Palm Oil Innovation Group

Going further for sustainable palm oil

The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) aims to demonstrate innovation in sustainable palm oil production through developing new models and paradigms for best practices in the sector.

What is the POIG?

Launched on June 28, 2013, at the Tropical Forest Alliance meeting, the POIG currently consists of international NGOs along with several palm oil producing companies recognized as innovative leaders in socio-environmental issues.

The group was initiated after the 2013 review of the RSPO P&Cs, which POIG members believe could have been more innovative, especially on the issues of deforestation, carbon stocks, biodiversity and social relations. All of the POIG members are committed to reinforcing and improving the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria (P&Cs).

Innovation and continuous improvement are key to any successful business. As a leadership example , POIG and the lessons that it generates have the potential to help raise the bar on sustainability in the palm oil industry.

Why did WWF join the POIG?

WWF supports the RSPO because it is the only credible, international, multi-stakeholder sustainability standard-keeping body for the palm oil sector.

However, the RSPO P&Cs, as currently formulated, do not always set clear enough performance standards for certified growers regarding certain issues, like GHG reduction and pesticide use.

Without clear standards, a range of levels of performance are possible. This means that some RSPO certified growers will inevitably be performing at a higher level than others that are also certified. (See WWF’s position on the 2013 RSPO P&C Review).

All palm oil producers that are members of the RSPO are obligated to work towards 100% RSPO certification. This includes taking immediate actions to implement best practice in sustainable palm oil production as well as making commitments to continuous improvement.

WWF has joined POIG in order to create a space for palm oil producers that seek to innovate in order to inform their own ‘continuous improvement’ as well as to continuously improve the RSPO standard itself.

What is WWF pushing for?

Several RSPO grower members are already achieving higher sustainability standards than that strictly required by the RSPO P&Cs. The POIG creates a space for them to be recognized for their leadership and innovation.

What WWF is asking palm oil buying companies to do

  • Immediately buy 100% of the palm oil they consume from one of the RSPO approved supply chain options. This includes buying as much physical CSPO as is available and covering all of the rest of their use immediately with Book & Claim certificates.
  • Set challenging time-bound plans for shifting to using only physical CSPO – this includes working with their suppliers to make sure they reach those targets.
  • Demand ‘best practice’ from their CSPO suppliers – in particular on key issues like the GHG emissions from new development, pesticide use and the sustainability of independent FFB entering into their supply chains.
  • Demand and use information from the RSPO and others to make judgments on which producers are implementing ‘best practice’ and preferentially source from them.

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