With a landbank of about 300,000 ha, Astra Agro Lestari is the second-largest palm oil company in Indonesia.
The company has adopted industry standard sustainability policies, including commitments to refrain from development on high carbon stock and High Conservation Value areas and on peat (regardless of depth) and to avoid use of fire on its plantations. In addition, the company claims to have achieved 100 percent traceability to the mill level for its palm oil.
Yet, Astra Agro Lestari has a history of deforestation and peatland destruction, particularly in the world-famous Tripa Swamp Forest in Sumatra, home to one of the last populations of Sumatran orangutans. In addition, it has been criticized for being slow to implement its policies. Among Indonesian companies, it has one of the highest exposures to independent smallholders. Deforestation from independent smallholders is a growing risk in Indonesia.
Astra Agro is by far the largest palm oil company that is not a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Its top shareholder, Indonesia-based Astra International Tbk PT, is its parent company and owns approximately 80 percent. Dimensional, Vanguard, and Macquarie are also among the top five shareholders.