying risks within our supply chain, our team will examine and analyse the database consisting all our suppliers using a methodology known as Mill Prioritisation Process (MPP) that was introduced in 2016.

The development and complexity in sustainability management spurred Apical’s sustainability team to develop a more in-depth MPP analysis. In 2019, Apical collaborated with a consultant and held a refresher training programme to equip Sustainability team members with skills and knowledge, covering various topics including an introduction of new parameters for risk assessment.  Through MPP, we examine our integrated and commercial mills in two aspects – spatial and non-spatial data.

Spatial parameters identify risks linked to deforestation rate, peatlands area, forest area status, Key Biodiversity Area, legal protected area and fire hotspots within a 50km radius of a supplying mill, while non-spatial parameters examines suppliers’ certifications such as RSPO and ISPO, NDPE compliance, and its publicly reported information covering social, environmental and legal aspects in the last three years. We assess all our suppliers under the MPP.

High-risk suppliers will be identified and are required to undergo an in-depth engagement through our Anchor programmes. For a start, all our suppliers are required to fill up the Suppliers Self-Assessment (SFA) questionnaire where we can identify their gaps in practices against our Sustainability Policy commitments and areas of support to address these gaps. Subsequently, we will engage these suppliers through Priority Supplier Engagement Programme (PSEP) and Shared Value Programme (SVP). Visit our Anchor Programme page to find out more.

Our Sustainability team monitors all suppliers periodically through Earthqualizer Deforestation Alert Report and Apical Deforestation Supply Chain Alert (ACTION) Report. The ACTION Report is derived from the results of the verification using monitoring applications to identify and/or detect alleged deforestation in our supply chain.

Apical’s Grievance Secretariat (GSR) that consists of personnel from the Group’s Sustainability team is tasked to assess, monitor and identify potential grievance issues within our supply chain through grievance alerts and different monitoring systems.

Should we receive a grievance allegation against any of our suppliers, the GSC will acknowledge receipt of the allegations to the whistle blowers or grievance raisers within five working days. This triggers a series of investigations and preliminary fact-finding activities to establish relevance and evidence of compliance in accordance to Apical Group policies.

In case of absence of clearly documented and verified evidence, the Supplier Engagement Team (SET) shall demand for clarification and evidence of compliance from the supplier, which shall be provided within three weeks from the date of the Request for Clarification letter (RFC).

If the clarification and evidence of compliance is not satisfied, the SET will demand for a physical meeting with the supplier’s management and conduct further grievance verifications as necessary.

In cases of serious violations – with documented and verified evidence of clearing forest, legally protected areas and peatland – GSR will require the supplier to immediately stop land clearing on all affected concessions as a prerequisite for continued engagement and support for a grievance resolution. This will be in effect pending further assessments or remedial actions. Learn more about our Grievance Process and Supplier Engagement Protocol here.

Our Suppliers at a Glance