2016 Sustainability Benchmark: Indonesian Palm Oil Growers – PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya

2016 Sustainability Benchmark: Indonesian Palm Oil Growers – PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya

As reported by Chain Reaction Research and written by Albert ten Kate (Aidenvironment), Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, FRM (Climate Advisers) and Eric Wakker (Aidenvironment), Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJT) is majority owned by the Indonesian Tahija family. As of Q3 2016, the company had 40,000 ha of productive oil palm plantations in Sumatra (North Sumatra and Belitung Island) and West Kalimantan. The total land bank of ANJT comprises 158,000 ha. Its oil palm concessions in West Papua (91,000 ha) and South Sumatra (13,000 ha) remain largely undeveloped. 

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Sustainability Policy and Recent Practices

  • 2015 oil palm revenue: IDR 1,500 billion
  • 2015 CPO-production: 194,000 tons
  • Sustainability policy and recent practices: moderate risk
  • 2016 No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) CPO buyers: KLK, Astra Agro Lestari
  • 2016 NDPE buyers percent revenue: 40%
  • Since 2015, no apparent changes in land-use policies to mitigate risks, suspended operations in contested areas, main NDPE-buyers stopped purchasing

ANJT does not have a public NDPE policy. It is committed to preserving High Conservation Value areas and avoidance of peatlands. The company does not support the High Carbon Stock (HCS) approach. It has not made public any policy with regard to Free, Prior and Informed Consent and complying with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights or the ILO core conventions.

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The company is a member of the RSPO. Its mills and supply bases in North Sumatra and Belitung are RSPO certified. ANJT aims to achieve 100 percent RSPO certification for its own operations by 2022. Over the years, the company has been submitting several New Planting proposals to the RSPO and the public. However, the company has also admitted that it has been clearing based on preliminary HCV assessments.

Figure 1: Cleared forest landscape by ANJT’s plantation companies PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa (PT PMP) and PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PT PPM) in West Papua; Landsat imagery of 3 to 11 December 2015.

As shown above in Figure 1, ANJT’s developments in West Papua province have raised serious concerns by traders/processors with NDPE policies. Between 2014 and March 2015 ANJT has cleared approximately 8,000 ha of highly forested landscapes in Sorong, the Bird’s Head Peninsula. The company had not identified and conserved High Carbon Stock forest areas. As of Q2 2015, both GAR and Wilmar suspended CPO purchases from ANJT because of this active forest clearance. In Q4 2015, Musim Mas followed suit. In October 2016 ANJT stated that it is currently reviewing its High Conservation Value area assessments for the concessions. Since March 2015 ANJT has (temporarily) halted the clearing in West Papua. In 2015 and July 2016 communities expressed their opposition to ANJT’s presence in the area.

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Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, FRM works as Director Capital Markets at Climate Advisers where he manages global financial analytics focusing on mitigating systemic climate risk while advising on “greening” capital markets. He has 18 years of experience managing and deploying frameworks to improve global capital markets sustainability through risk mitigation and return enhancement. Previously, for Calvert Investment Management, he valued global equity, index, and fixed income portfolios and their component positions in the utilities, energy, materials, chemicals, and financial sectors. He worked on quantitative index construction and asset allocation strategies. He engaged Fortune 500 CEOs on approaches to mitigating climate risk using financial risk management tools. He led initiatives to improve financial accounting of exchange-listed products and incorporated natural capital into financial tools. He has also worked at Morgan Stanley's carbon offset company, Wells Fargo Capital Management, and American Express. He is an adjunct at John Hopkins University.
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