Greenpeace Delivers Global Anti-Haze Petition to Palm Oil Giant IOI in Malaysia

Press release - October 6, 2016
Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta, 6 October 2016 — Greenpeace has delivered a global petition signed by 300,000 people to the IOI Group in Malaysia, calling on the palm oil company to end its contribution to the regional haze by cutting off all suppliers clearing rainforest for plantations, and by fully protecting peatlands. IOI is estimated to be the world’s third-largest palm oil company. [1]

On Wednesday morning, Greenpeace volunteers and members of Malaysian civil society visited IOI Group’s headquarters in Putrajaya to hand over the petition. Carrying signs saying “Forest Fires Start Here”, they highlighted IOI Group’s links to suppliers involved in serious environmental and rights abuses including destruction of Indonesian rainforests, illegal fires and child labour.

As volunteers approached the entrance of the IOI Group building, staff locked the doors and refused to receive the petition.

“In the last few weeks, IOI has been publicly named and shamed for fanning the flames of Indonesian forest fires and haze. This company must not ignore the voices of consumers and concerned citizens, including Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians, who want to see an end to the deadly haze from forest fires,” said Ratri Kusumohartono, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forests Campaigner. “The more it refuses to change, the louder the call will become for IOI to commit to protect the region’s rainforests.”

The activity in Malaysia is part of a global escalating effort by Greenpeace to highlight IOI’s malpractice. Beginning in  in Jakarta (27 Sept), Greenpeace launched ‘A Deadly Trade-Off’, a report documenting IOI’s trade in palm oil from companies involved in forest destruction, peatland fires and child labour. [2] On the same day  at a port in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Greenpeace activists, including two affected community members from Indonesia undertook a blockade preventing imports and exports of palm oil at IOI’s refinery of. [3] Then, on October 3 Greenpeace USA flew an airship over the San Francisco Bay area, one of the points of entry of IOI imported palm oil into North America, with a message reading "IOI Protect our Rainforests”. [4] 

IOI subsequently released a public statement acknowledging it could play a significant role in changing the industry for the better, but also called on fellow industry players to work together to find long lasting solutions for the sustainability of the sector. [5] Greenpeace says that rather than taking firm action by suspending trade with all the supplier groups named, IOI seeks yet more discussions with industry partners, without firm expectations as to what these discussions must achieve.

In response, Greenpeace has described IOI’s stance as “passing the buck.”

“If IOI Group is serious about industry leadership, it now has the opportunity to take concrete action to protect forests and peatlands, resolve conflicts, as well as respect the rights of local communities,” Ratri said.

Notes to editors

[1] The Global Petition to the IOI Group: “To IOI: Your company has been involved in forest destruction for over 8 years! But people in Southeast Asia suffering from the haze - and our precious rainforests - cannot wait for action any longer. Start protecting, rather than plundering rainforests. Please:

  • Stop forest destruction for palm oil - cut off all suppliers involved in deforestation
  • Stop disregarding local communities and endangered animals in your search for palm oil”

[2] A Deadly Trade-Off report: www.greenpeace.org/costs-of-IOI

[3] Greenpeace activity in Rotterdam: https://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeace_nederland/

[4] Greenpeace activity in San Francisco https://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceusa09/29467626273/in/album-72157673492822396/

[5] IOI statement following Greenpeace’s report launch http://www.ioigroup.com/Content/NEWS/NewsroomDetails?intNewsID=817  and Greenpeace’s response: http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/Press-Centre/Press-Releases/Time-for-IOI-to-lead-from-the-front/

Photos of the Greenpeace activity in Kuala Lumpur are available at http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJJJWQAE  

 

Media contacts

Ratri Kusumohartono, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, , Mob  +62 811 8003 717

Therese Salvador, Media Coordinator, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, , Mob +63917 822 8734

Igor O'Neill, Communications Indonesia Forest campaign, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, , Mob +62 811 1923 721