Governance Structure

Effective governance and robust risk management policies and procedures combined with our core values are key for achieving long term success.

The Board of Directors of UP is responsible for approving the direction and overall strategy for UP Group and monitoring and management’s progress in connection with the financial objectives and strategic priorities. The Board receives a formal Sustainability Report at least once a year before it is reviewed and approved for release to the shareholders and public.

In relation to UP’s overall sustainability objectives, targets and priorities, the Board of Directors has delegated responsibility to the Executive Committee (EXCOM) headed by the Chief Executive Director (CED), Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen. The Executive Committee reviews and approves UP’s sustainability objectives and monitors progress and sustainability developments within the Group.

The CED and EXCOM are assisted by the Group Sustainability Committee (GSC) which is chaired by the CED. There is also the Group Sustainability Reporting Team (GSRT) headed by Mr. Martin Bek-Nielsen, Executive Director, Finance & Marketing and includes key personnel from Finance, Research, HR, Sustainability and Safety, Share Registrar and Marketing Departments.

The GSRT collates all the information from the GSC, stakeholders’ responses and prepares the Sustainability Report.

Sustainability matters have been a subject close to the heart of UPB. Officially established in 2003, the GSC provides policy direction on strategic leadership on UP’s Sustainability agenda, identifies our Group’s most material issues in relation to risks and opportunities and monitors progress against targets set by the CED and EXCOM on a bi-annual basis.

Since the Sustainability Report became mandatory in 2016, Mr. Martin Bek-Nielsen has been briefing the Board, CED and EXCOM on the work of the GSRT and sustainability issues at every official meeting held. Sustainability is also a key aspect in the Group’s Risk Management Structure which assesses various sustainability issues and developments in its annual Risk Assessment and Management process.

Sustainability Governance Management Structure

Group Sustainability Committee

Group Sustainability System Framework (GSSF)

UP’s Group Sustainability Systems Framework (GSSF) is the system through which its commitment to environment and sustainable development including social and occupational safety & health matters are formalized. It is based on four key focus areas as follows:

Leadership of the Group Sustainability Committee is at the highest level of the company and is spearheaded by the Chief Executive Director Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen. This committee provides policy directions on environment and sustainable development, occupational safety and health, allocation of resources and communications.

Planning encompassing external and internal needs that are formulated through the company’s vision, policies, goals, projects budgets and risk analysis.

Enablers are various sub-committees and teams that ensure the adoption of environment and operational practices that are in line with current best practices and policies. The MSPO, ISPO and RSPO Business Units and the various sub-committees are enablers of the GSSF and ensure that the environmental and operational policies are implemented. They are guided amongst others by the MSPO, ISPO and RSPO’s Principles and Criteria and following Manuals and SOP’s:

    1. MSPO, ISPO and RSPO Principles and Criteria
    2. Field Management Manual
    3. Standard Operating Procedures – Oil palm field practices
    4. Standard Operating Procedures – Palm Oil Mill operations
    5. Occupational Safety and Health and HIRARC Manual
    6. Environment & Social Impact Assessments and its Management & Monitoring Plans
    7. High Conservation Value, High Carbon Stock Assessments and its Management & Monitoring Plans
    8. ISO9001:2008, HACCP and Quality Manual for  Refineries

Results are measured through customer satisfaction, safety performance, financial performance, environment protection and management and certifications.

The Group’s Internal Audit Department, together with the Group’s  HRSS Department carries out audits on various sustainability issues and areas throughout the year to ensure compliance to the Group’s sustainability policies and procedures.

Sustainability Policies

As an important step towards improving our sustainability within economic, environmental and social areas of our business, we ensure the commitment stated in our Company Policies apply to our employees (including permanent and temporary workers), contractors, suppliers (including direct and independent/third party), trading partners, scheme smallholders (Plasma) and associated stakeholders.


We at United Plantations Berhad are committed to sustainable development through protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity. Our objectives are:

    • Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations as well as the National Interpretation of the RSPO, ISPO and MSPO Principles and Criteria.
    • Conducting our operations under the best principles of agriculture, that is compatible with the natural environment and in full support of Integrated Pest Management techniques and Best Management Practices for existing plantations on peat.
    • Promoting the conservation and development of biodiversity within our group of plantations.
    • Strictly adhere to no deforestation and no new development on peat soils regardless of its depth and fully comply with no new development on High Conservation Value (HCV) areas since 2010. We strive to maintain an open and dynamic approach towards continuous improvements in respect of protecting Peat soils, HCV and other fragile areas. HCV combined with HCS assessments and Land Use Change Analysis (LUCA) for new plantings were introduced in 2014.
    • Actively pursuing ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and finalized the world’s first comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14044 International Standards on palm oil in 2008 and have since then updated progress annually in order to measure and track progress.
    • Continuously working to mitigate our water footprint related to our operations, maintaining buffers along natural waterways, harvesting rainwater, frugal water usage, monitoring of its quality and judicious use of pesticides and weedicides.
    • Continuously working on sound soil management e.g., determining appropriate amount and composition of nutrients based on annual leaf nutrient analysis, empty fruit bunches systematically applied in field, planting of leguminous cover crops.
    • Continuously working towards a dynamic and innovative waste management and utilization system aimed towards zero waste and recycling.
    • Continuously focusing on the “circular economy” concept by converting waste into renewable energy via innovations and investments in new technologies with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
    • Prohibiting any capturing, poaching, hunting and trafficking of animals, especially Endangered, Rare and Threatened (ERT) species including native trees. However, we respect the traditional rights of indigenous groups and community to hunt in legal, non-commercial and sustainable manner without involving ERT species and jeopardizing long-term viability of the species.
    • The key environmental milestones achieved are as follows:

                       Zero-burn policy (1989)

                       No primary forest clearing policy (1990)

                       No supply policy for the production of first-generation biodiesel (2003)

                       Methane capturing facilities introduced (2006) and all mills equipped with methane capturing facilities (2018)

                       HCV assessment introduced (2007)

                       LCA on palm oil production completed in (2008) with annual updates since then

                       No deforestation, no new development on High Conservation Value (HCV) areas and no new development on peat soils

                       regardless of its depth (2010)

                      Total phase-out of Paraquat (2010)

                      HCV combined with HCS assessments and LUCA for new plantings (2014)

                      Total phase-out of chemicals listed under Class 1A and 1B, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions (2020)

Our employees, contractors, suppliers, trading partners and stakeholders are expected to adhere to this policy and thereby focus on sustainability within our supply chain based on traceability, transparency and trust.

8th March 2021


As the world faces the threat of global warming, we all become increasingly aware that our presence on earth leaves a mark on the environment. United Plantations Berhad is committed to combat this global challenge and protect biodiversity by focusing on good agricultural practices and minimising our impact on natural resources.

This commitment entails the conservation of jungle reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and the establishment of green corridors to promote wildlife, as well as riparian reserves to preserve flora and fauna, ensure water quality and prevent erosion amongst other things. These commitments apply to the set-aside conservation (HCV/HCS areas) within all our oil palm concessions as well as the adjacent/connecting conservation areas, which we effectively help manage too through engagement with neighbouring communities and government authorities.

Herein, our collaboration and partnership with Copenhagen Zoo, which was initiated in 2007 and officially established in 2010 to raise the bar and introduce the expertise needed to develop effective conservation strategies, has been a key component. This has helped our Group operationalise vital components of sustainability, including building an in-house Biodiversity Department to manage and nurture the vast jungle reserve areas within and adjacent to our Groups’ landbank.

Since then, the Biodiversity Department along with Copenhagen Zoo has undertaken an impressive number of studies, research and activities in support of the company’s commitment to promote sustainability and biodiversity. This is documented by the following table, which is updated on an annual basis and shows the positive development in the number of plants and animal species within our concessions as well as our 10-year target.

Whilst it is pleasing to note a significant increase across the board vis-à-vis the 2017 baseline, we aim to continuously raise the bar and acknowledge that even more can be done. We have therefore set a 10-year target of increasing the respective numbers of Plants, Amphibians and Reptiles by 35%; Mammals and Birds by 40%; and last but not least we are targeting a 65% increase in the number of Fish by 2027 when compared to 2017 levels.

This shall be pursued relentlessly through targeted efforts and continued investments such as cultivation of native trees species in our nurseries to enhance biodiversity, as well as camera traps and drone surveys to document flora and fauna in specific areas. Furthermore, in line with the notion of shared responsibility we also expect our suppliers to commit to the conservation and protection of biodiversity both within- and beyond their concessions and set-aside conservation areas (HCV/HCS areas).

21st February 2022


We at United Plantations Berhad are committed to secure the safety and health of all our employees at work. In the operation of our activities, we strive to maintain a safe and healthy working environment for our employees, contractors, suppliers, customers and the public.

We value our work-place Safety and Health as paramount importance to the well-being of all our employees and our respective Managers/Heads of Departments are responsible in implementing this policy.

