Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil | WWF

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an organization that was established to promote the growth and use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).

In doing so, it aims to make sustainable palm oil the norm globally.

On this page, find out more about the RSPO, the role of WWF with regards to the round table, and products that are currently available that contain palm oil certified by the RSPO.
	© RSPO Trademark Logo
© RSPO Trademark Logo

What is the RSPO?

The RSPO is a non-profit association that brings together palm oil producers, processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, and environmental and social non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop and implement a global standard for sustainable palm oil.

This global standard is set down in the Principles and Criteria on Sustainable Palm Oil Production (a list of requirements to help ensure that palm oil production is economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial), which members are required to comply with.

In addition to developing and implementing the Principles and Criteria, the RSPO’s activities focus on:
  • Engaging and committing all stakeholders throughout the palm oil supply chain, including governments and consumers
  • Advancing the production, procurement, finance and use of products that contain CSPO
  • Monitoring and evaluating the economic, environmental and social impacts of the uptake of CSPO. 
► CONSUMERS: Look for products with the RSPO trademark label (see above) and try to find out from companies about their policies and actions regarding palm oil.

► BUSINESSES: Join the RSPO to publicly show your organization's commitment to sustainable palm oil production and use.


A voluntary add-on to its existing Principles & Criteria (P&C) for sustainably grown palm oil, RSPO NEXT defines advanced criteria for palm oil production in order to further the fight against deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production as well as strengthening human rights commitments.

What is WWF’s role in the RSPO?

As a founding member of the RSPO, WWF strives to make sure that the organization’s standards are based on solid social and environmental criteria, including a prohibition on the conversion of valuable forests to oil palm plantations.
WWF supported the RSPO process to review and improve the Principles and Criteria. You can find WWF’s position on the revised 2013 Principles and Criteria here.

► Encouraging adoption, pushing for compliance
We support monitoring, adoption and compliance to RSPO Principles and Criteria by palm oil producers For example, in Indonesia we support the round table initiative by providing training on sustainable palm oil and High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF).

We also encourage producers to adopt Better Management Practices and support smallholders in Indonesia and Malaysia to achieve RSPO certification.

► Fuelling buyers' demand for CSPO  
We are driving demand for sustainable palm oil amongst retailers and manufacturers globally to ensure that the RSPO reaches its full potential.

► Enabling 'clean' investments 
We also work with financial institutions to make sure their investments support companies that adhere to RSPO principles, and with governments in producer and market countries to promote better land-use policies as well as favourable market conditions for sustainable palm oil.

► Watching the growers
We also keep a close eye on the palm oil industry in order to highlight its failings when necessary. In 2013, we reported on the unsustainable practices destroying ecologically important areas like Tesso Nilo in Sumatra, Indonesia.

► And going even further...
WWF is working with other NGOs and industry innovators to give companies the opportunity to take actions that go beyond what is required in the within the P&Cs while remaining in the RSPO framework. Read more about the Palm Oil Innovation Group here. 

RSPO Supports Smallholders


RSPO: Not just for big corporations

In 2013, an Indonesian smallholder association received RSPO certification. This is significant in Indonesia where over 40% of palm oil production comes from smallholder’s plantations. Read more ►

Which products contain certified sustainable palm oil?

A small but increasing number of RSPO member companies are using the RSPO trademark (a kind of ecolabel) on the products that contain CSPO, e.g. soaps, cosmetics, candles, cooking oils, cakes, snacks, margarine, breakfast cereals, stock cubes and peanut butter.

Companies that use the trademark on some of their products include the retailers Carrefour, The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Walmart. Manufacturers such as L’Occitane, Oriflame, Jordan’s, Kelly, Whole Earth Foods also use it.

►  Find some of these products on the RSPO website

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