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Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:57

Horana Plantations first in the world to be certified for sustainable management of oil palm plantations 

Marking yet another milestone, Horana Plantations Plc (HPL) became the first company to be accredited for ‘Certified Oil Palm’ in the world. 

This global recognition was awarded by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which certifies sustainable forest management practices after a thorough evaluation of all three pillars of sustainability namely environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economically viable.

Following the most successful agricultural practices, HPL started diversification of its crops from tea and rubber to timber, cinnamon, oil palm and fruit crops which allows HPL to negate the financial losses by relying only on a single crop and preserving the environment while enhancing the social benefits and quality of management. 

HPL has managed its rubber plantations under the FSC certification since 2008. However, in 2016, proving the sustainability of management practices, all crops mentioned above managed by HPL in the Neuchatel, Kobowella, Halwathura, Frocester, Hillstream and Mirishena Estates of the Low Country Region, including Rubber, were certified by the FSC as managed using the most environmentally friendly manner. 

According to the sustainability evaluation criteria of FSC, it is mandatory to maintain significant conservation areas of over 5% of total land extent, to improve the biodiversity and minimise the spread of invasive species among 56 different evaluation criteria falling under ten principles. HPL, however, maintains more than 5% of conservation areas in its lands which are very rich in biodiversity. Moreover, the executives, staff and the workers of HPL are well-trained to be concerned of the value of the environment and the maintenance of social relationships. 

Apart from FSC, HPL plantations have also been certified for its sustainable management practices by Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership and Fairtrade International. Despite the heavy costs that have to be expended for the protection of biodiversity and water quality by not using harmful chemicals, HPL continues to improve its environmentally friendly management practices which HPL believes to be a key factor that  protects the limited resources such as the soil, environment and biodiversity in Sri Lanka.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 15 December 2016 15:25