In December 2013, Wilmar announced its integrated No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy that aims to advance an environmentally and socially responsible palm oil industry. Key to this Policy is the scope which extends beyond its own mills and plantations to include joint ventures regardless of shareholding and third-party suppliers.


Tap on image to enlarge

Wilmar recognizes that while plantation development has contributed significantly to economic development, deforestation and other unsustainable practices have many negative consequences for people and the environment. For that reason, we are working closely with other growers, traders, processors, NGOs, end- user companies, financial institutions and other industry stakeholders to protect forests, peatlands, and human and community rights. To reduce impact on the environment, we expect our suppliers to conduct all relevant social & environmental impact assessment (SEIA) prior to all new development/planting as per local legal requirements. 

Core to our policy is a commitment to creating a transparent sourcing network with full traceability. We look forward to close consultation with communities, NGOs, our industry partners, and financial institutions to ensure effective implementation of these policies.


No development on High Carbon Stock (HCS) Forests or High Conservation Value (HCV) Areas

Wilmar requires the protection of HCS forest and HCV areas in all estates within our global supply chain under the full scope of this policy. Any plantation development activity must identify HCV areas and HCS forests for protection utilising international best practice guidance from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria, High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCVRN) and the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach. As of 2018, the RSPO P&C requires the use of the HCV-HCS Integrated Manual for assessments.

The HCS Approach is a methodology that distinguishes forest areas for protection from degraded lands with low carbon and biodiversity values that may developed. The HCS Approach methodology also includes consideration of indigenous and local peoples' lands and Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) of land rights holders. All new assessments must be integrated HCV-HCSA assessments led by Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS) assessors and HCSA registered practitioners, and undergo necessary HCVRN or HCSA quality review.

In Wilmar-owned operations, we have more specific commitments that include best management practices for environment and sustainable management of natural resources:

  • We will support the conservation and restoration of HCS forests, HCV areas, peatlands, and other ecologically and culturally important lands within the landscapes in which we operate, through Integrated Conservation and Land Use Plans (ICLUPs). This is done in cooperation with wide range of stakeholders, including governments and civil society organisations (CSOs).
  • Areas identified as containing community and culturally significant HCVs will be managed to maintain these values.
  • We will work with relevant authorities and take strong measures to protect native animals and plants, especially rare, threatened and endangered species . Poaching of wildlife in plantations or forests is prohibited. Hunting, capturing, extracting, and trafficking of wild animals on plantations is strictly prohibited. 
  • We respect the traditional rights of indigenous groups and communities to hunt. we will work together with these groups to ensure that hunting occurs in a controlled manner and in areas designated for those purposes provided that their hunting activities are legal, non-commercial, do not involve rare, threatened or endangered species, do not threaten the long-term viability of the species, and do not have negatives impacts on ecological processes important for agriculture and local ecosystem sustainability. 
  • We will undertake enrichment planting of HCV areas, riparian areas, areas along major roads within plantations complexes, and available vacant space not suitable for crops based on a landscape approach.   

Please refer to our Conservation page for more information on Wilmar’s conservation efforts.

No Burning

We do not allow the  use of fire in the preparation of new planting, or re-planting or any other development, in accordance with the full scope of this policy. Any deliberate burning burning activities for land clearing by our suppliers will not be tolerated. 

Please refer to our Responsible Operations page for more information on Wilmar’s efforts on fire prevention and mitigation.

Progressively Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Existing Operations

For Wilmar-owned operations, we will adopt and implement significant GHG emissions reduction targets, which will be achieved by treating mill effluent to reduce methane emissions, halting deforestation, as well as best management practices of cultivated peatland. We expect suppliers to also adopt these practices. 

We will regularly report progress in monitoring and reducing significant pollutants and emissions from plantation and mill operations using appropriate tools, such as the RSPO PalmGHG calculator and the GHG Protocol accounting standard, or equivalent.

Please refer to our Responsible Operations page for more information on Wilmar’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

No New Development on Peatland regardless of Depth

Wilmar will not accept new development on peatland, regardless of the depth of peat, in accordance with the full scope of this policy.

