Returning to Community

"Returning to Community" is another important aspect in the Group’s sustainability blueprint that focuses on sharing the prosperity of the organisation with targeted groups in our community. The Group aspires not only to create employment opportunities in the operations but also enhances the shared economic value by driving positive social economic impacts for the people and surrounding communities. This is done by generation of potential spin-offs and other multiplier effects in their livelihood and the overall local economy.

The Group is constantly seeking to make a difference in the livelihood of the surrounding communities in the areas where it is operating. This includes employment and business creation opportunities, as well as support services, to help drive positive socio-economic impacts.

The Group embarks on engagements with the local communities, recognising their concerns and potential impacts on the people and their surrounding environment in relation to the social aspect in new land developments. The Group employs organised procedures relating to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in engaging with the local communities. Lands are not developed without the mutual consent obtained from the relevant and affected parties. In the process of engagement with relevant stakeholders in where we operate, the potential negative impacts are well mitigated and positive impacts are enhanced as continuous improvement process in creating shared values to the local communities.

The diagram below indicates the various steps under the FPIC processes.

In addition, various awareness programmes are initiated to the neighbouring stakeholders involving sharing and extending the information on wildlife protection and fire mitigation and prevention especially in those located at areas with higher environmental risks and exposure to fire hazards. Stakeholder dialogues are organised in the operations annually and matters of mutual concern are deliberated.

Rugby Sports Development

The Group has involved in nurturing rugby sports development among the school children in the State of Sabah through a tripartite partnership since 2002. The tripartite partnership with the Sabah Education Department, Sabah Rugby Union and Eagle Rugby Club has groomed students from 53 primary and 65 secondary participating schools in Sabah State under the Academy for Sabah Rugby Excellence partnership. The overall objective is to channel youthful energy of schoolchildren towards rugby excellence while inculcating positive character-building traits such as leadership, team-work and discipline. Apart from the regular coaching lessons at their respective schools, rugby camps, annual tournament and workshops are also organised.

Breast Health Awareness

Since 2006, the Group has actively promoted breast health awareness in within our organisation, general public and school girls in the rural areas of Sabah. The importance of regular screening and relevant information are briefed to the school girls though the awareness outreach programme. The Group aspires to empower the teenage girls with facts to spread the message to their families and friends. The Group is also collaborating with a local NGO, Sandakan Pink Ribbon (SPR) in supporting the breast cancer survivors and promotion of breast health awareness in the Sandakan town.

The Group is committed to a smallholder transformation project themed “Rurality” in partnership with NGO, Earthworm Foundation; formally known as ‘The Forest Trust’ (TFT) since year 2015. It involves smallholders supplying crops to Desa Talisai Palm Oil Mill, in Sandakan, Sabah.

Through the Rurality Project, the smallholders from Ulu Muanad village has participated in a Community Elephant Monitoring Training Programme and established a monitoring group to mitigate and implement a long-term strategy in handling human-elephant conflict at Ulu Muanad village. Under this program, three (3) of the independent smallholders from Ulu Muanad village who were affected by human-elephant conflict were certified as Wildlife Warden under the Honorary Wildlife Wardens programme organized by the Group in collaboration with Sabah Wildlife Department.

In addition, best management practices and agronomy related knowledge are shared with the smallholders to improve their yield and management efficiencies. Under the Rurality project, the women in the smallholders’ families are encouraged to diversify their income sources through planting of fast-growing crops and making of hand-made handicrafts with local ethnicity elements. The handicraft products are subsequently marketed through the Group’s social entrepreneurship project.

"Rurality (www.rurality.org) is an initiative of Earthworm Foundation; formally known as 'The Forest Trust' (www.earthworm.org) aimed at driving innovation at the small farmer level. It was launched in 2015 to help farmers face modern-day challenges such as climate change, price volatility, pests and diseases. More information can also be found in their website www.rurality.org"

The Group encourages its employees to give back to the community by volunteering in social- environmental activities. Among the activities that our people have been participated annually are:

  1. Community outreach project: “IJM’s Give Day Out” (since 2011);
  2. Support and volunteer at the Borneo Bird Festival (since 2010);
  3. Collaboration with Borneo Bird Club Sandakan in environmental awareness outreach programme at local schools (since 2013).
  4. Blood donation campaigns at operating units