Delivering Sustainable Development

Best Practices

Objective
We aim to be the best-in class and lead the industry with our best practices initiatives.
Good Agricultural Practices
As one of the leading producers of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, our Plantation Division is committed to sustainable development and subscribes to good agriculture practices in all its operations.

For more information on our Plantation Divisions Good Agriculture Practices initiatives, click here.
Banned the Usage of the Herbicide Paraquat
We have stopped the use of the herbicide Paraquat in our operations since the early 2000s.

Although not a banned substance, we took the initiative to stop its use due to the potentially harmful effects of paraquat on the environment and significant health and safety risks, if used inappropriately.

Peatland Management
Peat forests are an important element in managing global climate change. As large amounts of carbon is stored in peatlands, peat forests releases greenhouse gas emissions when cleared or burned.

Sime Darby has been committed to no new developments in deep peat (i.e. peat greater than three metres depth) since 2008. In 2013, we expanded this commitment with the introduction of our “no planting on peatland” policy, prohibiting new developments in all peatland areas, irrespective of depth.

Fire in peat can travel for long distances underground, so fires started elsewhere can spread to other estates if not managed effectively. To reduce the risk of fires in historic plantings on peat, soil water content on peatlands are increased in an effort to make the land harder to burn.

Soil Management
When our oil palms reach the productive end of their 25-year life span they are felled and shredded, and the land is carefully prepared to support the growth of new palms. During this stage we plant legume cover crops (LCC) to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, reduce soil erosion and improve water retention. The LCC also improve soil aggregation, increase the soil’s biological activity and suppress the growth of noxious weeds that contribute to crop loss.

While herbicides are used occasionally for selective weeding, Sime Darby Plantation does not practice blanket spraying.

Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the combined use of ecological, cultural, physical, biological and chemical methods to control pests and diseases in our estates.

Our IPM techniques reduces the usage of chemical pesticides and their associated environmental and food chain impacts.

For example, we use natural micro-organisms to control the nettle caterpillar and bag worm populations, pheromone trapping and planting thick ground cover to control the rhinoceros beetle, barn owls to reduce rat populations and the complete removal and shredding of old palms to control basal stem rot by the Ganoderma fungus.

Zero Burning Replanting Technique
Sime Darby Plantation implemented a zero burning policy in 1985, and strictly adheres to it. Clear policies and standard operating procedures have been developed to support the zero burning approach.

Estate workers, contractors and smallholders are trained in key aspects of the approach, such as methods for felling and shredding old oil palm stands and the duration of fallow periods.

Systems are also put in place for monitoring and control.

Planting Materials
The oil palm planted today at The Sime Darby Plantation estates are the result of many years of research and development in cross-breeding of the hardiest, most productive palms and stringently selected parental lines. Supported by over 90 years of research and development in breeding and selection activities, Sime Darby Seeds and Agricultural Services, a Sime Darby Plantation subsidiary, is today Malaysia’s largest producer of hybrid oil palm planting materials, with an annual production of approximately 26 million seeds or 30-40% of the country’s total production. Apart from local use, we also export our planting materials worldwide. 


In 2010, we developed the Calix 600, known as the “super seed” for its vigour and homogenous growth, high precocity and superb oil yield per unit area. The Calix 600 seed is capable of producing oil yield of nearly 10 metric tonnes per hectare per year as compared to traditional yields of 4-6 metric tonnes per hectare per year. 
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