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What policies has REA implemented?

REA regularly evaluates its approach to sustainability to ensure that the group continues to address the risks and opportunities associated with its expanding business and meet the evolving expectations of its stakeholders.

The group is committed to operating in a responsible and transparent manner and has made its policy framework publicly available since 2015. In addition to the sustainability information published each year in the annual report, the group publishes detailed information regarding the group’s environmental and social performance, as well as the sustainability challenge, in accordance with the internationally recognised Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard. This allows the group’s sustainability performance to be compared with that of other oil palm growers and allows stakeholders to monitor the group’s progress in meeting its sustainability commitments.

Each year, the group participates in the Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) assessment by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). SPOTT uses publicly available information to produce a score based on a number of criteria, in particular the presence and implementation of sustainability policies, certification and supply chain traceability. The toolkit also focuses on social, ecological and environmental indicators, such as how the group deals with forests, peatlands, water management, community rights and smallholders. The group’s score has increased in the past two years from 64% in 2016, to 67% in 2017 and to 70% in 2018, reflecting improvements in the presentation of data and clarification of certain policies. In 2018, the group was ranked 19th out of 70 participating oil palm companies, compared with 16th out of 50 participating companies in 2017, although year on year comparisons are complicated by the increasing number of categories, indicators and companies.

The group’s policy framework comprises six policies, which both reinforce REA’s commitment to well-established best practices, such as zero burning, and demonstrate the group’s desire to remain at the forefront of sustainable palm oil production. REA is committed to the protection of biodiversity, avoiding clearing of primary forest or new planting on peat and to reporting publicly all GHG emissions, including those from land use change. The group’s policies incorporate the requirements of all of the sustainability standards and certifications to which the group has committed. These standards are embodied in various certification schemes, specifically the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO, Principles & Criteria 2013), Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), which focus on zero-deforestation, transparent feedstock supply chains and measurement of greenhouse gas emissions. The group remains committed to ensuring that all of its plantations and mills achieve and maintain certification under these internationally recognised schemes. Other standards to which the group is committed include the International Standards Organisation’s Environmental Management System (ISO14001), the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001), and regulatory requirements, such as the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the Modern Slavery Act.

The full text of each policy is available to download here:

Commitments and Targets




Achieve the RSPO certification for REA’s three 3 existing palm oil mills


-      POM & COM certification was obtained in June 2011
-      POM & COM recertification audit was conducted in June 2016
-      POM successfully obtained recertification in June 2016
-      COM successfully obtained recertification in July 2017
-      In 2017-2018, the first surveillance audits for POM and COM were successfully carried out
-      SOM is awaiting certification (due in 2019) following resolution of an outstanding HCV compensation liability

Achieve RSPO certification for the 2 new palm oil mills that the group had expected to commission in 2019/2020 in CDM and PBJ


Not applicable

Development of the CDM mill has been delayed as there is no immediate requirement; PBJ was sold in 2018, obviating the need for an additional mill


No new development prior to the completion of a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment by an RSPO approved HCV assessor


Achieved. No new development is, or will be, permitted to takes place before completion of an HCV assessment

Map all encroachment within the conservation reserves and develop an action plan to restore these areas


REA is continuously monitoring conservation areas and mapping encroachment sites, and has developed an action plan to tackle the encroachment and regenerate the areas

Climate change

No new development on peat


Achieved for all developing estates which undergo soil surveys prior to development

Reduce the intensity of GHG emissions per planted hectare


Achieved. The 3 existing mills (POM, COM and SOM) have identified and monitored all sources of GHG emissions from their operational activities

There was a decrease in net GHG emissions in 2018 compared to 2017, based on calculations using the RSPO PalmGHG (Version 3) achieved through implementation of best practices, such as the efficient use of fossil fuels, the application of EFB and compost, preventative maintenance of vehicles and engine units, and management of conservation areas to increase carbon sequestration

Reduce the volume of water used to process each tonne of FFB in all 3 mills


Achieved. The 3 mills (POM, COM and SOM) monitor water usage on a monthly basis – efficiency of water use improved in 2018 to 1.46 m3/tonne FFB compared with 1.79 m3/tonne FFB in 2017

Health and Safety

No work-related fatalities


In 2017, there was one work related fatality and one non work related fatality

In 2018, there were no work related fatalities and one non work related fatality

Obtain OHSAS 18001 certification


Delayed until 2020 as the group works towards full implementation with monthly internal audits and inspections conducted in accordance with the standard

Reduce lost time accident rates


In 2018, 2,249 Lost Time Incident (LTI) days were recorded compared with 1,728 LTI days in 2017, the increase reflecting  3 cases giving rise to long term or permanent absence of respectively 174, 115 and 32 days.  Future reporting of LTIs on which the group’s commitments are based will be in accordance with the lost time accident rates and accident severity rates set out in the notes available here


No employees under the age of 18


Achieved: no employees under the age of 18

Reduce employee turnover rates


The employee turnover ratio decreased from 2.2% in 2017 to 1.9% in 2018


Develop PPMD and plasma smallholder oil palm plantings equivalent to at least 20% of the total area planted by the REA group


Delayed. Land has been acquired to increase this percentage and is currently undergoing the appropriate assessments prior to development into oil palm

Achieve RSPO certification for the mature associated smallholder plantings supplying the group’s 3 existing mills


The group is focusing on the RSPO certification plan for smallholders cooperatives, but this will take time to achieve with significant preparatory work required, such as providing socialisation and training to several independent farmer cooperatives


No new development without the FPIC of local communities


No new development takes place without the FPIC of the local community


100% traceable supply base for all three mills

Completed in 2018 & ongoing

100% traceable supply base for all 3 mills: mapping and tracking of smallholders was completed in 2018