Palm oil giant Wilmar appoints new sustainability leads as Perpetua George moves to PwC

Wilmar’s former general manager for sustainability Perpetua George joins PwC’s Asia Pacific sustainability practice as Wilmar restructures its sustainability team.

Perpetua George, outgoing sustainability head at Wilmar International
Perpetua George moves on from Wilmar International after more than eight and a half years running the sustainability function. An outspoken voice for the palm oil industry, George said at a recent event that the European Deforestation Regulation risked making sustainability certification schemes for palm oil irrelevant. Image:

The general manager of group sustainability for Singapore-headquartered food processing and investment holding company Wilmar International, Perpetua George, has left the company after more than eight and a half years.

Widely known in the industry as “Pep”, the Malaysian has joined professional services firm PwC as a subject matter expert covering biodiversity, nature-based solutions and related disclosure, based in Kuala Lumpur.

The commodities giant has restructured its sustainability team, led by chief sustainability officer Jeremy Goon. They are: Daphne Hameeteman, General Manager, Sustainability - External Engagement & Disclosure; Joshua Lim
General Manager, Sustainability - Supply Chain & Downstream; and Edrin Moss, Assistant General Manager, Sustainability - Upstream Operations.

Daphne Hameeteman, who is Wilmar’s sustainability lead for Europe for the past nine and a half years, will start her new role on 1 September, and relocate from Rotterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Wilmar’s moves comes as the industry grapples with the implications of the newly introduced European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which will require commodity producers – Wilmar is the world’s largest palm oil trader – to abide by strict new export rules to weed deforestation out of supply chains. George said at a recent event that the EUDR risked making sustainability certification schemes for palm oil irrelevant.

Hameeteman will oversee Wilmar’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessments, benchmarking, and reporting, including the publication of the company’s annual sustainability reports. She will also oversee the implementation of the firm’s sustainability initiatives for non-palm commodities, including sugar and coconut.

In recent years, Hameeteman has participated in dialogues with European policymakers over the EUDR, including the Corporate Social Due Diligence Directive, which assesses firms on human rights risk, and other regulations to represent the interests of the palm oil sector.

Lim is overseeing the firm’s third party compliance, climate change and commercial engagement, while Moss is looking after sustainable certification, conservation and smallholder partnerships. 

Wilmar introduced its no-deforestation policy in 2013, and upgraded its NDPE policy in 2018 following protests by environmental activists.

George joined Wilmar from consumer goods firm Unilever, where she was sustainable sourcing manager, renewables and traceability, in 2014. She brings 20 years of experience in sustainability strategy to PwC’s Asia Pacific Sustainability team, having worked for conservation group WWF as forest conservation officer in Sabah and responsible agriculture non-profit Proforest, latterly as regional manager.

She joins PwC as the firm builds out its sustainability function in line with its global “The New Equation” strategy, a plan of action the firm announced in July 2021 to help its clients navigate technological disruption and climate change, among other issues.

George’s role will see her build core competency and capability around the nature and biodiversity agenda, including the integration of both into PwC’s sustainability solutions and services. She starts in her new role on Monday.

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