Indonesia SMART Says Audit Shows Greenpeace Wrong

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian palm oil giant PT SMART Tbk said on Tuesday an audit showed it was not responsible for destroying primary forests and orangutan habitats, disputing accusations by Greenpeace. Greenpeace has said in a series of reports released since last year that the firm was clearing peatland and high conservation value forests, which shelter endangered species and trap vast amounts of climate-warming greenhouse gases. The independent verification report “clearly demonstrates that the environmental campaigner was wrong in much of its campaign and exaggerated throughout”, SMART said in a statement on Tuesday. “The report concluded the allegations made were largely unfounded.” The bitter dispute between the palm oil industry and environmentalists has broader implications for Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, which wants to boost economic growth but has also promised to cut greenhouse emissions by as much as 41 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020 — largely through curbing deforestation. Big palm oil buyers Unilever and Nestle dropped SMART as a supplier following the Greenpeace reports, while industry giant Cargill had threatened to do the same if the accusations proved correct in the audit SMART commissioned in response to the Greenpeace claims. The auditors, Control Union Certification and BSI Group, were approved by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil, an industry body of planters, consumers and green groups, and were paid by SMART. Source: The Star

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