Revised palm oil standards a positive step forward

Your shampoo, your ice cream, your margarine, your lipstick – all likely contain palm oil. Demand is still growing, as are oil palm plantations but at a steep price to tropical forests and the biodiversity found there.
WWF has welcomed revised standards for sustainable palm oil that were endorsed by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) at its extra-ordinary General Assembly last week in Kuala Lumpur.
While the revision of the RSPO Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production (P&Cs) did not result in everything WWF had pushed for, WWF nevertheless believes the revised P&Cs are better than the earlier version at addressing the challenges facing the palm oil industry.

Palm oil plantation, Malaysia
Aerial view of palm oil plantation on deforested land, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. © / Juan Carlos Munoz / WWF-Canon

WWF participated in the review, advocating for stronger environmental and social safeguards governing greenhouse gas emissions, planting on peatland and the use of hazardous chemicals among other issues. Despite some disappointments, WWF fully supports the RSPO and will remain an engaged member of the organization, continuing to help the RSPO to improve its standard and systems.
WWF supports efforts by individual grower members to certify their production and of buyers and users to commit to the use of 100% certified sustainable palm oil. WWF believes that the new P&Cs create a space within which companies can set their own performance standard.
Alongside committing to the certification of all their present and future palm oil production to the RSPO P&Cs, WWF expects progressive growers to also take action on:
–              immediate public reporting of GHG emissions;
–              significant annual GHG emissions reduction targets;
–              zero-net emissions from land use for new developments;
–              an end to the use of hazardous pesticides including paraquat; and
–              only buying Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) from known sources
WWF also asks other parts of the supply chain to reward those leading innovative growers that make these commitments by both buying their certified sustainable palm oil and taking their own parallel actions.
WWF particularly calls on the traders to acknowledge that they have the greatest responsibility to bring more transparency to the market for certified sustainable palm oil so that buyers can be assured that they are buying CSPO from progressive growers.
Learn more about WWF is doing on palm oil.