WWF 2011 Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard – Towards Sustainable Purchasing

WWF 2011 Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard

What is it?

Sustainable palm oil is seen as the way forward to supply the world with vegetable oil that does not harm the environment, people and habitats. Regardless of size, companies are encouraged to demonstrate their commitment and lead the way on using RSPO-certified palm oil.

Only about half of all the sustainable palm oil produced is being purchased.

Why is this report significant?

Worldwide demand for vegetable oil is expected to rise nearly 54% by 2020, with palm oil demand nearly doubling in that time frame. However, unsustainable practices by some producers of palm oil, is inhibiting its acceptance in the wider market. So where do we start fixing things? A quick and easy way is to find out which forward-thinking companies have made commitments to using only sustainable palm oil in their products is by referring to the 2011 Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard produced by WWF.

About the Scorecard

WWF’s first scorecard was released in 2009 and covered UK based retailers and manufacturers. The scorecard rates companies on their commitments to, and performance of, sourcing ‘sustainable’ palm oil. The performance of the company is measured against 4 areas which show whether these companies are acting responsibly.  It has now been expanded to include 132 European, Australian and Japanese retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. 87 of the 132 companies surveyed have pledged to use only eco-friendly oil by 2015.

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No excuses for companies not to accelerate their sourcing of certified sustainable palm oil.

Key findings

  • WWF is trying to change attitudes by using the scorecard to report on the efforts of major retailers and manufacturers to purchase sustainable palm oil. Will this be sufficient to create a real impact on the ground?  Consumption is increasing globally and is set to grow from about 50 million tonnes in 2011 to at least 77 million tonnes in 2050.
  • In Europe, demand for sustainable palm oil has increased as a result of high-profile campaigns by green groups targeting multinationals such as Nestlé and Unilever. However, some industry players believe that some palm oil producers, particularly in Indonesia, will continue to supply unsustainable palm oil as long as major customers in China and India continue to purchase it.
  • According to the scorecard, “China was the second largest importer of palm oil in 2010, using 6 million tonnes (12 %) of the world’s total.” and “India continues to be the world’s largest single importer of palm oil”. Unfortunately, no chinese or Indian companies are listed in the scorecard. Why is this?
  • WWF state reasons of a price sensitive market, low consumer demand and insufficient government push for inhibiting the growth of sustainable palm oil in this region. Getting these 2 large economies on board with sustainability commitments is crucial and will greatly change the dynamics of the industry. The question is -What will it take to get them on board?
  • Incentivising the sustainable production and consumption of palm oil is an urgent challenge.

Download the Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard

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Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard (2011) (386 downloads )