International Finance Corporation

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There is growing need for companies in the palm oil sector to earn a social license to operate (SLO) in response to stakeholder concerns and to manage business risks. At the same time, earning and keeping an SLO remains a challenge. Many diverse stakeholder groups and subgroups – local, national and international – can influence the ability of a company to gain and maintain an SLO. The objective of this paper is to present the collective experience of a number of companies and associated stakeholders as a resource to strengthen the management of community relations in the palm oil sector and foster additional discussion. This discussion paper offers multiple examples of how companies in the sector are managing challenges in building long-term relationships with communities.