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Green Productivity for Sustainable Palm Oil Production, Indonesia

9 Dec 2007

Contributed by GP Expert Teoh Cheng Hai, Malaysia, and Mr. Tan Tian Sang, PT Musim Mas, Indonesia

PT Musim Mas (www.musimmas.com), a fully integrated palm oil corporation in Indonesia, has adopted the Green Productivity (GP) methodology to achieve continuous improvement in the sustainable production of palm oil. GP has become an integral part of the management of the enterprise, which is based on the Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) (www.rspo.org). Among the eight RSPO principles, principle 8 calls for a “commitment to continuous improvement in key areas of activity.” To ensure that meaningful improvements are made in its operational activities, Musim Mas decided to use the GP approach for systematic problem solving to devise sustainable solutions.

Participants in the Musim Mas Senior Management Workshop

Brainstorming session during GP training for project team leaders and facilitators

Ecomapping to identify problems in occupational health and safety

As Musim Mas is composed of many plantation companies, it has adopted a phased approach in implementing GP, starting with one company and extending GP training and application to all over time. The introduction of GP commenced with a Senior Management Workshop in February 2007, when President Director Bachtiar Karim launched the Musim Mas Sustainability Journey. Following the launch, the top managers participated in a three-day workshop for an introduction to GP methodology. The GP mushroom canning case study was used to give participants hands-on experience in the use of GP tools and techniques.

The next step was to train selected executives and staff of PT Musim Mas located in Sorek, Riau, Sumatra, as facilitators and team members for pilot GP projects in May 2007. During the three-day training course, four pilot projects were undertaken by cross-functional teams:

  1. Pollution prevention: making improvements in effluent treatment plants to ensure zero pollution of rivers at all times.
  2. Peat management: investigating and developing appropriate water management approaches to improve oil palm performance on peat soils.
  3. Social conflict: establishing the root causes of the industrial dispute at Sorek and developing appropriate procedures to prevent recurrences.
  4. Reducing waste and improving safety at work: identifying opportunities for improvement in occupational health and safety and waste management in the Musim Mas office complex.

The progress of the four teams is reviewed periodically by the Musim Mas Steering Committee on Sustainability, and just-in-time training in GP tools and techniques was provided by the group adviser on GP. All teams have determined the reasons for their respective problems and are expected to complete their assignments soon. The results and recommendations made by the project teams will also be applied to other locations experiencing similar problems.

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