In striving to secure a safe and healthy work environment we shall:

    • Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations including the safety guidelines and manuals
      endorsed by the National enforcing authorities in our relevant operations. In addition, all
      safety practices shall comply with the National Interpretation of the RSPO and MSPO
      Principles and Criteria.
    • Devote our continuous efforts to accident prevention, by conducting Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control (HIRARC) on all our operations.
    • Provide continuous training and supervision to all categories of employees through our “Reach and Teach, Reach and Remind” approach to strengthen safety awareness.
    • Equip and train employees to use appropriate protective equipments and to develop a health and safety conscious citizen.
    • Total phase-out of Paraquat weedicide since 2010.
    • Total phase-out of WHO Class 1A/1B chemicals (Monocrotophos/Methamidophos) since 2020.
    • Ensure fire safety plan is implemented and continuously trained for its preparedness within our organization and neighbouring communities.
    • Develop a culture of individual responsibility and accountability for the employee’s own well-being as well as those of the personnel and facilities under their control.

Strive to commit our employees, contractors, suppliers, trading partners and stakeholders to adhere to this policy as well as Safety and Health regulations and standards.

8th March 2021


We at United Plantations Berhad are committed to the protection and advancement of human rights including prohibiting retaliation, intimidation and harassment against Human Rights Defenders (HRD), whistleblowers, complainants and community spokespersons.

Our objectives are as follows:

    • We adhere to the fundamental elements of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other core values as ratified by the countries in which we operate.
    • We ensure all personnel are treated fairly and protected from any form of discrimination that would constitute a violation of their human rights.
    • We ensure equal opportunities provided to all personnel. The process of recruitment, promotion and remuneration are solely based on individual qualification and performance regardless of religion, race, age, gender, nationality or physical disability.
    • We respect the rights of all personnel to form, join and participate in registered trade unions and to bargain collectively.
    • We respect the rights of people in communities impacted by our activities. We will seek to identify adverse social and environmental impacts through their respective assessments and take appropriate steps to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate them.
    • We respect land tenure rights as well as recognize duties and responsibilities associated with tenure rights.
    • We respect customary or native rights of indigenous and local communities, and we commit to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in all negotiations prior to commencing any new operations.
    • We resolve all complaints and grievances through an open, transparent and consultative process.
    • We will not tolerate the use of child or forced labour, slavery or human trafficking in any of our plantations and facilities. We are using the definition from United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which define ‘child’ as anyone who is less than 18 years old.
    • We will strive to commit our employees, contractors, suppliers, trading partners, contracted security forces, associated local communities and stakeholders to adhere to this policy.

9th March 2020


We at United Plantations Berhad are committed to maintaining a workplace free from harassment of any kind, including harassment based on an employee’s race, colour, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status and sexual orientation. In line with the policy, we shall;

  • Endeavour to prevent sexual harassment and all other forms of violence against women and workers in the workplace or in the course of an employee’s work.
  • Adopt a specific complaints and grievance procedure and mechanism to address gender-based issues.
  • Encourage effective participation of women in decision-making by their representation as members of various committees, such as the Occupational Safety And Health Committee.
  • Establish a Gender Committee to implement and monitor the policy.
  • To protect the Reproductive Rights and Motherhood responsibilities of women as under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and labour laws.
  • We will communicate to our employees, contractors and suppliers to adhere to the values of this policy.

24th April 2015


We consider our foreign workers as Guest Workers and aspire to make their ” Home Away from Home” an enriching experience with good memories from the moment they engage with and until their safe return upon completion of their employment tenure. Respect for human rights is fundamental to our values, and  we are committed to complying with labour rights , standards and legislation in the countries in which we operate. In the event there is a difference in legal regulations and company policies, the higher standards will apply. To ensure that no forms of forced labour2 or trafficked labour3  are used, we take the following precautions: 

  • Prior to embarking on their recruitment journey, all potential Guest Worker Candidates are directed through our in-house toll-free Call Centre to create awareness and disseminate information on the legal recruitment process to prevent deception and minimize their vulnerability. The workers are briefed on the recruitment process/fees, job , scope, work nature as well as the employment contract in their native languages of their source countries.
  • Accredited Recruitment Agents are carefully selected to ensure that all guest workers are recruited transparently and without deception. No Guest worker shall pay recruitment cost to come and work for UP.
  • We continuously monitor our Accredited Recruitment Agents and our Toll-free Cal Centre to ensure that all SOPs are followed and the necessary documentations for all processes are up to date.
  • Further verification on the recruitment process is conducted upon arrival of the guest workers to ensure no imposition or collection of any non-mandated/illegal fees, commissions and /or levies from them by any parties.
  • Engagement and collaboration with customers and other stakeholders in the spirit of shares responsibility.

