SSMS Statement to Greenpeace Allegations


Dear Stakeholders,


Despite only being given one day to respond to “Burning Down the House”, a report issued by Greenpeace on November 1, 2019 (,

SSMS provided broad and substantive rebuttal to the misinformation and allegations contained in the report. In accordance with the statement we have conveyed on the SSMS website (, we share the same concerns about the impact of the forest fires that occurred in Indonesia recently.

  • Greenpeace states in their report that there are 6,800 hectares in the SSMS concession which were burned between 2015 and 2018. This figure is baseless. Information about our efforts to monitor, prevent and control the threat of fire are clearly conveyed in the SSMS Sustainability Report 2018, available on: -Lowres1561625260.pdf).


  • Further, Greenpeace’s statement that one company under our Group was shut down by KLHK is also false. No subsidiary of SSMS or the broader CBI Group have ever been sealed due to forest fires, either in 2019 or previously.


We are well aware that forest fires are common enemies to us all, and we therefore also appreciate monitoring by third parties. However, Greenpeace’s baseless and false allegations are highly detrimental and libelous.


Let us set the record straight, in the face of Greenpeace’s baseless allegations: SSMS actively monitors, prevents and controls fires in all of our concessions, as well as monitoring areas around our plantations that are outside our ownership and control. Monitoring, prevention and control systems and activities are carried out with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, and our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) ensures accordance with applicable regulations and statute. We also operate an integrated hotspot monitoring system, so that any hotspot can be identified in real time and verified in the field. Our ground patrols and Fire Danger Rating System ensure our emergency response preparedness is always updated according to the Level of Danger.


Our fire prevention team is well trained and equipped to ensure that our efforts to monitor, prevent and control fires are both timely and effective. SSMS incorporates fire prevention programs into all its operational activities, from block design, infrastructure design in the form of roads and bore wells and water reservoirs according to field requirements, to monitoring towers in areas of higher risk which are always routinely monitored by related personnel.


Apart from these precautions, any hotspot detected, either within the concession or in our immediate surroundings, will be confirmed and verified by the field team using all available resources, ranging from humans to air monitoring (drones). In 2019, all hotspots detected in the company's concessions were upon further verification confirmed as not on fire, while one hotspot adjacent to one of our locations was extinguished by our firefighting team and caused only minimal scorching damage to the trees in that area. All hotspot verification results, including if there is a fire incident are immediately reported to the authorities.