The Company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy framework has been developed to supply a set of guidelines and rules that will govern the Company’s approach to CSR. It has also been put in place to amplify its CSR strategy and assist with its communication to the Company’s stakeholders locally in the areas where it operates, nationally (particularly in Liberia) and internationally.
These policies are intended to supplement the relevant laws, regulations and industry guidelines which apply to the Company’s activities. They have been developed after the Company has considered its key areas of CSR related impact and opportunity and are grouped in a manner which addresses them below.
EPO, through KLK its JV partner, is a member of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO is tasked with promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through the development of credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The Company’s membership requires it to commit to the adoption of the organisation’s eight principles and thirty nine supporting criteria. More information about RSPO can be found at the organisation’s website (www.rspo.org)
EPO is committed to ensuring that its products are produced in a sustainable manner. This is realised through continuous balanced assessment and development of its operations while simultaneously conserving and improving the natural environment, and uplifting the socioeconomic conditions of its employees and local communities. These important aspects are incorporated not only in its daily operations but also in its decision making processes.
EPO, through its JV partner KLK, adopts the Principles & Criteria set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”) as the foundation of its sustainability practices, and is further guided by the following policies:
The Company will strive to provide a healthy and safe working environment at all times for its employees, agents and contractors. It will do this through working with closely with its employees, peer group and other stakeholders (such as local and national government authorities) to achieve best practice and encourage knowledge sharing to achieve long-term improvements in standards. In particular the Company will:
The health of the Company’s employees is an important element of its success. It will strive to protect and enhance the well being of its employees. In particular it aims to assist its staff in meeting the challenges presented to them by the environment in which they live and work on a daily basis (for instance the threat posed by the prevalence of malaria throughout Liberia).
The Company recognises that the success of its business is dependent on maintaining mutually rewarding relationships with its employees. The Company will ensure that the relationships between its employees are cohesive and are conducted with mutual respect. It will strive to respect and nurture the cultures and traditions that relate to the localities where it operates. The Company will recognise achievement and create opportunities for individuals at all levels of its business. It will comply with national and international regulatory requirements and its obligations under applicable accords and guidelines.
ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights At Work
Equatorial Palm Oil supports the four principles outlined in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Declaration. More information about the Declaration is recorded at the ILO’s website. This policy means that it will respect freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The Company is committed to offer employment that is freely chosen with no use of forced or child labour. The Company will not discriminate according to gender, age, colour, ethnic origin, culture, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
The Company will strive to ensure that its relationships with the local communities where it operates (in Liberia and the UK) are conducted with mutual respect and sensitivity. In particular it aims to ensure that the economic benefits that are generated by its activities are shared through the conduct of local partnerships.
The Company is committed to upholding the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Kingdom and the Republic of Liberia voted in favour of its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. The Declaration encompasses thirty articles or principles addressing the rights of the individual, spiritual, public and political freedoms and social, economic and cultural rights. More information is available at the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.
The Company is also committed to upholding the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007 (United Kingdom and the Republic of Liberia supported adoption). Article 10 states that “indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.” More information about this Declaration can be found at the website of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Bribery and Corruption
The Company specifically prohibits any form of bribery and corruption and recognises the requirements of the UK Bribery Act. Its approach to this important area is recorded on this page of the Company’s website in line with the Guidance to the UK Bribery Act which was published in March 2011.
The Company will not provide financial or logistical support for political purposes as a matter of policy and will not participate in political activity.
Customers and Suppliers
The Company will conduct its relationships with its suppliers and customers in a fair, responsible and transparent manner. It regards trust and co-operation between its employees, suppliers, agents, contractors and customers as being an important part of its success. It will strive to ensure that its representatives deliver consistently high levels of service with the aim of always meeting its customers’ requirements. The Company will ensure that potential suppliers have a reasonable opportunity to win business with it. The Company will pay suppliers in a timely manner and in accordance with its mutually agreed terms of trade.
The Company will compete for business in a fair and responsible way with its competitors. In particular it will not undertake unfair steps to acquire confidential information or unreasonably affect competitor relationships with their stakeholders. The Company’s competitive activity will be conducted in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations that relate to the territories in which it operates.