To safeguard our Guest Workers’ rights during their work tenure, we also ensure that :

  • All guest workers are in possession of a valid work permit.
  • All Guest Workers sign employment contracts in their native languages at their source country. Contract substitution is strictly prohibited.
  • All Guest Workers are given the option to voluntarily keep their passports in the allocated individual passport lockers with keys in a dedicated secured building to which they have free access at all times.
  • No withholding of wages nor penalty for Guest Workers who choose to leave the Company, other than as stipulated in the employment contract.
  • All works are carried out voluntarily including overtime and Work on Day of Rest (WDR) as per the rate stipulated in the Malaysian Employment Act 1955.
  • The living quarters for all workers are in compliance with the ‘Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990”

1 This policy should be read in conjunction with our Human Rights Policy.

2 The definition of Forced Labour is as defined in C029 – Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), Article 2.

3 The definition of Trafficked Labour is as per the United Nations Palermo Protocol (Nov 2000).

UP’s Commitment to Ethical Recruitment Fees

We are committed to paying the recruitment fees in the source countries and in Malaysia as per the enclosed table in Appendix 1, please click. here. Remediation and corrective actions will be taken if issues are found.

In the event of a claim arising during the verification of the recruitment process, the Company shall:

  • Commence an immediate investigation
  • Responsibilities in the event of any breaches regarding Ethical Recruitment Fees:

a) If the breach is by UP due to failure to adhere to our Guest Workers’ Recruitment SOP, then the aggrieved guest worker will receive compensation from UP.

b) If the breach is by an Accredited Recruitment Agent against the contract terms with UP, the non-complaint Accredited Recruitment Agent will be required to compensate the aggrieved guest worker. If such an action is not undertaken by the Accredited Recruitment Agent, then the Company will suspend any relationship with the agent until the matter has been rectified.

i) Accredited Recruitment Agencies are responsible for monitoring any of their possible sub-agencies to ensure that they follow all Company Recruitment SOPs and dot collect any recruitment related fees from the workers. If any such fees are found to have been collected from the workers, the Company will require the Accredited Recruitment Agent to reimburse the said amount to the worker.

ii) The Company will terminate all contracts or partnerships with any Accredited Recruitment Agent who have been found to be non-compliant with the Company policies after due investigations and warnings.

  • We will not cover any forms of bribes, tips or tributes paid by Guest Workers at any point during the recruitment process or any other items not included in Appendix 1 as explicit cautions and briefings related to legitimate recruitment cost have been given by our toll-free Call Centre and through our Accredited Recruitment Agents.

It is important to acknowledge that running a business today requires a greater level of transparency compared to before. As such. we will continuously evaluate our existing practices in line with new legislations to effectively address forced labour and ensure our guest workers have an enriching and memorable experience with us.

31 December 2021


A key element in United Plantations (UP) is our Code Conduct and Business Ethics. We implement responsible and ethical business policies and practices in all aspects of our operations.

Standard of Conduct
We conduct our operations with honesty, integrity and openness, and with respect for the human rights and interests of our employees. We shall similarly respect the legitimate interests of those with whom we have relationships.

Obeying the Law
UP Group, directors and our employees are required to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate. UP will promote and defend our legitimate business interests. UP will cooperate with governments and other organizations, both directly and through bodies such as trade associations, in the development of proposed legislation and other regulations which may affect our legitimate business interests.

UP is committed to providing quality products and services which consistently offer value in terms of price, and which are safe for their intended use. Products will be accurately and properly labelled, advertised and communicated.

UP will conduct its operations in accordance with internationally accepted ethics of good corporate governance. We will provide timely, regular and reliable information on our activities, structure, financial situation and performance to all shareholders.

Business Partners
UP is committed to establishing mutually beneficial relations with our suppliers, customers and business partners. In our business dealings, we expect our business partners to adhere to business ethics consistent with our own.

Community Involvement
UP strives to be a trusted corporate citizen and as an integral part of society, to fulfil its responsibilities to the societies and communities in which we operate.

The Environment
UP is committed to making continuous improvements in the management of our environmental impact and to the longer-term goal of developing a sustainable business.

UP believes in vigorous yet fair competition and supports the development of appropriate competition laws. UP and its employees will conduct their operations in accordance with the principles of fair competition and all applicable regulations.

Business Integrity and Corruption

UP has a zero tolerance to fraud, bribery and corruption and this applies to all dealings by our employees, suppliers, consultants, agents and any person associated with UP.

UP as a responsible corporate citizen has been and shall continue to give scholarships and donations to deserving cases on the condition that this is not corruptly given as defined under Section 17 A(1) of MACC Amendment Act 2018. However, UP has a general policy of not giving political contributions to any political parties or candidates.

