BWPT is majority-owned by business tycoon Peter Sondakh. The palm oil company emerged late 2014, after a reverse-takeover by the company Green Eagle of the already-listed PT BW Plantation (BWPT).
Presently, BWPT’s planted area comprises 152,000 ha with 91 percent in Kalimantan, 8 percent in Papua, and 1 percent in Sumatra. During 2011 to 2013, it expanded on average 15,000 ha per year. Since 2014, its expansion slowed to 8,000 ha in 2014, 2,000 ha in 2015, and zero ha in 2016. The slowdown may have environmental (aligning with NDPE procurement policies) and financial (the company has a high debt) reasons.
Sustainability Policy and Recent Practices
BWPT does not have a public NDPE policy. Before the reverse takeover, the company Green Eagle stated that its policy for the future was to focus on planting on mineral soils. BWPT had not made any such statements.
BWPT is a member of the RSPO. It aims to achieve 100 percent RSPO certification for its own operations by 2025. At present, it has not secured RSPO certification for any of its operations. Likewise, it has never submitted any New Planting proposals to the RSPO, despite clearing and planting oil palm in new concessions.
As shown below in Figure 5, significant concerns include:
- From Q2 2013 to Q2 2015, BWPT’s concession company PT Arrtu Energi Resources (Ketapang district, West Kalimantan) planted oil palm on 3,000 ha of peatland. In November 2014, three orangutans were rescued from fires inside the concession.
- In June 2015, the Indonesian NGO Greenomics released a report documenting destruction of forests in South Sorong district, West Papua. Greenomics found that BWPT’s subsidiary PT Varia Mitra Andalan cleared High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests through March 2015. BWPT’s buyers GAR and Cargill, who have NDPE policies, said they would investigate the matter and engage with the company. Satellite imagery shows that, after clearing 1,000 ha of forests, the clearing stopped mid-2015.
Figure 5: Clearing of High Carbon Stock forests (red marked area) by BWPT’s PT Varia Mitra Andalan. The clearing stopped mid-2015.