Palm Oil | WWF
© James Morgan / WWF International

Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil on Earth, and demand continues to grow rapidly.

To reduce its environmental impact, the palm oil industry has already undergone a tremendous shift, with more and more companies committing to sustainable palm oil. But we need to get there faster, at the risk of losing the forests of Sumatra, the Heart of Borneo and the Congo Basin.

Through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil any company can contribute to making sustainable palm oil the norm.

Palm oil is a major part of the economy in the tropical areas where it’s grown, helping to lift people out of poverty.

The major drawback of oil palm plantations is that they are developed in low lying, wet, tropical areas – exactly where rainforests grow and endangered species such as orangutan and tigers once thrived.

Clearing land for palm oil plantations has led to widespread loss of rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia and beyond. Destruction of forests also drives climate change.

► Environmental impacts of palm oil production

Our approach


WWF works on a number of fronts to transform the palm oil industry, including: 

WWF Targets

2020: 50% of palm oil bought is RSPO certified


18,4% of global palm oil production is RSPO-certified sustainable (August 2016).
What WWF is doing to promote sustainable palm oil  


With growing membership and support from the entire industry, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has reached a stage where up to 40% of global palm oil production is amongst RSPO members.

What makes the Roundtable particularly credible is that its guidelines forbid cutting trees in forests that are considered to be important for conservation. Member companies must also reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, a major source of global warming, and respect the rights of communities and workers.

By joining the RSPO, companies are expected to certify all their plantations, not only the best performing ones, within a specific timeframe.


Palm oil case study
More case studies

Palm oil news

Posted on 13 May 2015 | 

Singapore – A WWF report finds an alarming gap between regional ASEAN financial institutions and ...

Posted on 21 August 2013 | 

Responding to the debate over the demand for palm oil and its impact on indigenous people’s rights, ...

Posted on 21 August 2013 | 

Univanich Palm Oil PCL recently announced its first sale of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)—a ...

Find out about other commodities we work on

How to clean up the murky world of palm oil

Check out the video debate in The Guardian Sustainable Business 


RSPO trademark logo
© RSPO trademark logo © RSPO

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) transforms markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm.

Priority Countries

Indonesia and Malaysia (approximately 85% of global production), Congo Basin (emerging)

India, Indonesia, China (the three largest and fastest growing markets in the last decade), EU