Best Management Practices for Existing Plantations on Peat

Where plantations have been established on peat in the past, Wilmar will work with expert stakeholders to ensure that Best Management Practices for peat, as defined by the RSPO and peat experts, are adopted. In addition to that, we observe the RSPO requirements on marginal and fragile soils.

Where Feasible, Explore Options for Peat Restoration by Working with Expert Stakeholders and Communities

As crops planted on peat come to the end of their current rotation and as per outcomes of peat drainability assessments required under the 2018 RSPO Principles and Criteria, Wilmar will explore options for the long-term restoration of peatland and peat forest.

Wilmar is committed to ensure that the following principles apply to the rights of all people directly impacted by any operation covered under the full scope of this policy. This includes people living locally in nearby or adjacent communities, and people working as employees and contractors, including temporary and migrant workers.

Respect and Support Internationally Recognised Human Rights

We commit to upholding and promoting internationally-recognized human rights as described in the International Bill of Human Rights (consisting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) eight fundamental Conventions and Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. 

Our position on No Exploitation and our policies, action plans and mechanisms are guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which encompasses the three pillars of 'Protect Respect and Remedy', plus promotion of human rights. We are also guided and informed by the United Nations Global Compact and the FAQ's Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of national food security (VGGTs). These provisions apply for all workers, contractors, indigenous people, local communities and anyone affected by our operations under the full scope of this policy, as outlined in our Human Rights Policy and Human Rights Framework.

Respect and Recognised the Rights of All Workers

We commit to ensuring that the rights of all people working in any operation covered under the full scope of this policy are respected according to local, national and ratified international laws. We also commit to ensuring international best practices where legal frameworks are not yet in place, and use as reference:

  • the United Kingdom (UK) Modern Slavery Act
  • Free and Fair Labor in Palm Oil Production: Principles and Implementation Guidance
  • other Wilmar policies that support our human rights values and commitments (i.e. Human Rights Framework, Child Protection Policy, Occupational Health and Safety Policy, Sexual Harassment, Violence and Abuse, and Reproductive Rights Policy, Whistleblowing Policy, and Women's Charter).

The following requirements are central to successful implementation of this policy:

  1. Elimination of forced, bonded (including debt bondage) or indentured labour, slavery and trafficking of persons, and restrictions on workers' freedom of movement. Wilmar is committed to upholding the rights to freedom of movement and the right to resign from employment.
  2. Upholding the rights of workers to freedom of association, collective bargaining, and to form and join trade unions of their choice. 
  3. Ensuring ethical recruitment such that workers do not incur any recruitment fees at any stage of the recruitment process, and no retention of passports/ identity documents. Workers may voluntarily want to have their passports or identity documents held by the management for safekeeping purposes. In such cases, the documents should be returned to the workers upon request. There should be evidence of due diligence in applying this to all contract workers and suppliers.
  4. Providing a safe and healthy workplace , as outlined in our Health and safety Policy. Wilmar will work to protect workers, local communities, and the environment from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Pesticides that are categorised as World Health Organization Class 1A or 1B and listed by the Stockholm or Rotterdam Conventions are not used, except in specific and urgent situations. The use of Paraquat is strictly prohibited. We will work with stakeholders to determine and implement alternative pest control strategies to totally avoid this pesticides.
  5. Respect for diversity, and provision of a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and abuse, as outlined in our Women's Charter, Equal Opportunity Policy, and Sexual Harassment, Violence and Abuse, Reproductive Rights Policy.
  6. Commitment to best practices in terms of fair working conditions, including the payment of wages that meet or exceed legal requirements, taking into account reasonable production targets and working hours. other focus areas include workplace accident insurance, documented employment contracts, confidentiality, accommodation and access to remedy.

Respect and Protect the Rights of Children and Their Welfare

Wilmar does not tolerate child labour, any forms of child exploitation and child abuse; committing to its elimination throughout our supply chain. Ensuring welfare and special care for children in our operations as well as our third-party suppliers' operations is under the full scope of this policy, as outlined in our Child Protection Policy.

