/ ©: 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.

Now, through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil any company can contribute to making sustainable palm oil the norm.
How can we move production to more sustainable practices? Find out about WWF's Market Transformation Initiative ►
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

2015: 25% of palm oil bought is RSPO certified

2020: 50% of palm oil bought is RSPO certified

Progress

18% of global palm oil production is RSPO-certified sustainable (July 2014).
What WWF is doing to promote sustainable palm oil  

POSITIVE IMPACTS

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.

BETTER PRODUCTION FOR A LIVING PLANET

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

  •  / ©: RSPO
    The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) transforms markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. rspo.org

Priority Countries

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

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

Trends

  • Demand drivers
    Population, income, consumption, urbanisation (associated with less time to prepare food).

    Future focus for success
    Palm oil plantation expansion will occur in Kaliminatan and Papua (Indonesia), Sarawak (Malaysia), and Papua New Guinea. Prospects for palm oil development in Africa (especially originating from China and Southeast Asia) and Latin America.

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