The Three Pronged Strategy of Tanoto Foundation

sukanto tanoto tinah tanotoFounded in 1981 by Indonesian businessman and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto and his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, the Tanoto Foundation supports poverty alleviation efforts in Indonesia. Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Tanoto strongly believe that everyone has an equal right create a better quality of life for themselves and their families, and that the way to do so is through education; which is why the first project the Foundation worked on was building and opening a Kindergarten and elementary school in rural Besitang in North Sumatra, Indonesia in 1981.

In 2001, Tanoto Foundation was officially established in Singapore as a non-profit charitable organisation, privately funded by the Tanoto Family. The Foundation is currently active in Indonesia, China, Singapore and the USA.

The Foundation utilizes a three pronged strategy in their fight against poverty: Education, Empowerment and Enhancing quality of living.

The educational sector of the Tanoto Foundation includes:

  • Building and financially assisting schools in rural communities.
  • Handing out scholarships to students.
  • Teacher training.
  • Providing funding for medical research and environmental studies.

Empowerment is achieved through partnering with corporate businesses APRIL and RAPP, both companies founded by Sukanto Tanoto, to:

  • Facilitate small to medium business developments through microfinance and vocational training.
  • Establish Community Fibre Farms and support them with equipment and training.
  • Promote integrated farming systems.

Tanoto Foundation enhances the quality of living in rural areas by:

  • Building infrastructures such as roads and community buildings.
  • Digging boreholes to provide fresh water.
  • Providing free health checks and medical services.

Since launching its first scholarship programme in 2006, the Foundation has expanded the scholarship programme to include five other programme sectors, and has handed out a combined total of over 6700 scholarships to students in schools and universities around Indonesia and Singapore.

Although the Foundation is not an emergency-relief organisation, they do what they can to help in times of great need due to natural disasters. Assistance and relief have been provided by the Foundation and its corporate partners to tsunami, earthquake, landslide and volcanic eruption affected communities.

For more information about Tanoto Foundation or its founder, Sukanto Tanoto visit:

Restorasi Ekosistem Riau Restores and Protects Indonesian Peatlands

Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) was established in 2013 by Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto. Sukanto Tanoto is also the founder of Sateri and Pacific Oil & Gas. The APRIL Group, which forms a part of the Royal Golden Eagle group of companies, is the corporate sponsor as well as technical manager of the project, and has committed US$ 100 million over the course of the next 10 years to restore and protect 150 000 hectares of peatland forest in the Kampar Peninsula

RER is a collaborative project between groups of both the private sector and the public sector to restore and conserve the Indonesian peatland forests, wildlife and ecosystems.

Restorasi Ekosistem Riau Restores and Protects Indonesian Peatlands

How RER Works

A four step sustainable peatland conservation model is applied by RER; which is to protect, assess, restore and manage the peatlands using a landscape approach.

  • Protection – RER has established a formal guard and patrol function to guard sections of peatland against illegal logging, and works with local community groups to make certain that the solutions they come up with are both practical and effective.
  • Assessing – With the assistance of experts, RER assesses the present condition of the local flora and fauna and the general area, as well as both the physical and social environments of the local communities to establish a baseline against which all future assessments can be measured.
  • Restoring – Once the first two steps have been put into place, degraded areas are carefully restored by replanting using seedlings from immediate surrounding forests so that the eco system will not be changed by other plants. Nurseries have been established to cultivate seedlings collected from the wild forests before the replanting program is carried out. Water levels will be restored through man made channels to recreate and maintain the correct levels needed for the peatland ecosystems to thrive.
  • Managing – An advisory panel consisting of international and local experts has worked together with RER to design a comprehensive long-term management plan to safeguard the sustainability of the areas that have been restored.

RER is a project which will take decades to complete, however with the support of the government, the engagement of the communities, the resources from the collaborative companies and the advice from experts, everyone involved is confident the project will make a huge positive influence on the deforested and degraded peatlands.

