Malaysian agri-commodities firm and palm oil producer Felda Global Ventures (FGV) is upgrading its ‘No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation’ sustainability policy in an effort to boost its sustainability drive.

In its new policy, the company has pledged to implement peat management systems, the high carbon stock approach (HCSA) – a methodology that distinguishes forest areas for protection from degraded lands with low carbon and biodiversity values that may be developed – and an improved human rights and welfare system, reported Edge Markets on 9 April.

“FGV is committed to sustainable development, especially in all matters pertaining to social equity, the rights of local peoples to economic betterment and the rights of our workers to a safe work environment, who are accorded benefits commensurate with the requirements of the law,” said FGV president and CEO Zakaria Arshad.

FGV’s new peat management system aimed to restore all its developed peatlands without causing social conflict, in line with the firm’s 2017 sustainability policy.

The company said it had submitted a restoration plan to the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which would see water levels maintained in order to restore peat ecosystem functions.

FGV had also developed a peat management masterplan, for which it had consulted relevant stakeholders, including the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The firm had adopted HCSA to take into account environmental and social aspects when determining new development areas, Edge Markets said.

“We have already incorporated this approach in our investment screening process for all future land acquisitions,” FGV said.

“FGV is establishing a transparent and independent multi-stakeholder engagement mechanism that will include local communities and members of civil society groups to offer local communities a platform to raise their concerns in an open forum.”