Sustainability

Conserving nature and minimising environment impacts

We are committed to plantation expansion that does not result in deforestation. As a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) we implement its Principles and Criteria across all our plantations. All NBPOL plantations and associated smallholders are RSPO certified.

However, to build on these RSPO commitments and to strengthen our commitments to socially and environmentally responsible palm oil production, NBPOL will implement a new approach to address deforestation, protect areas of High Carbon Stock (HCS), respect customary rights and to meet community needs. Towards this NBPOL has become a member of global non-profit organisation The Forest Trust (TFT) with an initial focus of assessing and defining HCS forest areas in parallel with assessment of the community’s needs within any of our new concessions.

HCV surveillance is carried out using a annual two fold approach, including the use of Satellite data, drones and ground truthing. All data is entered into GIS software (either SMART or QGIS) with a bi-annual remediation plan submitted where required and verified externally during annual audits by RSPO and Rainforest Alliance.

As of 2019 NBPOL’s progress with improving our conservation and deforestation monitoring is as follows:

SMART
NBPOL WNB Ltd. has implemented SMART methodology across the site. All HCV sites will have the methodology run once a year and updated in to the SMART reporting tool. To date 5/9 HCV sites implement the methodology with 4 planned for September. We are currently working on rolling out the methodology in Poliamba Ltd. and RAIL Ltd.

SPOT CHECKS
Spot Checks are carried out using Landsat and Sentinel imagery looking for areas that are disturbed or have changes in land use within the HCV areas. These areas are then ground truthed and any encroachment/changes man-made have remediation plans put in place. To date 5/9 Spot Checks have been carried out.

Two additional NBPOL sites, RAIL Ltd and Poliamba Ltd. will start using the methodology developed by WNB Ltd. in 2019.

Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is home to a huge array of endemic species. NBPOL implements across all its operational sites a strict no hunting policy. The policy is also familiarised with the smallholders working with NBPOL. Our efforts to ensure this policy are verified during the annual RA SAS surveillance audits. RA SAS certified operations are required to have a hunting ban in place and to prevent wild animals being kept in captivity.

It is important to NBPOL that any development achieves an optimal balance between community development, conservation of natural values, and economic benefit and viability. By excluding from conversion the areas that store large amounts of carbon, we will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect these vital lands.

While fires have been part of the traditional land management in some of the NBPOL landscapes, since 1969 NBPOL implements a no burning policy in all its operations. Remote sensing is used to identify and monitor fire hotspots and the details of this is published on the SDP’s website:   http://www.simedarbyplantation.com/sustainability/hotspot-dashboard/. The fire hotspot data are obtained from Fire Information Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS), of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) websites. The information is also verified and validated by our external RSPO and RA SAS auditors.

NBPOL remains committed not to develop any areas that contain peat. This policy is in line with the current RSPO requirements. In 2020 similarly to the previous 5 years there has been no new planting or replanting on peat. The definition of peat lands has changed in the RSPO PC 2018 and as a result a small area under NBPOL management has been reclassified as peat, previously these soils have been described as soils with high carbon content. Planting has been completed over 7 years ago in this area. As a result of the reclassification in 2020 NBPOL has disclosed to RSPO the extent of the reclassified peat areas. 834 hectares of palm oil plantations on peat are managed based on the RSPO BMPs for peat management. NBPOL has also taken additional steps to restore 128 hectares to improve the conservation status of the landscape and to ensure better connectivity between the 420 hectares of conservation land located within the boundaries of our management unit in that specific management unit.

NBPOL recognises climate change risks and endeavours to reduce its impact. In line with various international and corporate commitments, NBPOL aims to reduce the GHG intensity of its products by 30% by 2027. As a baseline NBPOL will be using 2017 data. Achieving this target is largely dependent on the roll-out of methane capture facilities for suitable mills. The 2017 baseline data was calculated at 0.47 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of crude palm oil and palm kernel (MT CO2e per MT CPO/PK) produced. The latest 2019 data indicates that NBPOL is on track to meet this objective. Emission intensity in 2019 has been calculated using version 4.0 of the RSPO PalmGHG calculator*. The results indicate 0.41 MT CO2e per MT CPO/PK produced in 2019. Emissions from land use change can be a significant contributor. For 2019 the RSPO PalmGHG calculator determined that the emissions from land use change totalled 930,420 MT CO2e. This should be considered in context with crop sequestration and conservation credits calculated at -1,321,959 MT CO2e, resulting in an overall net carbon sequestered of -391,538 MT CO2e.

*Note: all 2019 figures are indicative and may be subject to change. Updates will be published in our 2018-19 Sustainability Report.