UP does not prohibit the giving of meals and gifts in the course of business dealings as long as these are of reasonable value not in cash and are not corruptly given.

We commit to the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and adhere to these principles in all our negotiations and interactions with stakeholders.

Conflicts of Interests

All UP directors and employees are expected to avoid personal activities and financial interests which would be in conflict with their responsibilities to the Group. UP directors and employees must not seek gain for themselves or others through misuse of their positions.
14th December 2019


We are committed to high standards of ethical, moral and legal business conduct. This policy aims to provide an avenue for employees, suppliers and other stakeholders to raise concerns and reassurance that they will be protected from reprisals or victimization for whistleblowing.

This policy is intended to cover protection for the whistleblower when raising concerns regarding United Plantations Berhad Group, such as concerns regarding:

  • Incorrect financial reporting;
  • Unlawful activities including corruption and bribes solicitation and;
  • Activities that are not in line with United Plantations Berhad policy, including the Code of Business Conduct; and
  • Activities, which otherwise amount to serious improper conduct.


Harassment or Victimization – harassment or victimization for reporting concerns under this policy will not be tolerated.

Confidentiality – Every effort will be made to treat the complainant’s identity with confidentiality.

Anonymous Allegations – This policy encourages employees, suppliers and other stakeholders to put their names to allegations because appropriate follow-up questions and investigation may not be possible unless the source of the information is identified. Concerns expressed anonymously will be explored appropriately, but consideration will be given to:

  • The seriousness of the issue raised;
  • The credibility of the concern; and
  • The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.

Bad Faith Allegations – Allegations in bad faith may result in disciplinary action.

Information can be provided direct to any of the following persons by telephone or in writing:

Members of the Executive Committee:
Y.Bhg. Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen
Tel. No. 05-6411411
Mr. Martin Bek-Nielsen
Tel: No. 05-6411411
Mr. Loh Hang Pai
Tel. No. 05-6366261

Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee:
Mr. Yap Seng Chong
Tel. No. 016-2203399

Company Secretary:
Mr. Ng Eng Ho
Tel. No. 05-6411411

United Plantations Berhad,
Jendarata Estate, 36009 Teluk Intan, Perak

27th April 2023


In line with our commitment to transparency the following documents are publicly available on request.

  • Land titles/user rights
  • Occupational health and safety plans
  • Plans and impacts assessments relating to environment and social impacts
  • HCV documentations
  • Pollution prevention and reduction plans
  • Details of complaints and grievances
  • Negotiation procedures
  • Continual improvement plans
  • Public summary of RSPO certification assessment report
  • Human Rights Policy

The Company’s Standard Operating Procedures and Field Management Manuals are confidential documents and are guidelines for various operations. The contents must not be disclosed to any third party without authorization by the Company.

11th January 2014


We at United Plantations Berhad are committed to comply and implement all requirements and principles of MSPO.

All operating units under United Plantations Berhad shall adhere to the following key principles of MSPO to which the management shall provide leadership and commitment:

  • Management commitment and responsibility
  • Transparency
  • Compliance to legal requirements
  • Social responsibility, health, safety and employment condition
  • Environment, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Best practices
  • Development of new plantings

Our objectives are to:

  • Comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate.
  • Maintain an open and dynamic approach towards continuous improvement in respect of social responsibilities, environment protection, best practices and economic development.
  • Establish traceability within the supply chain as an important step towards production of sustainable palm oil products.
  • Strive to commit our employees, contractors, suppliers, trading partners and stakeholders to adhere to our Company Policies and cooperate with them in an ambition to find mutual improvements.

Our Company Policies are:

  • Environment and Biodiversity Policy
  • Human Rights Policy
  • Occupational Safety and Health Policy
  • Gender Policy
  • Guest Workers Policy
  • Code of Conduct and Business Ethics
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy

29th March 2018



As an important step towards improving our sustainability focus within environmental, social and economic areas of our business, UP is committed to high standards in responsible sourcing. For the third-party FFB suppliers, UP focused on supply that is produced in a manner that excludes the destruction of forest, the exploitation of workers, local communities and based on responsible agronomic practices.

UP therefore recognizes the important role it can play in encouraging a transition to more sustainable practices and commits to building a traceable supply chain. As a step to ensure that our suppliers join us on the journey of full sustainability in the palm oil industry, we have established a Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code includes a requirement for all our suppliers of palm oil and their supply chain to adhere to Fundamental International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, environmental protection and anti-corruption and to national laws in the country of which the supplier operates.

