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Sime Darby Plantation Wins Acclaimed Edison Award for Genome Select Oil Palm

The first Malaysian company to attain the world renowned accolade

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 April 2017 – Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) became Malaysia’s first company to win the coveted Edison Award, which recognised its groundbreaking genome initiative to develop oil palms with higher yields, reducing the need for more land.

The world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, won the Bronze award for Sustainability, under the Energy & Sustainability category of the 2017 Edison Awards in recognition of its achievement in developing the Genome Select oil palm. 

SDP Managing Director, Datuk Franki Anthony Dass, accepted the award at a ceremony in New York, USA. 

“To be chosen for this prestigious award among the best from 400 nominations received from around the world, by 3,000 panelists comprising the world's top senior business executives, academics, and innovation professionals, is a testament of our passion and pursuit of continuous improvement in sustainable plantation practices. Essentially, this has been one of the raisons d’etre of our foray into the oil palm genome research, which made the Genome Select Oil Palm planting material a reality in 2016,” said Datuk Franki. 

In 2009, Sime Darby Plantation was the first in the world to successfully sequence, assemble and annotate the 1.8 billion chemical units that make up the genetic code of the oil palm. Seven years after successfully decoding the oil palm genome, the company commenced its first large scale planting of the Genome Select high yielding oil palms in 2016, a major milestone that will allow the company to produce more oil with existing land.

“With the potential to produce at least 15% more oil than SDP’s current best planting material (Calix 600), the Genome Select Oil palm will enable the Company to significantly produce higher oil yields equivalent to 50,000ha of new land, without having to increase our planted hectarage. 

“This is in line with SDP’s sustainability commitment to increase yields, thus minimising green and brown field expansions. The technology is being scaled over the next three years to full capacity and we are already using this technology to develop the next generation of palms that are tolerant to drought and can be harvested more efficiently,” added Datuk Franki. 

The Edison Awards is one of the world’s most prestigious accolades, honouring excellence in innovation, new product and service development as well as marketing and design. Organised by Edison Universe, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering future innovators, the Awards has been recognising and honouring the best innovations and innovators since 1987. It is named after Thomas Alva Edison, the famous American inventor whose extraordinary new product development methods garnered 1,093 U.S. patents and made him one of the most influential inventors of all time. 


For this year’s edition, over 400 nominations from around the world were reviewed by industry experts before a total of 138 finalists in various categories were announced in February 2017. With Malaysia’s palm oil industry celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year, the award brings much significance for Sime Darby Plantation and the industry as a whole.

“This is a historic achievement, not just for our company but for the nation’s palm oil industry. We believe this recognition is proof of how far our palm oil industry has grown over the last 100 years.

“It also demonstrates that continuous and higher commitment on Research & Development initiatives are crucial and necessary for our industry to rise to greater heights and accomplish international recognition,” said Datuk Franki.

About Sime Darby Plantation
Sime Darby Plantation is the plantation and agri-business arm of the Sime Darby Group – a Malaysia-based diversified multinational with businesses in five core sectors, as well as operations in 25 countries and 4 territories worldwide. 

It is one of the world’s largest plantation companies, producing about 4% of the global Crude Palm Oil (CPO) output. As an integrated plantation company, Sime Darby Plantation is involved in the full spectrum of the palm oil value chain. Its current Upstream operations which consist predominantly of oil palm cultivation, harvesting and milling are spread across Malaysia, Indonesia and Liberia, and its Downstream business which spans across 16 countries worldwide, involves the manufacturing as well as the sales and marketing activities of oils and fats products, oleochemicals, palm oil-based biodiesel, as well as other palm oil derivatives and renewables. 

Sime Darby Plantation is one of the co-founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), with an annual production of 2.2 million tonnes. As a leader in plantation sustainability, Sime Darby Plantation is committed to its role in the development and promotion of sustainable practices and products in the palm oil sector.

About Sime Darby Group
Sime Darby is a Malaysia-based diversified multinational involved in key growth sectors, namely, plantations, industrial equipment, motors, property and logistics. Founded in 1910, its business divisions seek to create positive benefits in the economy, environment and society where it has a presence.

With a workforce of over 120,000 employees in over 25 countries and 4 territories worldwide, Sime Darby is committed to building a sustainable future for all its stakeholders. It is one of the largest companies on Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of RM63.04bn (USD14.33bn) as of 21 April 2017.
For further information, please contact:

Carl Dagenhart  
Head, Corporate Communications Department  
Sime Darby Plantation Sdn. Bhd.
Tel : (6019) 2220285 / (603) 78485414 
Fax : (603) 7848 5361 
Email: carl.dagenhart@simedarby.com
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