Environment

How do we care for the environment?

Bumitama Agri is committed to conserving natural resources and protecting and enhancing the existing natural environment and its biodiversity. Whether it’s through our BBCP, peat management, or reducing our emissions we care for the environment and those who call it home.

Conservation Management

  • Bumitama commits to the protection, restoration and/or co-management of High Carbon Stock (“HCS”) forests, peat lands and other areas identified as having High Conservation Value (“HCV”) by competent, accredited assessors, as per the RSPO New Planting Procedure.
  • Approximately 66% of Bumitama Agri’s conservation area is considered High Conservation Value (HCV), 29% is identified as High Carbon Stock (HCS), and 4% is peat. The remaining 1% are other conserved areas, not identified by HCV or HCSA assessments.
  • One of our key supplier commitments is no land clearing before HCV & HCS assessment, as per the RSPO New Planting Procedure. We have developed a satellite monitoring system to assess land cover changes in our own and supplier’s areas. The system uses GIS remote sensing via the Google Earth Engine, a code-based programme to detect any changes. Any detected changes are verified and addressed with the supplier. If confirmed, we request that corrective action and restoration of non-compliant deforestation or land conversion is undertaken. No interest to do so or inaction will result in ceasing of business relations.
  • We regularly monitor signs deforestation inside and around our concessions through satellite monitoring system, drones and other available innovative technologies. Any non-compliant land clearing in areas of existing and potential suppliers, if verified on site and not rectified through approriate corrective action, will lead to supplier blacklisting.
  • Our dedicated teams across all operations help us manage over 40,000 ha of conservation areas while overseeing specific initiatives at a Group level. These specialised workers have been trained in biodiversity monitoring using spatial monitoring and reporting tools (SMART), human–orangutan conflict mitigation, and camera trap placement for future results analysis. The teams regularly conduct conservation patrols for wildlife and indigenous species, while recording the progress of restoration activities, monitoring any endangered or vulnerable species and looking for any signs of illegal activity.

 

Summary table of our HCV reports:

Company Certification Scheme Date of Publication Evaluation Status HCV Report Summary
Tanah Tani Lestari Integrated HCV-HSC for RSPO New Planting 15/12/2021 Satisfactory Click here
Lestari Gemilang Intisawit, Agro Manunggal Sawitindo, Nabati Agro Subur Integrated HCV-HSC for RSPO New Planting 29/11/2021 Satisfactory Click here
PT Agriplus RSPO NPP 09/01/2020 Satisfactory Click here
PT Damai Agro Sejahtera RSPO NPP 18/10/2019 Satisfactory Click here
PT Hungarindo Persada RSPO NPP 29/11/2018 Satisfactory Click here
PT Raya Sawit Manunggal RSPO NPP 14/08/2018 Satisfactory Click here
PT Gemilang Makmur Subur RSPO NPP 25/10/2016 Satisfactory Click here
PT Investa Karya Bakti RSPO NPP 11/08/2016 Satisfactory Click here
PT Karya Bakti Agro Sejahtera 3 RSPO NPP 11/08/2016 Satisfactory Click here

BBCP

“A key component of their success is an openness to working with other stakeholders, including competitors at adjacent plantations, to achieve a common goal. The BBCP is an example of how companies should lead their conservation efforts.”
– Fitrian Ardiansyah, IDH, Country Director and Executive Chairman

  • The Bumitama Biodiversity and Community Project (BBCP) was established in 2016 in collaboration with IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative to conserve areas in a subsidiary. Bornean orangutans have been an iconic species in this landscape and it has been our aim to use our conservation areas to create a wildlife biodiversity migration corridor between the local forests and national parks.
  • Areas on both sides of the route are home to endemic, rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The unique biodiversity and its carbon-rich peat swamp forests were at risk of deforestation due to plantation development. Bumitama acquired the plantation and immediately issued a stop work order to prevent further destructive land clearing of the carbon-rich peat swamp forests and began with its conservation and rehabilitation activities.
  • Local communities are essential in our conservation work, both to leverage their role as the original stewards of the forest, and to mitigate the potential threat of deforestation from community plantation development, illegal logging, and frequent fires. Part of the programme also focuses on smallholders and farmers, delivering training to increase their production without having to shift cultivation, and applying best practices for palm oil management.
  • Read more from our latest update here.

