Prof. Simon Lord

Oil Palm Sustainability

Involved in sustainable Palm Oil since 2000, Dr Simon Lord has 35 years management experience in the agricultural and oil palm sector.

He held positions as Biotechnology and Business development manager with Unilever with whom he worked for 10 years. In 1995 he moved to Papua New Guinea to work for New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL). As Head of Research, he ran Dami Oil Palm Research Station in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for 13 years before being seconded to work in Malaysia for Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad.

In 2015 NBPOL was bought by Sime Darby Berhad and Dr Lord became the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) of Sime Darby Berhad. In 2017 Sime Darby Berhad split into separate entities and Dr Lord joined the newly formed Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (the world’s largest plantation company) also as CSO. In this role he had direct responsibility for all Sustainability, Operational Excellence and Quality initiatives across 17 countries, 60,000 ha of agriculture and the groups, 78 mills and 12 refineries.

In 2020 Simon moved back to the UK to lead an oil palm alliance and to begin a mentoring program for the next generation of sustainability leaders within Sime Darby. In September of that year, he relinquished his position as CSO, in favour of his successor and took up the position as Independent Advisor to Management whilst starting his own consulting business.

Simon has been Involved with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) commodity standard initiative since 2002 as an executive board member representing all producer countries outside of Indonesia and Malaysia. He has served as Vice President (2006-2008), Chair of the Standards and Certification subgroup (2008), Member of the Criteria, Verification, New Planting, Green House Gas and Smallholder working Groups (2003 – 2009).

Simon is a regular presenter at sustainability and responsible sourcing conferences on a wide variety of subject ranging from sustainable finance to child / worker rights and conservation.

Simon's Collaborative Projects

Benefits of agroforestry in Oil Palm Estates

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