The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How First Resources supports the communities where it operates

Established in 1992 and listed on the Singapore Exchange since 2007, First Resources is a leading palm oil producer, managing over 200,000 hectares of oil palm plantations across the Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia. First Resources is committed to maintaining positive relations with the communities where it operates, contributing to the socio-economic development of neighbouring communities through community investment programmes.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by First Resources published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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First Resources’ Policy on Sustainable Palm Oil includes a commitment to drive positive socio-economic impact for the people and communities First Resources touches through job creation, investments in plasma projects and community development programmes centred on education, healthcare and infrastructure (including access to clean water). In order to support the communities where it operates First Resources took action to:

  • increase access to quality formal education
  • support infrastructure development
  • extend access to healthcare
  • improve access to clean water

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report First Resources identified a range of material issues, such as labour conditions and human rights, business conduct and corruption, supply chain traceability and transparency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, employee management and retention. Among these, supporting the communities where it operates stands out as a key material issue for First Resources.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups First Resources engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics First Resources engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Communities ·      Meetings with Community Development Officers
Customers

 

 

 

·      One-on-one communication

·      Website

·      Annual Report

·      Sustainability Report

Employees

 

 

·      Internal company portal

·      Internal company meetings

·      Performance review

Shareholders

 

 

 

 

·      Annual General Meeting

·      Website

·      SGXNET

·      Annual Report

·      Sustainability Report

·      One-on-one communication

·      Conferences/Non-Deal Roadshows

Banks and financial institutions

 

 

 

·      Website

·      SGXNET

·      Annual Report

·      Sustainability Report

·      One-on-one communication

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

 

 

·      One-on-one communication

·      Website

·      Annual Report

·      Sustainability Report

Suppliers

 

·      One-on-one communication

·      Group sessions

Regulatory bodies (including government)

 

·      One-on-one communication

·      Reporting mechanisms

·      Multi-stakeholder forums

What actions were taken by First Resources to support the communities where it operates?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report First Resources reports that it took the following actions for supporting the communities where it operates:

  • Increasing access to quality formal education
  • First Resources recognises that education is fundamental for community growth and well-being and works to increase access to quality formal education for both the current and future generations of school-age children in its communities. First Resources currently manages 38 schools located within its plantation estates, which include 13 kindergartens, 19 elementary schools, four junior high schools and two preschools. These institutions employ more than 250 teachers and educate over 2,500 students. The educational practices adopted are similar to those at schools managed by the local government. First Resources contributes to the schools’ facilities and teaching aids, such as furniture, computers, electricity generators and books. All children of employees working on First Resources’ estates are provided with free education at the schools. Scholarships were also awarded to high-scoring children from less privileged families, having been selected by local education authorities. To motivate teachers that work with First Resources’ communities, and encourage a higher standard of teaching, First Resources offers them additional incentives, such as supplementary income. In 2018, First Resources allocated and invested almost IDR3 billion to support the education of children. In addition to awarding scholarships, First Resources also established an internship programme that is run in collaboration with more than 30 Indonesian universities. The programme offers students an opportunity to apply what they have learned, expand their knowledge and benefit from valuable on-the-job experience. In 2018, First Resources took in 296 interns, consisting of students from various universities and high schools.
  • Supporting infrastructure development
  • As well as enabling First Resources to run its own operational activities more efficiently, better infrastructure enables local communities, including farmers, cooperatives, associations, businesses and local government, to have better access to healthcare facilities, educational facilities and markets. First Resources consults local village leaders on which infrastructure projects to support. Accessibility to roads, better road conditions and connecting bridges will improve the mobility of rural communities and support local economies. The roads servicing First Resources’ operating areas – which First Resources shares with local communities – are maintained to minimise disruption to First Resources’ operations and to maintain strong links to the main transport network. In 2018, most of First Resources’ infrastructure projects were carried out in its development areas at East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, where First Resources repaired 85 kilometres of roads and bridges.
  • Extending access to healthcare
  • First Resources has built more than 32 health clinics on its estates. These are staffed with qualified medical professionals, including at least one doctor and two nurses in each facility. The primary purpose of the clinics is to service First Resources’ employees and their families, but they are also open to local community members. The operating hours of the clinics are longer than those of the health posts managed by local government. Medical services such as immunisations for polio, measles and tuberculosis are available to communities upon request. First Resources has also established health-related community programmes, to improve the well-being of local residents and increase their awareness about the benefits of healthy living. Carried out in cooperation with local health authorities, the “Be Healthy with First Resources” programme includes treatments and advice for children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as the coordination of blood donation drives.
  • Improving access to clean water
  • Infrastructure for delivering clean and potable water is severely lacking in some of the communities located near First Resources’ operations. First Resources has therefore made assisting villages with this basic need a priority within the scope of its community investment programme. First Resources’ efforts include the provision of clean water, new piping and water tanks, as well as the construction of new water wells for villages to ensure constant water flow. In 2018, this initiative reached three villages and benefitted over 246 families.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 203-1 Infrastructure investments and services supported

2) Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts

 

Disclosure 203-1 Infrastructure investments and services supported corresponds to:

 Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Business theme: Availability of products and services for those on low incomes, Economic development in areas of high poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Business theme: Changing the productivity of organizations, sectors, or the whole economy
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  • Business theme: Access to medicines
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Changing the productivity of organizations, sectors, or the whole economy, Indirect impact on job creation, Jobs supported in the supply chain
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Business theme: Economic development in areas of high poverty, Foreign direct investment
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Foreign direct investment

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by First Resources, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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