Sustainable palm oil industry
Palm oil has several significant uses and benefits as compared to other vegetable oils, including its low cost and high yield, and has contributed significantly to economic development in a number of countries, in particular Indonesia and Malaysia. However, the development of palm oil plantations has also been linked to significant negative social and environmental impacts including widespread deforestation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, social conflicts, and damage to ecosystem services.
During the consultative phase of this engagement, the group of investors concluded that a significant issue was a lack of demand for certified sustainable palm oil from major buyers, which has consequently prevented growers and plantation companies from committing to more sustainable practices, or to membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This initiative focuses on engagement with companies that are likely to be significant purchasers of palm oil, and requests that they join the RSPO, as well as those companies who are existing members of the RSPO, but have not disclosed a timebound plan for the transition to purchasing certified sustainable palm oil – a membership requirement of the RSPO.