Specifically, based on our responsible sourcing policy UP makes the following commitments:

1. Environmental Management
To source Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) that are produced sustainably whereby the supplier complies with the following criteria:

  • No development on high carbon stock forest (HCS1).
  • No development on high conservation value forest (HCVF2) areas.
  • No new development on peat3 lands regardless of depth.
  • Reductions of Green House Gases (GHG 4) emissions.
  • No use of Paraquat weedicide and pesticides that are categorized as World Health Organization Class 1A or 1B and Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.
  • Zero burning for preparation or clearing of land areas.
  • Capturing, poaching and hunting of native tree species and animal, especially Endangered, Rare and Threatened species are prohibited.
  • Identify adverse environmental impacts through their respective assessments (EIA) and take appropriate steps to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate them.
  • Not to operate or develop land within international or nationally designated protected areas.

2. Human Rights Protection
To ensure suppliers adhere to the following criteria:

  • Prohibit child labour5, illegal, and forced labour6.
  • All employees are treated fairly and protected from any form of discrimination.
  • Equal opportunities provided to all employees regardless of religion, race, age, gender, nationality, or physical disability.
  • Compensate workers by providing at least minimum wages and benefits in accordance to all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Respect rights of all employees to form, join, and participate in registered trade unions and to bargain collectively.
  • Respect land tenure rights as well as recognize duties and responsibilities associated with tenure rights.
  • Respect customary or native rights of indigenous and local communities and to commit to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)7 in all negotiations prior to commencing any new operations.
  • Resolve complaints and grievances through an open, transparent, and consultative process.
  • Identify adverse social impacts through their respective assessments (SIA) and take appropriate steps to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate them.

3. Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)
To ensure suppliers adhere to the following criteria:

  • Provide continuous training and supervision to all categories of employees to build and promote a safe and healthy work environment in full compliance with legislative requirements.
  • Equip and train employees to use appropriate protective equipment and to develop a health and safety conscious citizen.
  • Develop a culture of individual responsibility and accountability for the employee’s own well-being as well as those of the personnel and facilities under their control.
  • Ensure fire safety plan is implemented and continuously trained for its preparedness within our organization and neighboring communities.

4. Traceable Supply Chains
To ensure that the Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) actually come from plantations that live up to our Supplier Code of Conduct. UP shall therefore engage with the suppliers to develop traceable and transparent supply chains.

5. Community development and social impact
Suppliers are to drive positive socio-economic impact for local communities and committed to mitigate the impacts on food security, as well as respect and contribute to the quality of life and wellbeing of the communities. Suppliers are to engage effectively with communities and to resolve complaints and conflicts through an open and transparent manner through consultation.

6. Legal compliance
Supplier complies with the legal requirements and standards of its industry under all applicable national and local laws.

Working with our FFB suppliers
UP takes responsibility for ensuring our Sustainable Palm Oil Policy is communicated to all our FFB suppliers. Our FFB suppliers are expected to meet the requirements of this policy and evaluated against the expectations of our policy and by signing our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Implementations of these commitments shall include the following mechanism:

  • Suppliers shall be engaged regularly via discussions, assessments and site-based trainings where necessary.
  • General questionnaire pertaining to our commitments shall be sent to our suppliers to measure their conformance.

We expect our suppliers to share similar principles and commitments thereby jointly building a sustainable palm oil supply chain and will recognize the efforts made by our suppliers showing progress and commitments towards sustainable palm oil.

We believe that this policy will support the transformation of the palm oil supply chain. We only work with suppliers that actively commit to sustainable palm oil in line with our responsible sourcing policy.

In the event that UP becomes aware of a supplier violating or breaching the above policies or our Supplier Code of Conduct and thereby is viewed as a high-risk supplier (self-assessment scored below 50%), UP shall immediately request for corrective measures to be implemented with time-bound action plan to remediate such non-compliance within 60 days. We will moreover through dialogue and co-operation, encourage, and coach the supplier to resolve the non-compliance. If a supplier is unable or unwilling to take the necessary actions to conform to the expectations outlined in our policy, UP will as a last resort terminate its commercial relationship with the supplier.

UP will report the annual progress relates to the implementation of this policy in the Annual Sustainability Report.

15th April 2018


Code of ethics and governance
Suppliers shall commit to adhere to ethical, honest, and transparent business practices and governance.

Human and workers’ rights
Suppliers shall adhere to the best human resource practices which respects universal human rights as laid out in the UN Guiding Principle on Human Rights and Business.

Child Labour
Suppliers shall not use child labour as defined by the national laws in the country of operation. Suppliers shall not employ individuals below the age of 18.

Voluntary Employment
Suppliers must hire employees on a voluntary basis and does not use any form of slave, bonded, prison or forced labour or engage in any other forms of human trafficking.

