Sinar Mas Group is Indonesia's largest Palm Oil, pulp, and paper group, and is repeatedly accused of illegal logging to clear lands for palm oil production particularly in Sumatra and Borneo .Sinar Mas has cleared rainforest that has been identified as orang-utan habitat by a United Nations Environment Program study.
Virgin rainforest is cleared to make palm oil plantations. This is often done against local , national and international law. A web of companies is involved under the holding company Sinar Mas. As well as destroying critical habitats for orang-utans the sumatran tiger and indigenous peoples, estimates say deforestation is responsible for between 10 and 25 per cent of Indonesia’s carbon emissions. With Indonesia now the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter Sinar Mas is increasingly viewed as one of the dirtiest companies in the supply chain of western consumerism.
Greenpeace reports "While Sinar Mas makes public promises to protect Indonesian forests and peatlands, it does just the opposite. In addition to these broken promises the company plans to expand its empire of destruction ever further. Last week the head of Sinar Mas's palm oil division confirmed intentions to expand into an additional 1 million hectares, including the untouched forests of Papua."
Sinar Mas is the subject of a sustained campaign highlighting the destruction of the tropical rainforest and it's link to well known brands in the west. This campaign has met some success, as it focusses on palm oil coming from newly deforested habitats being used in common products in Europe and the US. Nestle's KitKat brand has recently been the subject of a Greenpeace boycott. Other clients of Sinar Mas include Cargill and KFC and Pizza Hut (together known as YUM! Brands). Pressure is also being brought to bear on shareholders of Sinar mas itself "Sinar Mas continues to lie to its shareholders and customers about its environmental standards. Whatever new promises it makes today, it is clear the company intends to continue trashing rainforests and destroying orangutan habitat. We will continue to press Sinar Mas' customers to stop all business with this forest destroyer until it cleans up its act," says Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Team Leader.
Sinar Mas is a member of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a voluntary industry initiative aimed at developing a certification system for the production of sustainable palm oil based on principles and criteria. There has been much criticism of this body and in particular the fact that its members, including Sinar Mas, continue to destroy rainforests and peatlands. Sinar Mas has yet to get any of its plantations certified.
Sinar Mas Group is the holding company for a number of related companies
- Asia Pulp and Paper Sinar mas's logging concern
- PT SMART The palm oil subsidiary
- Golden Agri Resources
- PT ALM
- PT BAT
- PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa, the coal and power business unit of the Sinar Mas Group.
Related SourceWatch articles
Wikipedia article on RSPO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundtable_on_Sustainable_Palm_Oil
Website of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil http://www.rspo.org/
Why is oil palm replacing tropical rainforests? http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0425-oil_palm.html
Greenpeace exposes Indonesian palm oil firm's 'broken' rainforest pledge http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/29/palm-oil-indonesia-greenpeace
- Greenpeace makes fresh allegations against Indonesian firm http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jbuEYHxyHSCPbmHxHfQvIwBp6nng
- Why is a former Greenpeace activist siding with Indonesia's logging industry? http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/dec/02/sumatra-rainforest-destruction-patrick-moore?CMP=twt_gu
- MongaBay Sinar Mas Group seeks 'backdoor' public listing in Singapore January 27, 2012