For more information about RER and Mr Sukanto Tanoto visit:

Asian Agri’s Training Course for New Generation of Palm Oil Planters

Asian Agri

The production of palm oil makes up a large part of the Indonesian economy. Its many different uses make it an essential ingredient in a vast variety of everyday consumer products ranging from lipstick, to hold the colour, keep it from melting easily and to give its smooth appearance, to ice cream, which helps to make it smooth and creamy, to biodiesel, a renewable source of energy. Currently Indonesia is the world’s largest supplier of palm oil.

Asian Agri, founded by Indonesian businessman and entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto, was established in 1979 as the palm oil branch of the global business group Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), founded by Sukanto Tanoto in 1972.

Asian Agri is one of Indonesia’s leading crude palm oil producers, with an annual production capacity of one million tons per annum. It manages 27 palm oil plantations and 20 palm oil mills, employing 25 000 workers throughout its operations.

The hard work and success of the company has led to it receiving ISO 14001 certification for each of its operations. The certification proves to stakeholders, consumers and staff that the company is aware of its environmental obligations and is constantly trying to reduce its environmental impact.

The Asian Agri Learning Centre and its training programme

Asian Agri Learning CentreIn 2002 Asian Agri launched the Asian Agri Learning Centre (AALI) to train new generations of palm oil planters in environmentally friendly practices and sustainable cultivation and operations.

These trainees come from various parts of the Riau, Jambi and North Sumatra provinces, and are put through a six month informative and systematic training programme which introduces them to the basics of palm oil cultivation. All trainees receive a salary from Asian Agri during the training programme.

The programme teaches those wanting to create a future in the thriving Indonesian palm oil business the skills and knowledge needed to do so in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way.

AALI takes in around 100 trainees on an annual basis, and has successfully trained 2200 graduates up until now.

For more information about Sukanto Tanoto and Asian Agri please visit:

APRIL group, founded by entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto, is recognised as a valuable donor to the Global Compact Network

Asia Pacific International Holdings Ltd – also known as APRIL, is one the largest and most technologically advanced producers of pulp and paper products across the globe. Established and mentored by leading entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto, the company implements the vision of the Tanoto Foundation in every aspect of its business, as well as the 4Cs business approach of founder Mr. Tanoto to do good for country, climate, community and company.

Hand-in-hand with APRIL’s success are its many corporate social responsibility initiatives that have established the group as a leading contributor to the upliftment of local society – a hard driven passion of the company’s founder, Sukanto Tanoto.

Recently the APRIL group was recognized by the Global Compact Network of Singapore (GCNS) for their significant contributions to GCNS’s success in deepening and widening the understanding and implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to local companies throughout Singapore. As such, APRIL has been awarded Gold Member status of the GCNS for its commitment to assisting in spreading and implementing best sustainability and CSR practice in Singapore.

APRIL receives token of appreciation

The recent Singapore Apex Corporate Sustainability Awards gala dinner saw APRIL receive an official token of recognition for their important contributions to the GCN. Chairman of APRIL, Mr. Bey Soo Khiang, was on-hand to accept the prestigious award on behalf of the company founder, Mr. Sukanto Tanoto.

Follow the founder of the APRIL group, part of the RGE group of companies, Mr. Sukanto Tanoto, via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or LinkedIn for more updates.

Global Compact Network

Winners at the Apex Corporate Sustainability Awards dinner and Mr. Bey Soo Khiang accepting an award on behalf of APRIL and founder, Mr Sukanto Tanoto.

Image credit: Inside-RGE

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Agri business founded by Sukanto Tanoto fights illness on Indonesia’s east coast

While the rains bring growth for crops in the village of Bukit Gajah, illnesses including influenza take their toll on the community – but Asian Agri, a company started by entrepreneur and pioneer Sukanto Tanoto that produces premium palm oil in the region, is determined to restore local residents to good health.

