Noble Agri Group (Henrison Inti Persada)
Noble Plantations Pte Ltd is a privately-owned, Hong-Kong based oil palm grower. Noble has been a member of RSPO since 2011. The relevant RSPO case tracker which are related to:
a) PT Henrison Inti Persada can be found here.
b) PT Pusaka Agro Lestari can be found here.
Noble’s corporate website can be found here.
1) Greenpeace report titled, “Dirty Bankers” (17 January 2017)
2) Chain Reaction Research report titled, “Noble Group: Cost of Capital and Deforestation Risks under Priced?” (January 2017)
3) RSPO Board of Governors case (20 June 2017)
1) Greenpeace released a report titled: “Dirty Bankers – How HSBC is Financing Forest Destruction for Palm Oil “. The report stated that in recent years, HSBC has begun or maintained a financial relationship (including providing or arranging loans) with companies and groups operating Palm Oil concessions in Indonesia associated with the most unsustainable aspects of Palm Oil development.
2) Chain Reaction Research’s report, indicated Noble’s financial loss and its Palm Oil Plantation suffering due to both potential weak High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments and poor RSPO compliance.
This news also mentions that Environmental Investigation Agency, Greenpeace, Yayasan Inisiasi Alam Rehabilitasi Indonesia, and Aidenvironment have filed a complaint with RSPO with HCVRN against an HCV assessor, who conducted HCV assessments in both of its Papua concessions.
Another issue mentioned is that Noble Plantations cleared and deforested Primary Forest and peat land in its concessions, in violation of it’s the sustainability policies of its bankers i.e. HSBC, ING Bank, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale, ABN Amro Bank and Rabobank.
3) On PT Pusaka Agro Lestari, the Board of Governors of the RSPO took up the case following a submission by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Greenpeace. The concerns raised were mainly on the clearance of forest, inadequacy of the HCV assessment and also on compliance to the RSPO New Planting Procedure (NPP).
- As part of the internal monitoring of suppliers’ grievances, we had engaged with Noble since July 2016 to clarify news from the media stating that Noble violates HSBC’s Forestry policy.
- The policy, which pledges not to knowingly provide financial services to “prohibited business” and defines it those involving “forests being converted to Plantation or to non-forest use (deforestation). Noble and HSBC are RSPO members and must adhere to the RSPO Code of Conduct.
- Noble referred us to their compliance of RSPO procedures and processes such as RSPO New Planting Procedure (NPP), submission of Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) and the closure of the Henrison Inti Persada complaint case by the RSPO Complaints Panel. Noble has also completed the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification process for one of their mills.
Our last purchase was in December 2016.
January – April 2017
We had an intense discussion with Noble on High Carbon Stock (HCSA) and peat management for its Plantation operations.
We have suggested to Noble to publicly announce its implementation of HCV and HCS and also update the HCS study.
We met with Noble to discuss the actions required to address the outstanding concerns on issues related to No Deforestation. The following matters were discussed:
- Transparency around HCV/HCS process and further clarification around their sustainability policy (given the reference to HCSA);
- We encouraged Noble to make its sustainability documents publicly available including HCS/HCV initiatives
- We asked Noble to follow due process on HCS as well in terms of HCSA review by HCSA panel and have a moratorium, while this process is ongoing
- Further engagements will include a workshop and a site assessment.
We will continue to engage Noble and will review our trading relationship with Noble to further encourage its commitment to sustainability goals.
We met with Noble and sought further clarification on the progress of its sustainability initiatives in its operations as outlined here.
We will continue engaging with Noble to follow up on their progress.
We consider the case closed.
Noble submitted a letter to the complaints panel, where they said that a “stop work’ order has been put in place in PT Pusaka Agro Lestari. The letter can be found here.
The RSPO Complaints Panel decided to proceed with independent verification of the assessments conducted by the company. The link can be found here.