The 7th International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference (IPOSC 2022) was recently held on 13 September 2022 at the InterContinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. A total of 309 participants from the palm oil industry, academia and other stakeholders including NGOs, financial institutions and embassies attended the event. The event was also supported by four sponsors, namely Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation (MPOGCF), Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) and FGV Holdings Berhad.
During the opening ceremony, the event witnessed the launch of MySawit Adventure Educational Toolkit, developed via a MPOC-UPM collaboration. This is an online education tool that challenges players’ knowledge in topics related to edible oils and fats and sustainability, inspired by the classic ‘Snakes and Ladders’ game. The event also witnessed the prize giving ceremony for the MPOC-IChemE-POPSIG Infographic Competition, where the ten winning groups were presented with their prizes and certificates. The competition received 89 submissions from 192 students across 30 universities in Malaysia.
Eight presentations were delivered in the one-day event. YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Joint Chairman of the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) presented the Plenary Paper titled ‘The Role of Malaysian Corporations in Shifting Sustainability Compliance to Sustainability Stewardship’, to encourage the Malaysian palm oil industry to continue to be at the forefront of leading the sustainability practices, in line with the IPOSC conference theme of ‘Shifting Sustainability Compliance into Sustainability Stewardship’.
The other presentations focused on the aspects of decarbonisation and achieving Net Zero and Carbon Neutrality, the impacts of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Green Financing on agricultural commodities, emerging climate change and deforestation-linked legislations and the challenges of the independent smallholders in attaining sustainability production and certification.
A forum titled ‘Moving towards Net Zero and Decarbonisation – the Future of Certification and Sustainability’ concluded the event. Moderated by MPOC, the forum featured WWF Malaysia, RSPO, MPOCC and CIMB Bank and discussed about the challenges and opportunities for the Malaysian palm oil industry in addressing emerging climate change goals and deforestation-linked legislations.
1. Background Information
The International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference 2022 (IPOSC 2022) is MPOC’s biannual conference that highlights the sustainability challenges and opportunities in the Malaysian palm oil industry to stakeholders involved in the palm oil sustainability debate.
IPOSC 2022 has now approached its 7th edition since its introduction in 2008, and this year’s event is now back to its physical format, after being organized online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IPOSC 2022 is intended as a targeted platform to update the stakeholders on pertinent and emerging sustainability developments in the industry. There is a crucial need to continue engaging and update the Malaysian palm oil industry, as IPOSC 2022 is only organized biannually, and there are a number of sustainability concerns that have emerged since, which include global initiatives to achieve Net Carbon Zero and decarbonisation efforts, green financing and ESG opportunities, as well as international deforestation-linked legislations which will impact commodities like palm oil.
3. Theme – “Shifting Sustainability Compliance into Sustainability Stewardship”
The palm oil industry has been one of the sectors at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, which include sustainability certifications, sustainability reporting and ESG governance. Our theme for IPOSC 2022 is “Shifting Sustainability Compliance into Sustainability Stewardship”, as we would like to position the Malaysian palm oil industry as a leader in Malaysia’s corporate sectors and industries’ sustainability and ESG engagements.
IPOSC 2022 will feature presentations from experts who will share their views on the recent developments and possible solutions on the current sustainability concerns and challenges. The topics include:
- Net Zero and Decarbonisation Opportunities in the Palm Oil Industry
Opportunities and constraints in the palm oil industry to achieve Net Zero and decarbonisation efforts, in line with the global commitment to achieve carbon neutrality as early as 2050.
- Global Sustainability Trade Barriers and Accelerators
Sustainability initiatives in the financial, consumer and biofuels sectors, which include the roles of Green Financing, ESG investments and low-ILUC risk biofuels certifications.
- The Impacts of Deforestation-linked Legislations on the Palm Oil Industry
Potential implication of new regulations in developed countries to curb the use and imports of deforestation-linked commodities, and the role of the revised MSPO in addressing these concerns.
5. Target audience:
Plantation and agriculture-based companies, policy makers, financial institutions, service and consultancy providers, NGOs, media, manufactures and producers, academia and local and international stakeholders with an interest in the palm oil sustainability and ESG developments, voluntary carbon markets and green financing.