Breaking Conservation News

Receive news, views and features from the front line of conservation, straight to your inbox.

Thank You

Conservation International, Sime Darby Plantation Enter Partnership for Sustainable Palm Oil

October 4, 2019

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (October 4, 2019) – Conservation International and Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) today announced a partnership to help map a sustainable future for one of the world’s most important and debated commodities: palm oil.

The collaboration between the global nonprofit organization and the Malaysia-based company — the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil — aims to build on SDP’s reputation as a leader in sustainability in an effort to transform the palm oil sector.

The rapid expansion of cultivation of various crops, including oil palm in recent decades, has come at a steep cost to the environment and human rights. While important strides have been made by responsible producers in the palm oil sector to improve these circumstances, challenges such as deforestation and social conflict continue. In an effort to address those challenges, Conservation International will work with SDP to further build sustainability into the core of its operations and supply chain and to identify opportunities to deepen the impact of its interventions across the sector.

The partnership with Conservation International comes on the heels of SDP’s recently launched traceability initiative, Crosscheck, the first of its kind for the industry. An open access, online tool, Crosscheck is a major step forward in the Company’s efforts to achieve a supply chain that is free of deforestation and violations of other sustainable practices.

“Conservation International has been working to advance sustainability in the palm oil sector for more than 15 years, and this collaboration is a logical step in those ongoing efforts.  We’ve seen that Sime Darby Plantation is clearly committed to raising the bar on sustainability and transparency, and we’re hopeful about what this partnership can achieve both for Sime Darby Plantation and the sector as a whole,” said John Buchanan, Vice President of Sustainable Production at the organization’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.

“Sime Darby Plantation is committed towards the responsible and sustainable production of palm oil, but we cannot do this alone. We believe the collaboration with Conservation International will help us determine further potential improvements that can be made to our operations, supply chain and various initiatives. This will help to ensure that we continue to strengthen our sustainability credentials and protect both the environment and the people within our sphere,” said SDP’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr. Simon Lord.

The first phase of the collaboration between the parties will be an independent review by Conservation International of SDP’s operations and palm oil supply chain. Based on the findings of the assessment, Conservation International and SDP will identify opportunities to strengthen the company’s sustainability practices and drive positive change for the people and landscapes in which SDP operates. The collaboration will help create a pathway for other players to follow, in hopes of leading to a sustainable transformation of not just the palm oil industry but also the entire agricultural sector.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “Drop in the Ocean”, “My Africa,” “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Sime Darby Plantation

Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) is the world’s largest oil palm plantation company by planted area, producing about 4 percent of the global CPO output. It is also the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), with a CSPO production capacity of over 2.46 million MT.

As a globally integrated plantation company, SDP is involved in the full spectrum of the palm oil value chain, from upstream to downstream activities, R&D, renewables and agribusiness. Its upstream operations which consist predominantly of oil palm cultivation, harvesting and milling are spread across Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Liberia. Its downstream business, known as Sime Darby Oils, spans across 14 countries worldwide, and is involved in the manufacturing as well as the sales and marketing of oils and fats products, oleochemicals, palm oil-based biodiesel, nutraceuticals and other derivatives. SDP is also involved in rubber and sugarcane plantations, as well as cattle rearing.

With a workforce of over 95,000 employees and a strong focus on operational excellence, research, innovation and sustainability, SDP is one of the largest companies on Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of RM31.35bn (USD7.57 bn) as at 31 July 2019.

About Crosscheck

Crosscheck is an open access and free to use online tool that allows everyone to trace sources of Sime Darby Plantation’s palm oil supply down to the mill level – see

It allows users to view:

  • All the mills that supply to Sime Darby Plantation’s refineries and who owns these mills, providing new levels of information about the network of supply relationships across Sime Darby Plantation’s business
  • Specificity in Sime Darby Plantation’s supply to the mill level
  • Maps highlighting areas of risk in the landscape surrounding each mill, such as High Carbon Stock forest and large animal habitats
  • Satellite maps which show any evidence of deforestation on the ground
  • How to get in touch to alert Sime Darby Plantation if they identify issues on the ground – so that action can be taken

Launched in Kuala Lumpur on 23 May 2019, Crosscheck is designed as a platform that can incorporate new data over time. Sime Darby Plantation is already working with NGO partners and other stakeholders on generating further layers of information to make Crosscheck even more effective.