Indonesia’s palm oil industry has long played a pivotal role in the national economy, creating employment opportunities for millions and contributing significantly to non-oil and gas exports. However, the sector has faced mounting challenges concerning environmental offenses, deforestation, land exploitation, and high carbon emissions, resulting in negative campaigns that can impact both companies and financial institutions.

Yono Reksoprodjo, Executive Committee of IBCSD, stated, “Businesses in the palm oil sector are required to take real responsibility and accountability in sustainability practices, if they do not wish to be perceived as just greenwashing”.

The collaborative dialogue event aimed to achieve the following objectives: provide a forum to share challenges, best practices, and ideas to enhance the implementation of sustainable finance and investment in support of Indonesia’s competitive sustainable palm oil industry; increase awareness and knowledge on sustainability practices, fostering collaboration between financial institutions and upstream and downstream palm oil industries; and build networking and collaboration to increase the realization of sustainable finance and investment, promoting improved sustainability practices in Indonesia’s palm oil sector.

Moreover, the collaborative dialogue fostered improved networking and collaboration between public and private sectors, paving the way for more sustainable financing and investment in the palm oil sector. The event served as a catalyst for fostering stronger partnerships and alliances, uniting stakeholders in the pursuit of common sustainability goals.

“There are 3 challenges faced by the palm oil industry in terms of future growth prospects, and the first challenge comes in the form of finance,” said Henry Rialdi, Head of Department for Surveillance and Integrated Policy for Financial Services Sector, Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK). He continued, “Collaboration between parties involved in credit or financing schemes is required in accordance with the government agenda with adequate risk and mitigation with the focus on implementing sustainability principles, environmental, and governance aspects”.

As part of the event’s outcomes, participants identified key areas where enabling policies can support green financing and investment for Indonesia’s competitive and sustainable palm oil industry. By providing input and insights, the stakeholders laid the groundwork for potential policy changes that can further promote and incentivize sustainable practices in the sector.

Looking ahead, the positive momentum generated by the collaborative dialogue event is set to continue, with ongoing efforts by the participating organizations to work hand in hand with financial institutions and the palm oil industry. By aligning interests and fostering sustainability at every level, Indonesia’s palm oil sector can tap into green investment opportunities worth billions of dollars and secure a thriving and environmentally responsible future.