RECOGNISING THE IMPORTANCE OF
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WRITTEN BY CHARLES ROBERTS
In an ever-changing world, palm oil producer Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad continues to pursue sustainable initiatives and environmentally friendly practices with a continuous commitment to staff well being.
Tracing its roots back to 1933, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad began operating a 190-hectare rubber plantation in Johor, Malaysia in 1947 under the name Kulim Rubber Plantations Limited. However, in 1970, the company changed its name to Kulim Group Limited (KGL) and listed shares on the London Stock Exchange.
hree years later, the business expanded from just oil palm and rubber plantations to include property development in the UK and hotels in the Caribbean.
In 1975, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad was incorporated and made
public, with KGL becoming a subsidiary. Since then, the group has consolidated assets, diversified operations and continually expanded. Today Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad is one of the palm oil industryâ€™s leading organisations in terms of performance, with average five-year yield per hectare of around 23.50 tonnes.
Maintaining palm product and plantation standards In order to improve palm product extraction and maintain high yield levels, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhadâ€™s main objectives moving forward include the development of superior planting materials, sharing best practices among all operation units and adhering to the companyâ€™s sustainable development philosophy. To fulfil these aims, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad is committed to total quality management, which is reflected in the various certifications, including ISO accreditation, obtained by its own and contracted operating units. Ultimately,
organisational processes is designed to achieve customer and stakeholder satisfaction at continually lower costs. As a result of this relentless commitment towards quality, corporate excellence and sustainability, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad has received numerous prestigious awards from industry bodies and international institutions.
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Sustainable development From planting and harvesting to sterilisation and pressing, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad is passionate about making the whole palm oil production process sustainable. “The road to sustainability is not always easy, and setbacks can occur,” says chairman Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim. “But like our crops, we continue to grow and increase yields for people and the planet. We are poised for big changes ahead and we look forward to the new challenges.” Over the past four years, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad has taken various measures and made several changes in relation to its sustainability strategy. “We have divested our oleochemicals business and are in the process of divesting our foods and restaurants business,” notes Kamaruzzaman. “We have also acquired additional oil palm estates, allowing us to strengthen and develop our sustainable agri-business model. Our commitments to sustainable agriculture are now central to our business strategy.” Thanks to this devoted stance, the company was one of the first palm oil producers to be certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standard in 2009. As such, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad is
dedicated to its 30:30 initiative,
which aims to raise fruit yields to
opportunities for women at all
30 tonnes per hectare and palm
levels. We are also supportive of
product extraction rates to 30
the recommendations adopted
by the Government and Bursa
Malaysia that 30 per cent of
decision-makers in PLCs should
credibility and commitment to stakeholder
“Perhaps such targets will
the certification credible and
one day be obsolete, but our
robust, though there are always
experiences show that support
opportunities for improvements,”
and encouragement of women is
Berhad’s Sustainability Report
2010/2011. “We believe that it
industries in Indonesia and Africa
represents the most responsible
are increasingly recruiting oil
way to grow oil palm. All our
plant workers, Kamaruzzaman is
planted areas meet the stringent
confident of retaining a valued
RSPO Principles and Criteria for
sustainable palm oil production.”
“We know from surveys and focus groups that our employees
Supporting a valuable workforce Along
issues, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad also strives to be an employer of choice at a local level. In 2009, the company pledged to do more for members of staff at the lower
are generally happy to work for us,” he cites. “We have focused on strengthening our decision making and management to allow for a better working climate.”
end of the pay scale.
Thanks to impressive results
“Since then, most of these
in terms of yields and palm
employees have been given the
opportunity to earn additional
(Malaysia) Berhad is expected
income, and housing and facilities
to raise its stake in associate
provided to our employees have
company New Britain Palm Oil
also been upgraded,” reveals
Limited (NBPOL) to a controlling
level within the next few months.
“We are also focusing on end-
of-career training, contributing
business opportunities and the
to fulfilling, active and decent
timing is right, you should not
retirement for our employees.”
miss them or let them go,” says
As well as improving working
conditions and tackling complex
Recently, Kulim increased
health and safety issues, gender
its stake in the subsidiary by 20
equality is another significant
per cent to 68.97 per cent. “The
issue for the company.
offer to increase our investment
initiative goes from strength
in NBPOL represents a vote of
cites Kamaruzzaman. “It also
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represents a vote of confidence in the growth prospects of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the other markets that NBPOL serves.” After the company’s AGM, Kamaruzzaman said the oil palm
in Pengerang, Johor, as a good
Even so, the company is
still planning to capitalise on
services to the oil and gas players
there,” noted Kamaruzzaman.
division would remain Kulim’s main business activity, but was actively
particularly in the oil and gas
looking at ways to develop, strengthen and grow operations.
industry as well as selective
or expansion plans, you can be
sure that the group’s sustainable
“We are continuously exploring new land opportunities from time to time for our oil palm business both locally and abroad,”
he added. Although Kulim divested its Indonesian investment in
Nasional Bhd’s Refinery and
commitment to employees and
2007, Kamaruzzaman did not dismiss the possibility of returning,
high yield levels will continue to
as Malaysian landowner prices were “too exorbitant” for oil palm
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No. 22, Jalan Kg. Baru, Taman Perkasa 86000 Kluang Johor, Malaysia Tel: +60-7-7738464 +60-7-7720172 / 7720777 Fax: +60-7-7733464 +60-7-7737566 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.awantimurgroup.com
Contact Persons Aland Chow email@example.com +60-12-7729020 Mohd Zair firstname.lastname@example.org +60-19-6609020
KULIM 0060 7 861 1611 WWW.KULIM.COM.MY
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