First Resources has faced criticism from NGOs and been subject to RSPO complaints. In addition, Chain Reaction Research has reported that the company has been involved in various nefarious activities. Investigators have shown that First Resources has damaged habitat for endangered species on their PT Limpah Sejahtera concession. Other researchers have shown that First Resources has acquired and cleared local communities’ land without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent on its PT Borneo Surya Mining Jaya concession.
While First Resources has industry-standard NDPE policies, researchers have shown that the founder of First Resources, Martias Fangiono, is using his money to clear forests. PT Ciliandry Anky Abadi, a privately-held plantation company with a 120,000 ha landbank in Central Kalimantan, is controlled by a British Virgin Island-registered entity that has direct ownership links to Fangiono. From August 2016 to January 2018, PT Ciliandry Anky Abadi deforested 4,005 ha of forest and peat. It also reportedly sources from known deforester Peputra Group, which owns three plantations and two mills in Sumatra and cleared more than 2,000 ha in 2019.
First Resources is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Eight Capital owns two-thirds of the company’s shares, while Fidelity, Vanguard, Dimensional, and BlackRock remain major shareholders.