The Riau region has abundant rich soil and local farmers who are some of the world’s best oil palm cultivators, but the region suffers from periodic outbreaks of illness due to the wet conditions created by monsoon season. In order to change this situation for the better, PT Inti Indosawit Subur (a subsidiary of Asian Agri) has been sponsoring free medication for local residents since November 2016.

Tanoto Foundation’s vision and mission realized through sustainable development

Following the example of RGE founder Sukanto Tanoto and his focus on community health as a pillar of sustainable development, Asian Agri is actively giving back to the community that lives and works in the vicinity of its large palm oil farming operations.

The results of their efforts are already being felt by villagers like Roeta (55) who felt empowered to improve her health after a thorough medical consultation with visiting doctors. The project has also received the endorsement from Bambang Mujianto, local community leader and Village Secretary. In his words, The role of the company to improve the quality of community resources through a free inspection is very much needed”.

This kind of real impact and visible result is further proof that Mr. Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation’s vision for a healthy, educated and economically empowered local community can be realized.

Find out more about this and other projects by following Mr. Sukanto Tanoto via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or LinkedIn.

asian agri tanoto foundation


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The Generation of “left-behind” Children

With smiling faces and laughter filling the air, the group of 14 children and the adults accompanying them could easily have been mistaken by passer-by’s as parents with their children. However, these children were not the children of the employees. These children are the “left-behind” children whose parents have migrated from rural villages to the cities for work, leaving the children in the care of relatives, and the adults supervising them on this day are a group of Asia Symbol staff.

Asia Symbol, which forms a part of the Royal Golden Eagle group of companies founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, have initiated the “Hand-in-Hand, You-and-Me” project to give love and care to the “left behind” children as part of their social corporate responsibility to give back to the community.

This particular weekend outing was even more exciting than any other, as it coincided with the last day of elementary school mid-term exams.

For many of the children the highlight of the trip was the DIY burger lunch, where they received chef hats, aprons and gloves to wear and were allowed to create their own burgers.

During the outing the children had the opportunity to visit educational city sites such as the Rizhao river, a few museums and of course the Rizhao Jianghe Library, which received a large donation of RMB 30 million in 2015 towards its construction by RGE founder and Chairman Sukanto Tanoto, and they spent the afternoon reading from the large selection of books in the children section with the Asian Symbol volunteers. On 1 June 2016 the library’s children section received a donation of 200 000 books from Sukanto Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation to commemorate International Children’s Day. This donation was made after Mr Tanoto’s earlier visit to the library revealed that it could be better stocked to meet visitor’s demands.

To read more about Sukanto Tanoto and his philanthropic actions visit:

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Tanoto Forestry Information Centre

tanoto forestry information centreOn 21 December 2015, the Tanoto Forestry Information Centre was officially opened to the public. The Centre is a collaborative project between the Bogar Agricultural University, locally known as the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), and the Tanoto Foundation, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto.

Fast forward to 21 December 2016, and the Tanoto Forestry Information Centre is successfully on its way to fulfilling the vision the IPB and Tanoto Foundation had for it, to become an informative place for scientific forestry information and environmental services. The Centre is always bustling with activity, averaging 400 visitors per month.

Within the three story-building one can gain access to international journals on forestry studies, as well as to IPB’s library collections, scientific journals and panel and video information regarding forestry.

To turn the Tanoto Forestry Information Centre into a core networking and collaboration facility amongst the international forestry stakeholders, a number of industry professionals such as researchers from the United States, delegates from the 2016 International Union of Forest Research Organisations Congress, students from Taiwan as well as numerous events have been hosted by the Centre to share knowledge and technology to support the forestry sector.

“The forestry’s industry and sector is crucial to the economy of Indonesia. To improve the sector’s contribution, Indonesia needs people knowledgeable in forestry. These are the people who can use and develop applicable knowledge. We hope Tanoto Forestry Information Centre will produce prominent scientists and practitioners of forestry at the national and international levels.” – Sukanto Tanoto, founder of the Tanoto Foundation.

Sukanto Tanoto, who is on the board of directors of the Tanoto Foundation, said that one of the reasons that the Tanoto Foundation has collaborated with IPB on the forestry information centre is to show its support in the effort to develop and share the knowledge of forestry in Indonesia.

The intention is to eventually be able to open the Centre to the general public, so they may obtain, learn and share information regarding forestry.

tanoto forestry information centre

Apical Enhances its Sustainability Dashboard

apical sustainability dashboardApical is one of the world’s largest exporters of palm oil in Indonesia, and owns and controls a vast variety of the palm oil business value chain, from sourcing the products to refining, processing and distribution for both domestic and international use.

Apical is a subsidiary of the Royal Golden Eagle group of companies, founded in 1973 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto. As one of the companies that form part of RGE, its sustainability policy is aligned with that of the RGE group of companies, which is the 4C’s business policy put into place by Sukanto Tanoto himself. All businesses should conduct operations in a manner which is good for the community, good for the climate, good for the country and good for the company.

Apical Sustainability

Starting in 2014, Apical made a breakthrough in the process of embedding sustainability into the core of its operations by building a traceable and transparent oil supply chain that is committed to:

  • Protect high conservation value areas, as well as high carbon stock areas
  • Protect peatlands, regardless of their depth
  • Drive positive socio-economy impact for people and communities

They are committed to helping their suppliers receive sustainability certification such as ISPO/RSPO/ISCC by 2020, and have ceased to do business with any suppliers who do not uphold these policies.

This year Apical, working with The Forest Trust (TFT), of which it has been a member since June 2015, has created the first version of its sustainability dashboard. The information included in the dashboard will include traceability data for the Indonesian supply chain as well as an interactive map providing data for traceability for each individual facility. The dashboard will also allow online access to progress updates related to grievances filed against the company or its suppliers, company policies and guidelines and toolkits for all the Apical suppliers.

Plans to enhance the dashboard further are already in motion, with the focus being to increase the types of information available, and to create a more user-friendly interface to help Apical communicate more efficiently to target users such as bankers, investors, civil society groups, buyers, suppliers and media groups.

Find out more about Sukanto Tanoto at:

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Tanoto Foundation, under the guidance and leadership of Sukanto Tanoto, teaches community members how to earn money from their waste


Tanoto Foundation trainees display some of the crafts that they can make from trash and sell for a profit.

Enhancing the quality of life for community members and creating awareness of environmental issues has been a continuing key focus of Mr. Sukanto Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation. The RGE Group of companies, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tanoto, has been involved in many projects, studies and philanthropic activities, and one of the foundation’s efforts has been a holistic approach to help in the alleviation of poverty.

Recently, it has been the focus of the Tanoto Foundation and RGE to educate community members on how to better handle their trash, in a creative and useful way. This is in-line with Sukanto Tanoto’s vision of doing good for the community and environment while earning success in the business world.

How Sukanto Tanoto’s Tanoto Foundation boosts creative recycling

Mr. Sukanto Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation teamed up with CSR Asian Agri on this specific project to adopt sustainable practices. The aim is to curb pollution in Indonesia and also teach community members that being responsible with their waste can pay off in terms of the environment and extra finances.

From the 30th to 31st August 2016, waste management training was provided to village community members in Pelalawan. The aim of the training course was to teach community members that not all trash is dirty and useless. With a bit of creativity, the trash can be transformed into items or recycled effectively. Both of these efforts can earn citizens real currency, which can improve their quality of life.

30 Indonesian residents attended the course. The participants learnt various waste management skills and it is hoped that the crafts they create from their trash can be marketed and sold at local community fairs.

This is not the first waste management or recycling effort that the Tanoto Foundation has been involved in. The Foundation also assisted in the funding of a waste warehouse which was constructed in Black Water village.

The introduction of Banking for Trash Asri and how it benefits the community

The ‘Asri Trash Bank‘, which is a garbage bank, is an innovative community project encouraging villagers who are part of the “Bank Trash Asri” program to deposit their waste at the trash bank. At a later stage, all savers and contributors will be paid out in Rupiah for their “deposits”.