Additionally to concrete initiatives such as “No burning”, NBPOL implements a fleet monitoring system to improve the efficiency of its fleet and plans to role out methane capture for all the mills. By August 2019, 2 out of the 11 NBPOL mills in PNG and the Solomon Islands have been fitted with methane capture installations.

NBPOL manages over 20,000 hectares of HCV and other conservation areas across PNG and the Solomon Islands. While significant efforts are made to maintain these areas, some cases have to deal with encroachments. Dealing with encroachments is a complex issue and NBPOL follows PNG legislation and RSPO and RA SAS requirements. NBPOL is committed to restore conservation areas degraded by human activity such as hunting, logging, gardening by replanting the areas and managing them in line with the conservation management plans.

The following cases have been registered between 2017 and 2019:

Location Deforested area Who is responsible
for the deforestation
Current status
(Assessment/eviction/
restoration)
Bilomi Plantation (NBPOL WNB Ltd.) 25 ha External Grievance to logging company and National Forestry Department submitted. Restoration work in progress.
Roka Plantation (NBPOL WNB Ltd.) 9.2 ha Internal Restoration has been undertaken – native tree species have been planted into the area.
Kafkaf Plantation (Poliamba Ltd) 10 m2 Employees Clearing for gardens, crops removed and area restored.
Baia Plantation (Poliamba Ltd.) 15 m2 Employees Clearing for building a house, house removed and area restored.
Lejo Forest Reserve (HOP Ltd.) 0.9 ha Local smallholder growers living next to the forest reserve Ongoing. Negotiations to find a solution and restore the area.
Gusap Plantation (RAIL Ltd.) 0.5 ha Local villagers Ongoing. 6 houses were built, RAIL Ltd. is seeking eviction orders from regional lands department.
Paddox Plantation (RAIL Ltd.) 0.25 ha Local villagers Closed. Local villagers illegally felled approximately 10 trees in 2018. Police arrested the loggers, RAIL Ltd. has restored the area.

Another important environmental parameter to manage is water. While PNG does not suffer from water scarcity, NBPOL aims to reduce water consumption calculated per tonne of CPO and PK. In 2020 the production figures indicate that water consumption was approximately 0.93 m3 per tonne of product. NBPOL continuous to work towards reducing BOD to 50ppm by 2020, and has recently rolled out COD monitoring to all sites. As a preliminary target NBPOL will aim to reduce COD by 10% by 2025, using 2020 as a baseline year.

A further aspect to consider when it comes to managing impacts on water resources is the use of agro-chemicals. In line with RSPO and RA SAS requirements, NBPOL has an advanced agronomy system in place to manage the impacts of agrochemicals. Agrochemicals are only used when other alternatives are ineffective. Elimination of agrochemicals can have a significant negative impact on yields, as such NBPOL is committed to minimize the use of all agrochemicals to the extent that this does not lead to long term reduction of yields.

Access to pesticides is highly restricted, and all hazardous substances are stored in designated custom-designed buildings. We keep a register of accidents and incidents of abuse or misuse of chemicals, and closely monitor health effects and toxicity. We have continuously reduced our pesticide usage over the past decade and, based on available public data, we have one of the lowest usage levels in the industry.

We do not use bio-accumulative or persistent pesticides. We do not use chemicals identified by the WHO as Class 1A or 1B, or those listed on the Stockholm or Rotterdam Conventions, the FSC ‘Highly Hazardous’ list or the SAN prohibited pesticide list. We do not use paraquat (N,N’-dimethyl-4,4’- bipyridinium dichloride). We phased out methamidophos in 2016 and substituted with dimehypo, a less toxic Class 3 chemical that has been trialled and shown to be an effective alternative.

Total toxicity associated with herbicide use stood at 32.9 liters/hectare in 2019 including NBPOL estates and smallholder plantations.

NBPOL is using a limited range of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. In 2020 the following were used:

– Herbicides: glyphosate; 2,4 D Amine and melsulfuron-methyl (Ally);
– Fungicides: Thiabendazole;
– Insecticides: Permethrin, Dimehypho (in emergency cases only).

 

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Forest Policy (revised 2016)

Environmental policy


NBPOL Carbon Footprint Report 2011

GHG Statement


Water Management Plan

NBPOL research on sustainable agriculture


NBPOL Orangerie Bay HCS Report Aug 2014


NBPOL Higaturu HCS Report Sep 2015


GPPOL HCS Report Sept 2016

HCV Assessment for Milne Bay Estates

HCV Assessment for GPPOL

HCV assessments and management plans for all other sites can be found on the RSPO New Plantings Procedure web pages


Commitment to protecting RTE species and designated conservation areas


NBPOL Oil Palm Fire Register Summary FY 16/17