A win for wildlife: a new and improved sustainability standard for palm oil

by National Wildlife Federation

Whether or not you’ve heard of palm oil, you’ve likely either eaten it or used products that contain it. Each year, more than 60 million tons of palm oil is produced, making it the world’s most consumed vegetable oil. 85 percent of the oil palm grown to produce this quantity comes from South East Asia (primarily Indonesia and Malaysia), where mass deforestation of tropical rainforests has occurred to make room for plantations. This has resulted in the endangering of many species like orangutans, rhinos, and elephants.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an association of industry and environmental, social, and developmental NGOs. Our previous article explained that the RSPO was formed to tackle the environmental and social problems that were being created by the palm oil industry. The RSPO’s Principles & Criteria are a set of requirements that companies must comply with in order to be certified as sustainable. The Principles & Criteria are reviewed every five years and this year an intensive review process was undertaken by all stakeholders, including the National Wildlife Federation, giving the RSPO over 11,500 individual comments on how to improve the environmental and social aspects of this standard.

Read more: