Collaborative sustainability projects in Southeast Asia

The Siak-Pelalawan Landscape Project (SPLP) involving a coalition of companies – Cargill, Danone, Golden Agri Resources, L'Oréal (joined in May) Musim Mas, Neste, PepsiCo, and Unilever – as well as Daemeter, Proforest, and the Siak government, continued in 2020. The project aims for a large-scale transformative sustainability impact in the Siak region in Indonesia through developing deforestation-free supply chains for multiple commodities, such as palm oil. 

In 2020, a webinar was organized for six mills in Siak to introduce Siak Hijau (Green Siak). Another one was organized for more than 20 mills in Pelalawan to introduce the District Action Plan and the project. There are approximately 50 palm oil mills and a number of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) suppliers in the districts of Siak and Pelalawan. 

The coalition kick-started various village-level engagements as key issues or ‘entry points’ for each village are identified ranging from land conflicts to problems related to fires. The project introduced seven village facilitators and one coordinator in Siak and Pelalawan. Village facilitators have received practical training on peatland management and restoration, land use mapping, gender issues, and village governance.

Conservation opportunities are combined with village engagement workstreams to allow direct engagement with the right local stakeholders. There is alignment with Earthworm Foundation for such an opportunity in Tasik Betung village (buffer zone of Giam Siak Kecil Nature Reserve). Other key work streams in the five-year program running from 2020 to 2024 include social risk in palm oil plantation and multi-stakeholder platforms.

Neste also continued serving as a steering committee member of the SUSTAIN initiative, bringing together oil palm growers, processors, users, sustainability experts, and technology partners to collaboratively drive innovation in addressing region-specific sustainability issues. The initiative, for example, aims to develop a blockchain-based sustainability assurance platform to facilitate the collection and sharing of sustainability and traceability information. 

The initiative continued with ABN Amro and certification body ISCC joining as new associate members in January 2020. More information from he SUSTAIN website: