Astra Agro Lestari (AAL)
Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) is a publicly listed company headquartered in Jakarta, which engages in oil palm plantations and processing.
AAL has a corporate website which can be found here.
1) Forest Heroes report titled, “Mandarin Oriental: We’re Not Fans of Your Rainforest Destruction” (18 May 2015)
2) Aidenvironment report titled, “Sustainability assessment of Astra Agro Lestari” (May 2015) – commissioned by Forest Heroes, Rainforest Foundation Norway, SumOfUs, KKI Warsi, Yayasan Merah Putih (YMP)
(1) The campaign focuses on the hyper-luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, whose parent company Jardine Matheson – one of the largest companies in the world – also runs the Indonesian Palm Oil company, Astra Agro Lestari. The report documented extensive deforestation and peat land clearance by Jardine/ Astra – including in some of the last remaining habitat of the Sumatran elephant.
(2) A comprehensive sustainability assessment was performed that focused on Astra’s policies and practices on the ground with regard to deforestation, peat land conversion, biodiversity and land disputes. Key findings are as follows:
- No public commitments to address the sustainability issues.
- Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) is not a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
- Planted in Peatland , more than 200 fires hotspots found in their Plantation , drained Peatland in South Kalimantan.
- Encroached into elephant habitats in Aceh.
- Deforested land in West Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi.
- Land dispute with communities and indigenous peoples in Sumatra.
As one of our priority supplier, we engaged extensively with AAL on the sustainability discussion.
May – June 2015
We had several meetings with Astra’s management to introduce the sustainability commitment, which has been implemented by the Palm Oil players and also discussed the framework that AAL should consider addressing its sustainability issues.
A supplier workshop with our top priority supplier groups including AAL, was held in Medan with the key focus of introducing Musim Mas’ sustainability policy.
At the workshop, we emphasised the importance of good agricultural sustainability practices.
AAL announced an immediate moratorium on land clearing.
In September 2015, AAL published its Sustainability Policy which included an NDPE statement.
AAL is advancing with the implementation through the appointment of the Consortium of Resource Experts (CORE) to provide technical support to ensure that the Policy is implemented effectively.
AAL published the progress updates on sustainability for the period May 2016 to April 2017. The Policy implementation, priority activities have included:
- appropriate Stakeholder Engagement to ensure a broad understanding of the Policy and its implications;
- supply Chain Transparency and Traceability Study of AAL’s crude Palm Oil and palm kernel supply chains;
- development of an understanding of mill and estate level risks and priorities for supplier engagement; and
- progress toward resolution of community issues, primarily the Jambi-based Orang Rimba indigenous people. This early phase of work has primarily focused on establishing a clear baseline understanding of AAL’s operations, allowing prioritisation of activities in the phases to follow.
We continue to engage with AAL who confirmed that the moratorium of July 2015 on new development is still in place.
AAL has also reaffirmed its commitment to continue with its sustainability initiatives and will be publishing a three-year action plan in the last quarter of 2017.
AAL’s enhanced Sustainability Policy has been in place since late-December 2017.
It also published a Sustainability Progress update for May – September 2017, which reports on the HCV and HCS issues being addressed. AAL also established 60 Masyarakat Peduli Api (MPA) collaborations as at June 2017.
On third-party suppliers, AAL’s traceability to mills stand at 100%. Its Orang Rimba issue is being handled in engagement with various stakeholders.
A three-year action plan and a new Sustainability dashboard is to be published in the first quarter of 2018.
The progress report can be viewed here.
AAL announced the finalisation of the 3 year action plan.
Traceability to mill was achieved by 100% and traceability to Plantation at 73%.
They continue to implement the Orang Rimba Special Program, by working with CORE, WARSI and PT SAL in 2017 in addressing the issues and challenges, especially in areas of health, education and livelihood faced by 217 families consisting of 5 groups and 12 sub-groups.
Majlis peduli Api was further expanded to 70 villages. The outreach programme to Smallholders were carried out on a need basis, the report can be found here.