Ketapang PPI Compact

  • In 2017, Bumitama’s work in the Sungai Putri landscape was recognised by the Governor of West Kalimantan when the set-aside areas were declared an essential ecosystem zone, or Kawasan Ekosistem Esensial (KEE). This aligned with the Province’s Green Growth Plan, an ambitious yet crucial strategy to create sustainable regional solutions through multi-stakeholder coordination. In 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed for the Production, Protection, Inclusion (PPI) Compact. This Compact was designed by IDH in partnership with the Ketapang District Government to collaborate with its key stakeholders in protecting 1 million ha of forest cover. Among other targets, the Compact aims to have restored up to 20,000 ha of forest and peatland, improved sustainable palm oil production, and increased smallholders’ livelihoods in the coming years.
  • Bumitama is one of the PPI Compact pioneers and its first signatories. The initiative was driven by the earlier landscape collaboration compacts developed and implemented under the BBCP and the South Ketapang Cagar Alam landscape programmes.

FlyForest

  • Bumitama has been traditionally working with the local communities in forest restoration activities inside and around its operations. Manual planting of seedlings is a useful but time-consuming approach to rehabilitation. In December 2020, we began trialling a new technique using remote-controlled drones to disseminate seeds. This helps to plant trees quicker and to rehabilitate inaccessible areas, such as swampy terrains or areas that are unsafe for humans because of potential hazards.
  • This method has been trialled on 800 hectares of previously burned areas under our BBCP programme, using different types of seeds from local tree species to imitate natural forest cover and is the first large-scale project of its kind in the palm oil industry.
  • Read more from our latest update here.

Orangutan Conservation

  • Bumitama has been committed to protect and conserve the remaining habitats of rare, threatened and endangered species inside and around our operations. Bornean Orangutans have been the iconic species that have helped to spearhead our conservation initiatives. Currently, it is estimated that between 250 and 300 orangutans can be found in the protected areas managed by Bumitama and some of our neighbouring plantation companies that we collaborate with on our programme.
  • With our expert partners from PONGO Alliance, Bumitama has been exploring a fresh concept of orangutan habitat management. Our BBCP programme and its Ketapang conservation areas has been the testing ground for this new method, that supports orangutan habitats in coexistence with sustainably managed oil palm plantations.

Climate Change Strategy

Emissions renamed Into GHG Emissions Reduction Programme and move above Fire Management

  • In 2021, the total GHG emissions intensity calculated for all mills was 1.38 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of crude palm oil produced (MT CO2e/MT CPO. This has been 12% lower than the previous year’s number, on track to achieve our target of 30% reduction in GHG emissions intensity by 2030 from our 2016 baseline of 1.63 MT CO2e/MT CPO.
  • Our long-term plan for reducing GHG emissions comprises:
    • Eliminating deforestation and any development on peat implemented through our 2015 Sustainability policy.
    • Reduction of methane emissions in mills through methane capture facilities, composting, belt press and other methods of extracting the solids from the mill ponds.
    • Exploration of alternative energy sources such as solar panels as a replacement for generator sets or biodiesel.
  • About 30% of our emissions are methane from palm oil mill effluent (POME). We aim to reduce POME emissions through improved wastewater management at our mills, consisting of biogas facilities that convert methane from POME into electricity and other devices to treat our wastewater, such as belt press solid separators. We partner with expert organisations to channel the electricity to the grid and operate our facilities.

Fire Management

  • Fires pose a significant threat to company productivity, biodiversity conservation efforts, and the health and safety of surrounding communities and employees. We focus on prevention, early detection, and quick reaction.
  • We explore the use of innovative technologies and techniques to assist with fire prevention. Initiatives such as our intelligent weather stations provide advanced fire risk analysis, real-time hotspot monitoring, and drone surveillance enable our teams to receive real-time updates of emerging fire risks. This advanced readiness facilitates quick response times and minimises the risk of fires spreading out of control
  • Local community activities, including traditional burning methods to prepare land for planting, have been identified as the most prevalent cause of fires inside and around our concessions. To encourage systemic change, there is a necessity for companies and communities to support each other in developing practical alternatives. We engage communities in our Fire Free Village programme, continuously consulting and educating them on the risks of using fire. We reward villages that remain fire-free with in-kind incentives, such as fire-fighting equipment and portable agricultural machinery. We also train community members in fire mitigation and seek their help in fire-fighting.
  • Read more from our latest update here.

Emissions

  • The total GHG emissions intensity calculated for all mills was 1.56 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of crude palm oil produced (MT CO2e/MT CPO) in 2020. Implementing our holistic GHG reduction strategy, we have set a 30% reduction target in GHG emissions intensity by 2030 from our 2016 baseline of 1.63 MT CO2e/MT CPO. The 2016 baseline uses Version 3.0.1 of the Palm GHG, making data comparable.
  • Our long-term plan for reducing GHG emissions comprises:
    • Eliminating deforestation and any development on peat.
    • Reduction of methane emissions in mills through methane capture facilities, composting, belt press and other methods of extracting the solids from the mill ponds.
    • Exploration of alternative energy sources such as solar panels as a replacement for generator sets or biodiesel.
  • About 30% of our emissions are methane from palm oil mill effluent (POME). We aim to reduce POME emissions through improved waste management at our mills. We are constructing biogas facilities that convert methane from POME into electricity. We will partner with expert organisations to channel the electricity to the grid and operate our facilities. Whenever this is not viable, we will install other devices to treat our wastewater, such as belt press solid separation.
  • Additional reduction of our GHG emissions comes from our composting facilities. We operate 11 composting sites, with another three in late stages of construction. In 2021, 10% of our total POME produced was fed into these facilities, to produce compost for land application.