Support the Inclusion of Smallholders into the Supply Chain

Wilmar is committed to support the inclusion of smallholders into the supply chain. Smallholders are a critical part of the industry and they face unique challenges in meeting sustainability compliance which could sideline them from the palm oil supply chain. Challenges include possibly having lower levels of agronomic know-how, and usually having poorer access to resources. Many smallholders may also have rights to indigenous or local lands (sometimes known as "Native Titles" in Malaysia, or "Lahan Ulayat" in Indonesia) with the explicit right to develop their own land. Wilmar will conduct ongoing consultations with smallholders and provide technical assistance and support to help them achieve compliance with this policy. As a priority, we are focusing on independent smallholder suppliers to Wilmar's stand-alone mills, and we are encouraging our third-party suppliers to develop their own programmes. Wilmar welcomes support from governments, CSOs and customers to assist smallholders in achieving compliance.

Respect Land Tenure Rights

Making reference to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, Wilmar will respect indigenous peoples' and local communities' formal and customary rights to lands, territories and resources where proven in the context of our operational activities. This includes where the rights to own, occupy, use and administer these lands, territories and resources are proven. This is done in cognizance of the national obligations, consultations, national and local laws and regulations of the country in which we are operating. 

Respect the Rights of Indigenous and Local Communities to Give or Withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to Operations on Lands to Which They Hold Proven Legal, Communal or Customary Rights

Wilmar pledges to respect and recognise the long-term formal and customary rights and individual rights of indigenous and local communities in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the HCSA Social Requirements. Wilmar commits to ensuring legal compliance as well as international best practices in FPIC are implemented, in accordance with the full scope of this policy, prior to commencing any new operations or activities. Wilmar will engage with local and international stakeholder communities to ensure FPIC processes are correctly implemented and continuously improved.

Identify Measures to Provide Remediation Where the Company has Caused or Contributed to Negative Human Rights Impacts

Wilmar own operations will also cooperate to identify and provide remediation where Wilmar has caused or contributed to negative human rights impacts. This includes in relation to indigenous and local communities' rights and labour rights.


Resolve All Complaints and Conflicts through an Open, Transparent and Consultative Process

Wilmar operates a Grievance Procedure to enable any stakeholder to raise a grievance against any party. All grievances logged under the Grievance Procedure shall be dealt with in a timely manner, and all investigations and findings will be reported transparently with full public disclosure. Suspension of a supplier will be imposed at the group basis; only after the group has met the minimum requirements for re-entry will Wilmar consider resuming business.

Results of grievance cases investigated through external mechanisms (e.g. RSPO Complaints Procedure, Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO), etc.), where outcomes do not ensure compliance with Wilmar’s NDPE policy, they will be subjected to an internal review, and where relevant, a separate recommendation on suspension for the supplier will be made by the Grievance Unit.

Based on feedback and input from stakeholders we have developed this No Exploitation Protocol to complement our Grievance Procedure. To strengthen the protocol development process, the Consortium of Resource Experts (CORE) has supported Wilmar to work alongside a technical working group consisting of labour rights and land rights specialist, Verité, Landesa, and Earthworm Foundation. The development of the protocol involved two rounds of multi-stakeholder consultations, which involved local and international NGOs and human rights experts. This protocol covers non-compliances in relation to respecting workers’ rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, community rights and land rights, and human rights defenders, that warrant action and oversight that is additional to those described in Wilmar’s Grievance Procedure. It lays out how Wilmar’s suppliers should implement corrective actions, undertake remediation, address systemic change and report on progress.

Wilmar also operates a Whistleblowing Policy, under the full scope of this policy, where internal and external personnel may, in confidence, raise concerns about possible corporate improprieties, and establishes a framework for independent investigations.

Wilmar supports protection for environmental and human rights defenders and prohibits threats, harassment, intimidation, the use of violence, or retaliation against anyone who raises a concern, lodges a complaint or participates in an investigation or whistleblowing.

Finally, Wilmar maintains a clear and strong commitment to non-violence and will do whatever possible, in all contexts, to prevent the use of force or the threat or real application of violence.