Sustainable Agricultural Practices
We strive to be one of the most cost-efficient palm oil producers in the country by maximising crop/oil yields per hectare through the adoption of best agronomic practices and implementing any appropriate science and technology advancement.
Our oil yield per hectare is approximately 50% higher than the nation’s average, which has a positive impact towards mitigating climate change as less land is required in our production of palm oil.
As one of the signatories of the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto, IOI recognises the importance in safeguarding our environment; as such, we maintain “no deforestation and the protection of peat areas” in new developments. Our funding of the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Science Study towards improving the identification methodology of these HCS clearly reflects our commitment.
Only accredited certification bodies and/or qualified consultants are appointed to conduct the required social and environmental impact assessments prior to clearing of land for all our new developments.
IOI, as one of the founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), is fully committed to safeguard high conservation value (HCV) sites within our concessions and abides by the requirements to use a licensed assessor by HCV Resource Network for the preparation and submission of our New Planting Procedure (NPP) and pre-development planning. In addition, we conduct yearly internal reassessment of all existing HCV areas and initiate management and monitoring plans for our operations to ensure a systematic approach towards the conservation, maintenance and protection of these sites.
We have a zero-burning policy and strictly forbid any open burning for new planting or replanting of oil palm. Similarly, for waste management, we strive to reuse, recycle and conserve our resources; all our old palms are felled and shredded for biomass retention and recycling.
IOI has been practising Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in all our estates for over 10 years. IPM is an environmental-friendly method to control pests, rodents and plant diseases without the need for pesticides and other chemicals. This method is highly beneficial in both reducing operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and eliminating the release of pollutants into the soil and waterways.
Beneficial plants such as Cassia cobanensis and Euphorbia heterophylla are planted to attract natural predators for the biological control of bagworms and other leaf-eating caterpillars which are major insect pests in oil palm plantations. Barn owls have been proven effective in controlling rat population in our estates as the rodent population has been reduced by over 50%.
Other sustainable practices currently in place are:
- Developing high-yielding oil palm clones to further boost the productivity of the estates.
- Growing leguminous species as cover crop to prevent soil erosion, enhance soil nutrient status and improve soil water retention.
- Using buffaloes wherever practical instead of mechanical machines to transport fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from infields to minimise GHG emission.
- Recycling palm biomass (pruned fronds, empty fruit bunches and old palm trunks) and treated palm oil mill effluent back to the soil as natural fertilisers.
- Using palm biomass (shells and empty fruit bunches) as renewable energy source to provide nearly 98% of our mills' energy needs for steam and electricity generation.