The Founder and Chairman of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), Sukanto Tanoto, has always paid great attention to environmental sustainability and is fully committed to environmental protection. HIs vision was carried out nicely by Apical, one of Tanoto’s companies engaged in the palm oil industry, and one of the largest palm oil producers and exporters of various derivative products in Indonesia.
Asides crude palm oil, Apical also produces food, oleo chemicals, and biodiesel and they are the ones who created and released the first version of Sukanto Tanoto’s Sustainability Dashboard. The information included in the dashboard include traceability data for the Indonesian supply chain, and allows online access to progress updates related to grievances filed against the company or its suppliers, company policies and guidelines and toolkits for all Apical suppliers.
Apical uses 10 processing centres around the world for its production process, where they are able to penetrate the production capacity of 7.56 million tons of palm oil per year. They have carried out Sukanto Tanoto’s directives regarding environmental sustainability well, and have proven it in various ways.
One of these ways was through the transparency of the raw material supply chain. Since the launch of the sustainability dashboard in 2015, this transparency has elicited a positive response to public demands, as well as concrete evidence of operational responsibilities of nature in the company. At present, the public does expect transparency regarding the origin of raw materials. They want supplies to be actually obtained from legal channels and come from plantations that do not damage nature.
If the company is unable to provide substantial proof of these origins, then an oil palm product will not be able to be circulated in the international market. Through it all, Apical faced these demands with credible and positive steps. They guaranteed traceability of their raw material supplies, and anyone can trace the origin of raw materials and their management.
Sukanto Tanoto’s companies have been able to ensure traceability in their production centre since the launch of the Sustainability Dashboard in 2015. There are four processing centres in Indonesia, namely Sari Dumai Sejati, AAJ Marunda, AAJ Tanjung Balai, and CET. These centres are located in Riau, North Sumatra and North Jakarta. In order for the traceability system to work properly, Apical released a document called the Traceability Declaration Document (TDD), and was responsible for the renewal of the TDD every four months at the four facilities.
Maintain the integrity and sustainability of the environment
Following the success of the sustainability dashboard, Apical wanted to move forward and pursue a larger market. They collaborated with The Forest Trust (TFT) to develop a suitable TBS traceability methodology that was related to Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB). Apical’s plan was that by 2020 they could achieve full TBS traceability, and they continued to solve problems related to the traceability of FFB with suppliers, so that the mission could be achieved and deemed a success.
In general, Apical divided three suppliers of raw materials into three categories, namely Estate, followed by Cooperatives and Dealers. Within these three categories, there are indicators to indicate the traceability of FFB. The traceability of raw materials is one aspect of sustainability emphasised by Apical, and it is considered a most important part of the company’s mission to actively participate in maintaining climate balance.
Sustainability has become a part of operational spirit in Apical, and the sustainability dashboards are clear proof that they truly protect nature. However the Sustainability Dashboard is not the only proof of the company’s commitment, but there are still many other activities carried out by Sukanto Tanoto’s company in protecting nature. The first is to encourage partners to participate in conducting operations that are responsible for nature. Apical constantly takes on this endeavour and makes the extra effort, so that its suppliers actively participate in protecting forests with high conservation values.
Not only that, Apical also proved itself to have achieved various sustainability certifications, and up till now, they have become members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and have also received the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) certificate. And in line with the company’s decision to join the Joint Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM), Apical even sought and obtained a Sustainability Assurance System (SAS) certification.
At the same time, Apical strived to develop the social and economic livelihoods of the surrounding communities. They made various efforts to improve the welfare of the community with a number of activities such as infrastructure development and easy access to markets. To maintain good relations with the indigenous community, they also upheld the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). It must be understood that the implementation of FPIC indeed guaranteed a fair relationship between Apical and the indigenous community – in the hopes that relations with the indigenous population remain harmonious and in accordance with the rules.
Apical released a Sustainability Report in 2017, mainly to highlight and share a number of the steps taken in maintaining climate balance. In the report, several aspects were highlighted by Apical. As a distributor, they first highlighted the aspect of traceability of raw material supplies. In that regard, Apical were able to show that their ability to maintain the traceability percentage was up by 100 percent. In addition, Apical also showed serious efforts to establish better relations with stakeholders. This was marked by actions to strengthen relations with 21 priority suppliers in Sumatra and Kalimantan in 2016.
As a global institution, Apical has proven that they are able to maintain the production of their goods, and the high quality of productivity, while still maintaining the preservation of nature. For this reason alone, Apical should be made as a good example to other companies. As part of the RGE Group, Apical is indeed required to carry out the company’s business philosophies.
As part of the essence of the directive from Sukanto Tanoto, companies under RGE must be operational under the 5C Working Principles – RGE must benefit the Community, Country, Climate, and Customers, so that it will benefit the Company. And these various safeguards against nature such as the creation of a Sustainability Dashboard by Apical are clear proof that Sukanto Tanoto is determined to maintain the integrity and sustainability of the environment and it is hoped that this will inspire others to do the same.