We aim to uphold the highest labor and environmental standards on the palm plantations in Indonesia that Cargill owns and operates in alignment with our NDPE policy. (See Cargill Supply Chain Footprint.) Cargill adopts an innovative and inclusive approach to managing plantations sustainably, including in the areas of human rights, labor issues and gender equality in our workforce.
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – We use a GHG calculation tool compliant with RSPO, ISCC and ISPO standards to measure emissions at all our mills and their estate supply base. We expect to reduce GHG emissions in our operations by 10% by 2025 (from our 2017 baseline). Methane gas from our palm oil effluent water treatment plant makes up a large part of GHG emissions. To ensure the methane is destroyed before it escapes into the environment, Cargill’s Siriham mill at our Poliplant oil palm plantation in West Kalimantan captures and uses the methane as a source of fuel for our steam turbines to generate electricity for the facility and surrounding buildings. At our Manis Mata mill located within the PT Harapan Sawit Lestari oil palm plantation, methane is captured and flared (or burned) in a controlled process. We are now working toward equipping the rest of our mills with the ability to flare methane or harness the gas for power generation by 2025.
- Operate with zero waste – Byproducts from our plantation operations are put to productive use in critical tasks. Electricity used by our crush mills and housing community are generated from steam turbines fueled by kernel shells and leftover fruit fiber, while empty fruit bunches and treated palm oil mill effluent are used as fertilizer. Recycling byproducts not only helps manage input costs, but also reduces Cargill’s carbon footprint.
- Use drone technology – We use drones to inspect tree health and gather agronomic data to help manage plantations more effectively. We also use drones during the dry season to monitor unauthorized burning within 10 kilometers of our plantations; if any hot spots are identified, we monitor them until the situation is resolved.
Labor and human rights
In addition to upholding safe labor practices, Cargill promotes gender equality and protection of children and expectant mothers:
- Promote gender equality – The palm oil plantation industry is generally male-dominated. In line with our values and broader human rights commitments, it’s critical that women in our plantations are able to work without fear of discrimination or harassment. Employee networks help ensure the rights of our female colleagues are upheld. Watch this video for a glimpse of how Cargill strives to ensure gender equality at our oil palm plantations.
- Protect children and expectant mothers – Cargill has partnered with UNICEF to protect children living on our plantations and in surrounding palm growing communities. We participated in an assessment conducted by LINKS in collaboration with the RSPO and trained Cargill palm plantation employees about the UNICEF 10 Business Principles of Children’s Rights and mitigation of potential risks. Expectant mothers have full access to a comprehensive suite of award-winning healthcare services in our plantations. This service is open to both employees and communities living in the vicinity of our plantations. Learn more.
We work with public and private stakeholders and NGO partners to improve sustainable practices related to our people, planet and products:
Supporting local government efforts to serve communities – The corporate responsibility initiatives of Cargill’s oil palm plantations are centered around four priorities specifically chosen to complement and support local public programs and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Education, Health and Nutrition, Biodiversity and Environmental Protection, and Community Development. For our contribution to the development of the community and the local economy, Cargill has received multiple awards from the Indonesian government. Our most recent award in March 2019 from the Indonesian Ministry of Economic Affairs recognized our work in developing the junior high school curriculum for vocational education on palm oil production.
We also are working with the government in Musi Banyuasin, South Sumatra and IDH to develop a Verified Sourcing Area (VSA) landscape program to certify that all produce generated from VSA areas meets stringent guidelines for responsible business practices.
- Decent Rural Living Initiative – Cargill is a founding member of the Decent Rural Living Initiative, which seeks to improve labor and human rights protections for agricultural workers. Learn more on the Labor and Human Rights page.
- Sustainable Commodities Conservation Mechanism (SCCM) – One of the greatest challenges in mitigating the impact of climate change is the lack of long-term approaches to conservation finance through collaboration between the financial, commodity and climate economy sectors. To overcome this, SCCM was developed as a game-changing financial mechanism to bridge the disparate needs and demands of the three sectors as a means for companies to meet increasing stakeholder expectations in sustainability commitments. Developed by Lestari Capital in partnership with Cargill, SCCM provides long-term payments for results on-the-ground, ensuring benefits to local communities, the climate and biodiversity. At the 2018 Tri Hita Karana Forum in Bali, Indonesia, Cargill announced our 25-year commitment to finance the conservation operations of a community forestry project in Indonesia’s Heart of Borneo region, enabling community members to protect the forest and invest in new livelihoods, such as ecotourism and wild forest products. Learn more.
Measuring our performance
We measure our progress against the following key performance indicators:
- 100% of mills, plantations and managed smallholders are RSPO certified
- 100% of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) originate from NDPE-compliant sources
- 100% of Cargill operations and surrounding communities are covered by a fire prevention and awareness program
To learn about our latest progress, see the updates posted under Reports and Publications.