However, NGOs have raised serious concerns about the impact on forests and local communities of its operations in Liberia. In 2009, the company acquired a 63-year lease for 311,187 ha of land in Liberia, with 220,000 ha slated for development. In apparent recognition of the difficulty of the challenges involved in addressing concerns that have been raised about deforestation and exploitation of communities there, the company has recently decided to sell its Liberian concession. It is unclear whether or not the company will be able to find a buyer committed to addressing those concerns.
In 2014, Sime Darby Plantations endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests. Sime Darby is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Permodalan Nasional Berhad, a Malaysia-based government agency that is part of the PNB Group, is the majority shareholder, while Vanguard and BlackRock are top owners.