Pest Management

Using an integrated pest management strategy prioritises the use of natural pest reduction solutions and encourages biological controls by means of beneficial plants, pathogens and bacteria. These include improved management of the following problems:

Stem Rot Disease from Ganoderma Fungus

  • Bumitama grows the Trichoderma fungus from palm oil fibre, in order to help mitigate potential Ganoderma outbreaks across all our plantations. The fungus is applied to the affected plant and surrounding healthy plants to inhibit the development of the disease. We also produce Arbuscular mycorrhizae, which is applied to oil palm plants during the seedling phase to increase its immunity against Ganoderma.

Oil Palm Leaf-Eating Caterpillars

  • Our operational teams routinely plant beneficial plants across plantations that help attract natural enemies of the oil palm parasites. These include the Eight o’clock flowers (Turnera subulata), Bridal tear flowers (Antigonon leptopus), and Chinese ketepeng (Cassia cobanensis).
  • We have developed means of biological control of caterpillar pupa, using Cordyceps militaris. This is an entomopathogenic fungus that is the natural enemy of larvae of moths and butterflies that damage palm oil plants and substitutes chemical insecticides.

Rats Attacking Oil Palm Plants

  • Bumitama has been successful using barn owls to help curb rodent infestation. To help increase the owl population, we have built shelters and artificial nests across our plantation areas. By the end of 2020, we recorded 879 adults, 341 chicks and 297 eggs across our operations.
  • Consequently, total rodenticide use has decreased drastically since 2018. As of December 2021, 83.8% of our total planted area is free from rodenticide which has been replaced by the natural predators.

We are also currently trialling the use of Fluroxypyr to suppress specific weeds, a selective herbicide that does not harm young palm trees during application.

Monitoring Toxicity

  • Bumitama regularly monitors toxicity levels from chemical compounds contained in fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides applied in its plantation areas, to better understand the chemical footprint of its operations. This method of measuring toxicity enables us to monitor the impact of long-term chemical use more accurately.
  • Although there has been an increase in the measured numbers, our toxicity levels remain within an acceptable range for the industry. Our teams will continue to conduct in-depth studies to assess our toxicity and implement adaptive programmes, including expansion of the existing zero-waste policy for CPO production, recycling all of the organic waste from production to reduce our reliance on inorganic fertilisers.
  • Our employee that handle hazardous chemicals are given extensive safety training. We equip each worker with personal protective equipment (PPE) and mandate showering at the end of each shift. All hazardous chemicals are kept in locked storage facilities as set out by the Indonesian regulations and the RSPO P&C requirements. We also ensure that pregnant or nursing women do not work in or near areas where pesticides are used or stored.

Water Usage

  • Clean and safe water is vital for the health of our workforce, local community, wildlife and aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, for Bumitama it is an absolute priority to minimise the risk of surface water or groundwater contamination from fertiliser misuse or other field practices across our operations.
  • Palm oil mill effluent (POME) from our mills is collected in ponds where it is treated before being applied to land as fertiliser. Rich in organic matter, all nutrients are recycled back into the plantation. We monitor POME quality, considering chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), ammoniac nitrogen content, nitrate content, pH, total dissolved solids and total suspended solids. BOD levels are strictly managed and kept below regulatory thresholds of 5,000 parts per million on all outlets to land application, where remaining organic nutrients are recycled back into plantation.
  • Bumitama regularly documents and monitors the impact of its activities on surface and groundwater quality and availability. The data helps to determine water risks and identify mitigation strategies and long-term management plans to benefit stakeholders within and beyond our operational boundaries.
  • Mill and plantation operations account for most of our water usage. River water is extracted for use in mills, while rainwater is collected and processed to supply housing areas, communities and other operational activities. We also create reservoirs of rainwater for fire-fighting and other contingencies, stored in fire-prone areas across our operations. In 2021, our water usage intensity decreased to 1.21 m3 of water for each tonne of FFB processed (m3/MT FFB). This is in line with our targets, and industry best practice. We will progressively implement programmes to reduce our water usage levels in production, while carefully examinating other usage of water in our areas.