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Wilmar tops Singapore companies for human rights disclosure, second in Asean: study

AGRIBUSINESS giant Wilmar International took the top spot among Singapore-listed companies and second place in the overall Asean category in a ranking for human rights disclosure.

The ranking was the result of a joint study by the Singapore-based Asean CSR Network, US-based civic and social organisation Article 30, and the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies of Mahidol University in Thailand, Wilmar said in a press release on Tuesday.

Human rights disclosure tells stakeholders what kind of strategy or system companies have in place to manage their human rights impact.

The study measured the top 50 publicly listed companies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the authoritative global standard of responsible business conduct.

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It also identified disclosure gaps and alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

Key areas reviewed included the commitments and policies by companies in safeguarding human rights and its implementation, engagement, monitoring and resolution efforts, when required.

Coming in first place for the region was Malaysia’s Sime Darby, scoring 95 per cent in human rights disclosure. Wilmar was the only Singapore firm in the top 10 list for Asean, with 90 per cent.

In other companies in Singapore’s top five were Olam International and Golden Agri-Resources, both with 76 per cent disclosure, Keppel Corp at 67 per cent and Starhub at 52 per cent.

Jeremy Goon, chief sustainability officer at Wilmar, said: “In a time when consumers, governments and international organisations are increasingly scrutinising companies and demanding for responsible and transparent practices, we are honoured to be recognised for our efforts.

“It’s also very encouraging to note that eight of the top three companies in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are palm-related consumer staple companies. It is a testament to the palm oil industry’s progress in transforming itself into a more sustainable and responsible sector.”

Wilmar International shares were trading down three Singapore cents at S$3.53 as at 12.04pm on Tuesday.