SOPB Group is absolutely committed to remain at the forefront of environmental protections spearheaded by good agricultural practices. We seek to produce oil palm products sustainably and at the same time to be a good steward of the natural resources in our landscape. We will uphold the policy of no new development on land with High Conservation Value (HCV). These HCV areas will be identified prior to any new development of oil palm plantations.
No Deforestation of HCV Areas, Identification and Protection of HCV Areas
We will uphold the policy of no new development on land with High Conservation Value (HCV). These HCV areas will be identified prior to any new development of oil palm plantations for conservation.
Integrated Approach for HCV and HCSA Assessments for New Development Areas
The Company Management is committed to no new development before assessment of HCV with the suspension of all new development w.e.f. 1st July 2018.
New development areas will undergo integrated HCV and High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) assessments to determine the planting areas, after taking into considerations of the National and State Agriculture and Land Use Policy with priority given to low carbon stock areas (e.g. grasslands and scrub areas) which have no demonstrable HCV, and where Free, Prior and Informed Consent ("FPIC") has been obtained from rights-holders.
No New Development on Peat Areas Regardless of Depth
The Group has stopped new development on peat land as a way to demonstrate our commitment to address concerns linked to the environmental impacts due to oil palm development on peat land.
Peat management has been a core focus for the group's plantation operations as we continue to identify gaps for improvements. Existing plantations on peat land are managed in accordance with Industry's Best Practices including RSPO manual on Best Management Practices for existing oil palm cultivation on Peat, MPOB Guidelines for the Development of a Standard Operating Procedure for Oil Palm Cultivation on Peat and site-specific approach to peat management which are integrated into our standard operating procedures.
Reduction of GHG Emission
SOPB adopted the ISCC 205 in the calculation of GHG emission in all our agricultural, milling and downstream operations. We will continue to monitor and reduce the GHG emission through our Best Management Practices for each operational units in a sensible manner.
A significant way to reduce GHG emission is via the installation of biogas plants at our palm oil mills (POM). We have started the construction and installation of our first biogas plant in Metanik POM and desire to have this implemented in all our POMs eventually.
An alternative approach to GHG reduction is Methane Avoidance Method through Belt Press Facility or Dewatering System. We have installed either one of this facility at 4 of our 7 POMs due to their site suitability and cost-effectiveness and this method minimise requirement for de-silting of pond, save cost and land space.
The solid removed contains nutrients and are recycled back to the field as organic fertiliser, hence reduce usage of inorganic fertiliser, besides, reducing portion of methane gas release to the environment.
As for our palms' by-product, it is vital to ensure that they do not pollute our operating environment. We ensure that all agricultural waste, biomass or mill by-products are either recycled or safely disposed of in accordance with approved procedures.
The reclamation of energy from empty fruit bunch (EFB), a by-product of palm fresh fruit bunch (PFFB) after processing into palm oil was utilised as an alternative to fossil fuel for firing our steam turbine plant for the production of electricity.
Besides improving on energy efficiency, SOPB will continue to explore alternatives such as biodiesel and solar.
No Burning on New Development and Replanting
This commitment is mandated in our Environmental Sustainability Policy and elaborated in our standard operating procedures on Good Agricultural Practices. We affirm our commitment to no burning in all plantation activities, including that of new planting and replanting.
For replanting which involves land clearing, old palm trees are felled, chipped and left in situ to decompose which helps the soil to rejuvenate naturally. This also helps to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and air pollutions.