Freedom of Association / Collective Bargaining
Suppliers shall respect the rights of employees to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively in a lawful and peaceful manner subject to and in accordance with applicable law.

Migrant Labour/Guest Workers
Suppliers recognizes the unique legal, social and cultural situations that migrant workers/guest workers face and will ensure that such workers are treated with dignity, respect and in accordance with the same standards as apply to local workers.

Abuse, Harassment and Disciplinary Action
Suppliers shall not engage in physical, mental, verbal, sexual or any other abuse, inhumane or any other form of harassment. Supplier shall treat all employees with respect and dignity and complies with local legislation on disciplinary practices.

Fair and equal treatment
Suppliers’ terms and conditions of employment including hiring, training, working conditions, compensation, benefits, or promotions are based on individual’s qualifications, performance, skills and experience.

Compensation and benefits
Suppliers shall fairly compensate all employees by providing wages and benefits in accordance with all applicable laws.

Working hours
Suppliers shall comply with all applicable laws regarding normal working hours, rest periods and overtime hours.

Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)
Suppliers shall commit to secure the safety and health of all their employees at work and strive to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Supplier shall comply with all applicable laws pertaining to health and safety in the workplace.

Suppliers shall comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and continuously strive to improve environmental performance.

Responsible Agricultural Practices
Oil palm plantation-based suppliers shall commit to Responsible Agricultural Practices and strive towards finding the right balance between Economic, Social and Environmental aspects of business.

These suppliers shall commit to the following principles:

  • No deforestation
  • No new development on peat soils
  • Reduction of Green House Gasses (GHG)
  • Increased focused and respect for local and indigenous communities including small holders and benefit of their socio-economic development.

Suppliers shall live up to this Code of Conduct and committed towards a traceable palm oil supply chain.

Commitment on UP’s Supplier Code of Conduct


UP has an important responsibility to ensure the safety and quality of our products. We are committed to ensure the sustainability of the palm oil sector and to encourage sustainable practices in all areas of our supply chain.

Our Supplier Code of Conduct reflects our commitment to conducting business in an ethical, legal, and responsible manner. We expect the same or similar commitments from our suppliers and collaborating parties in their supply chain. We strive to do business with responsible suppliers who treat their employees with respect and dignity, comply with applicable laws and regulations.


Suppliers must comply with the legal requirements and standards of its industry based on all applicable laws and maintain documentation and records demonstrating compliance with such laws and the requirements of this or a similar Supplier Code. Suppliers are responsible for educating and monitoring collaborating parties in their supply chain.

Should a supplier fail to comply with the requirements of this Supplier Code of Conduct and thereby is viewed as a high-risk supplier (self-assessment scored below 50%), UP shall immediately request for corrective measures to be implemented to remediate such non-compliance with time-bound action plan within 60 days. If suppliers fail to show genuine remediation requirements, UP will as a last resort, terminate commercial relationships with the supplier.

15th April 2018

Targets and Achievements

Our targets and commitments drive us to continuously improve and we subscribed to the mantra “what we measure, we can manage”. In this section, we provide information about our progress of targets and achievements which include targets in the areas of Certifications, Biodiversity, Climate change, Community, Employees, Legal Compliance and Economics, and others.

Please click here to view our performance scorecard for 2023.

Materiality Assessment

This assessment addresses key sustainability matters which have been identified after taking into consideration both the Group’s view on significant environmental, economic and social aspects, impacts, risks and opportunities which are vital to the success and continued growth of the Group, and the views and responses from our stakeholders on pressing material issues.

In identifying the material sustainability matters, and opportunities, we have drawn information from various internal and external sources of information which include the views of the Group Sustainability Reporting Team within our organisation, stakeholders, industry groups, standards recommended by global and industry specific reporting bodies, such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and existing peer literature.

As a result of the above mentioned exercise and evaluation of the Group’s Sustainability Risks and Opportunities, we have this year identified 23 key sustainability issues under four main headers, namely Environment, Social (Employees and Community), Sustainability Governance and Marketplace, which we have assessed as being of high concern to stakeholders and of high significance for our Group in 2023 .

Data collected from various stakeholders are then analysed and used to create a materiality matrix which also includes the assessment on the significance of the identified key sustainability matters and the prioritisation of stakeholders to the organisation. The resulting Materiality Matrix is as shown on the following page.

Material issues which have been identified are then assessed by the Sustainability Reporting Team to establish if there are policies and procedures in place to address and manage these issues, and if none, to ensure implementation plans are drawn up and presented to the management for follow up as part of the Group’s sustainability commitment.

Quantifiable indicator data and targets are assigned where relevant and are communicated to our stakeholders via this Sustainability Report. The materiality assessment has been reviewed and endorsed by the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of UP.

Summary of Materiality Topics

Stakeholders Engagement

At United Plantations, we recognise that stakeholder engagement, assessment and feedback are an integral part of our global sustainability strategy and initiatives. 

The stakeholder groups which are key to our operations and which have significant influence over the impacts of our business are carefully identified and are engaged at various platforms and intervals throughout the year.  

The stakeholder engagement process which includes a proactive and both formal and informal approach, is carried out to fully understand their sustainability concerns and issues with a view to ensuring that their key interests in these areas are aligned with that of our Group.  

We are continuously improving our stakeholder engagement approach which is now evolving into more tailored and targeted engagement sessions with our stakeholders and the following pages provide an overview of the efforts involved in our group’s focus on stakeholder engagement.

Overview of Stakeholder Engagement


Stakeholders Group Specific stakeholders addressed Type of engagement Frequency Areas of interest Outcomes Addressed by specific Material Sustainability Matters
Shareholders & Investors Shareholders both in Malaysia and in Denmark
  • Engagement survey 
  • Annual General Meetings, 
  • Analysts briefings
  • At least once a year
  • Once a year
  • Twice a year
Deforestation, pesticides & chemical usage, Occupational Safety & Health (OSH), free, prior & informed consent (FPIC) and product quality Good relationship with shareholders and positive reputation amongst investors, constructive feedback 3







Major consumer goods manufacturers, Refineries, and end consumers
  • Engagement survey
  • One-to-one meetings
  • Visits to Estates, Mills and our Refinery
  • At least once a year
  • Periodic
  • Periodic
GHG emissions, discharges & waste management, deforestation, high carbon stock, peat development, human & workers’ rights, social welfare, OSH, product quality, food safety & sustainability certifications and supply chain  Better awareness of UP Group’s commitment to sustainability, and better understanding of our policies, culture and values 2









Employees Executives, staffs and workers
  • Annual employee survey,
  • Group Sustainability Committee meetings
  • Gender committee meetings, 
  • Guest Workers Welfare Committee
  • Occupational Safety & Health Committee
  • Internal trainings
  • Once a year
  • Once a year
  • Twice a year
  • Six times a year
  • Four times a year
  • Periodic
Human & workers’ rights, social welfare, OSH, equal treatment, grievance resolution, product quality, food safety & sustainability certifications Improved understanding of company policies and efforts taken to date, Inclusiveness in the management decision making 8







Small holders & Local communities Small holders surrounding and near our operations in Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Annual Small holders’ Field Day
  • One-to-one communications
  • Once a year
  • Periodic
Biodiversity & conservation, pesticides & chemical usage, workers’ rights. OSH, product quality and food safety & sustainability certifications An opportunity to sustainably enhance the agricultural practices of small holders, amicable solution to grievances, better social relations with UP Group. 1






Government Agencies DOSH, Labour Department, Indonesian local government, Indian High Commission
  • Engagement Survey
  • One-to-one meetings
  • Periodic
  • As and when necessary
Pesticides & chemical usage, human & workers’ rights social welfare, OSH, equal treatment. Code of ethics & governance, product quality, supply chain and evaluation of supplier/ contractors’ sustainability commitment  An opportunity to share the Group’s commitment, and policies and procedures to sustainable operations 7









Non-governmental organisations SUHAKAM, TENAGANITA, AMESU, MAPA, NUPW
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Engagement surveys
  • Direct correspondences via email and telephone conversation
  • As and when necessary 
  • Once a year
  • As and when necessary
Biodiversity & conservation, water impacts, pesticides & chemical usage, workers’ rights, social welfare, code of ethics & governance, grievance resolution and product quality  Better understanding of NGO’s concerns and raised awareness of UP Group’s sustainability commitments by NGOs 1








Palm Oil Industry Group Neighbouring plantations and, MPOA, MPOC, MPOCC
  • Engagement surveys
  • Once a year
GHG emissions, fire & haze, discharges & waste management, pesticides & chemical usage, human & workers’ rights, OSH, product quality, food safety & sustainability certifications and commodity prices Good relationship with industry group and maintain knowledge sharing to enhance the sustainability of industry  2









Suppliers and Contractors Suppliers of various inputs and key contractors within the Group
  • Engagement surveys
  • One -to-one meetings
  • Once a year
  • Periodic
Biodiversity & conservation, GHG emissions, discharges & waste management deforestation, high carbon stock, peat development, workers’ rights, social welfare. OSH and product quality   Raised awareness of UP Group’s sustainability commitments, better understanding of UP Group’s business 1