Erhverv

In Liberia, palm oil giant's industry-beating score hides razed forests, polluted water, vanished jobs

Emmissions rise from the Golden Veroleum Liberia plant beyond Wiah's Town in Liberia. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Leanne de Bassompierre Felled trees in Sinoe County, Liberia. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Leanne de Bassompierre A resident uses the single water pump in Butawu, Liberia. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Leanne de Bassompierre

In the impoverished West African country of Liberia, a unit of the world's second-largest palm oil company has admitted to destroying forests and violating the rights of indigenous people. Yet its parent is among the industry's leaders in investor ratings for environmental, social and government policies.

Golden Agri Resources Ltd. acknowledged in February that its Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) unit hadn't done enough to compensate local residents for business practices that included razing part of one of the planet's richest biodiversity regions. Among the company's shareholders is BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, whose chairman Larry Fink has made combating climate change a focus for the $9.5 trillion of assets his firm manages...

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