Two new reports on palm oil sustainability released by WWF

Demand for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in Asia has to date been limited, inhibited by complex challenges such as low consumer awareness and a lack of clear labelling of palm oil products. While a number of tactics could help shift business behaviour, a persistent lack of transparency on the palm oil footprint of companies in the region makes it difficult to design effective strategies aimed at accelerating corporate action on sustainable palm oil. 

The opportunity for Asian markets to drive meaningful, positive change in the palm oil value chain is unequivocal: Asia consumes approximately 60% of the world’s palm oil, and Indonesia, India and China are among the world’s top consuming countries. Indonesia and Malaysia account for 86% of global palm oil production, and palm oil is a primary source of income for an estimated 4.3 million people in these two countries alone. 

To uncover critical opportunities for palm oil buyers to take impactful action on sustainable palm oil in Asia, WWF has recently published two landmark studies:

Palm oil trade from key landscapes in Asia: Risks and opportunities for action sheds light on the global palm oil value chain linked to six landscapes that are rich in biodiversity and where palm oil production is prevalent: Tabin, Tawau, Lower Sugut in Sabah, Malaysia; and Tesso Nilo, Sintang and South Papua in Indonesia. For each landscape, the study identifies key companies involved in the production, trade and purchase of palm oil, and assesses their level of exposure – or the likelihood they are sourcing from the considered landscape. The result is greater visibility and traceability into palm oil supply chains linked to key landscapes, bringing into sharp focus the supply chain connections that can be leveraged to drive better sustainability and transparency outcomes.

Sustainable palm oil uptake in Asia: Where do we go from here? highlights the huge potential for five Asian markets to boost their sustainable palm oil consumption. The study provides credible market intelligence on palm oil consumption and sustainable palm oil uptake across five key Asian markets (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), which together account for almost half of global palm product consumption. The report contains estimates on both conventional and RSPO CSPO volumes for 2019, in addition to highlighting key players, applications sectors and interventions in each market that can help expand the uptake of RSPO-certified palm oil in Asia by one million tonnes per year.