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WWF Unveils 2011Palm Oil Scorecard

February 1, 2013

Companies in Europe, Australia and Japan are buying more certified sustainable palm oil than ever before, but urgent action is still needed to avoid the irreversible loss of tropical forests, according to WWF’s 2011 Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard, the latest assessment of the industry that buys palm oil.

“It’s never been easier for companies to be responsible about the palm oil they use,” said Adam Harrison, senior policy officer for WWF UK and WWF’s representative on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Executive Board. “There are options available for almost any company to buy certified sustainable palm oil. Yet the WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard shows that only half of the palm oil used by the companies we assessed is sustainable. So it is clear that some manufacturers and retailers have fallen behind on their commitments to 100% sustainable palm oil, while others haven’t even started at all.”

WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard 2011, an update of the first scorecard published two years ago, measures more than 130 major retailers and consumer goods manufacturers by looking at their commitment to, and use of, palm oil certified to the internationally recognized standards of the RSPO.

Of the companies scored, WWF maintains that many are making commendable progress to increase their use of sustainable palm oil and to reduce their impact on deforestation. Most of the companies scored in both 2009 and 2011 have taken some strides forward, showing how the use of sustainable palm oil is slowly becoming more mainstream.

Here is a look at the household/personal care/beauty marketers and suppliers ranked in the scorecard, along with their total score: DSM Nutritional Products (9), Henkel (9), L’Oréal (9), Yves Rocher (9), Oriflame Cosmetics (8.5), Unilever (8), BASF Personal Care/Nutrition (7), Kao Corp. (5.5), Lion (5), Reckitt Benckiser (5), Co-op Clean (4.5), Ecover (4.5) L’Occitane (2.6) and Shiseido (1.5). In the “retailers” category, ASDA (Walmart), Boots Group and The Body Shop scored 9s.

Released at the 9th Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, the scorecard, which assesses both RSPO members and non-members, also shows that 87 of the 132 companies (66%) surveyed have committed to sourcing 100% RSPO-certified palm oil by 2015 or earlier, an encouraging sign that could spur further market development.

However, nearly half of the retailers and more than a fifth of manufacturers scored very poorly on taking responsibility for the impacts of their palm oil sourcing.

The Scorecard shows that it is possible for companies to make a strong commitment to the RSPO and sustainable palm oil—no matter how much palm oil they use. Even companies dealing in very large volumes of palm oil, such as Nestlé and Unilever, which each scored eight out of a possible nine points, demonstrate they can act responsibly, said WWF.

The supply of certified sustainable palm has grown dramatically since WWF released its first Scorecard in 2009, and now stands at five million tons (10% of global palm oil production).

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