Malaysian Palm Oil Giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) Adopts New Sustainability Standards

Rainforest Action Network responds to the announcement, calling it a “critical milestone”

San Francisco, CA – After facing years of public criticism and campaigning from civil society, Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) released a new sustainability standards, pledging its commitment to responsibly produce and source palm oil.

KLK’s new policy is significant in that it marks its commitment to follow global best practices for ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation’, including by implementing the High Carbon Stock Approach methodology and its social requirements, the Free and Fair Labor Principles, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) throughout its operations and in its supply chain.

“KLK’s newly announced policy is a critical milestone for the company but the true test of KLK’s commitments, as always, will be in the implementation on the ground, in particular in areas of expansion like its operations in Liberia. RAN and other civil society groups will continue to monitor KLK’s implementation of its policy, and we expect KLK’s customers and financiers –– including Cargill, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Wilmar, California Oils, Neste, BASF, Fuji Oils, HSBC, OCBC, CIMB Bank, and Maybank — to do the same,” said Robin Averbeck, Agribusiness Campaign Director for Rainforest Action Network (RAN).

Over the past four years, the company has been the subject of considerable criticism due to conflicts with communities in Liberia, threatened social conflict and deforestation in Papua New Guinea, and unresolved labor and deforestation risks in its Indonesian and global operations. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and other civil society groups have been demanding that the company update and implement a revised palm oil policy for years. KLK faced strong criticism of its last policy revision, which took place in 2014.


Previous reports and customer updates include:

Conflict Palm Oil in Practice, Exposing KLK’s Role in Rainforest Destruction, Land Grabbing, and Child Labor, April 2014

Conflict Palm Oil in Practice, Exposing KLK’s Role in Rainforest Destruction, Land Grabbing, and Child Labor: 2015 Status Report and Customer Briefing, December 2015

KLK Customer and Financier Briefing, September 2016