This is a great way to get villagers thinking about how they handle their trash and how they can be rewarded for recycling or handling their waste products responsibly. Some of the trash collected is used to create crafts to be sold, which also earns the community a small income.

When you consider that Indonesia is the 2nd largest contributor of plastic waste on a global scale, it’s easy to see just how much good foundations such as Tanoto Foundation are doing by educating and training community members about better and more creative waste management.

Bank Trash Asri thanks Tanoto Foundation for their funding and training efforts

The Director of Asri Trash Bank publicly thanked all companies involved in funding the community training, Tanoto Foundation included. He also said that he hopes the collaboration of the bank, community, government and philanthropic foundations can continue in order to improve the quality of life for the Indonesian community.

Tanoto Foundation guarantees ongoing support for the Bank Trash Asri

The Tanoto Foundation spokesperson advised that the foundation will make itself available to assist with providing the bank with general guidance, building assistance, sorting trash, waste management training, waste management skills development on an ongoing basis.

As with many of the other philanthropic events the Tanoto Foundation is involved in, waste management training is in-line with the vision of Mr. Sukanto Tanoto which is to do good for the community and environment while also focusing on being profitable.

You can follow Mr. Sukanto Tanoto via social media on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Apical, an RGE company founded by Sukanto Tanoto, raises their game with newly launched sustainability dashboard


A look at the newly updated Apical Sustainability Dashboard and its user-friendly interface.

As a leader in the production of sustainable edible oils in Indonesia, the Apical Group, founded by Mr. Sukanto Tanoto, which falls under the umbrella of the RGE group of companies, has literally made hay while the sun shines and secured themselves as one of the largest exporters of palm oil in all of Indonesia. With this success, Apical, in line with Mr Sukanto Tanoto’s 3-tiered philosophy, has ensured the environment has not suffered, and at the heart of its daily operations is sustainable growth and cultivation practices – a core value that is hard driven by the company’s founder and leader, Sukanto Tanoto.

Palm oil is essential to daily life for many Indonesians, and it is well-known that the success of the Indonesian economy is driven by palm oil and its influence on the consumer market. With Indonesia’s prime position along the earth’s tropical equator, conditions for the growth and cultivation of palm oil could not be more ideal – long days of sunshine, plentiful rainfall and warm temperatures ensure that this product grows in a healthy abundance.

Sukanto Tanoto founded company Apical leads the way as a sustainable development advocate

As early as 2014, Apical committed itself to showcasing a transparent and traceable supply chain, with the promise of protecting high conservation value areas (HCV’s) as well as high carbon stock areas (HCS’s). Along with this, Apical has pledged to protect peat-rich areas, regardless of under-earth depth and drive a strong socio-economic impact amongst local communities.

2016 has seen Apical step-up its already impressive sustainability efforts with the launch of a highly interactive and educational dashboard, with content being made readily available to important stakeholders and website visitors, such as bankers, investors, civil society groups, buyers, suppliers and the media.

This sustainability dashboard has been created to be user-friendly, interactive and provide access to important information including: traceable data for the company’s supply chain, an interactive map providing access to this data, progress updates related to grievances lodged against the company or its suppliers, as well as company policies, guidelines and toolkits, while founder of the project, Mr. Tanoto, believes transparency is key

In partnership with consultant The Forest Trust (TFT), Apical has been able to up their game and ensure information on their sustainability initiatives remains 100% accessible. “We want to raise the bar by keeping ourselves accountable to the goals we have set, and to make that progress transparent and accessible to our partners and stakeholders through an online dashboard.” – Dato’ Yeo How, President of Apical Group.

Through their joint initiatives with the Tanoto Foundation and following the 4Cs approach of their founder Sukanto Tanoto, good for the community, the climate, the country and the company; Apical contributes to the education, health and disaster relief efforts within the community.

You can visit Apical’s updated sustainability dashboard here and follow Mr. Sukanto Tanoto, founder of Apical, via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or LinkedIn.