In order to facilitate the implementation of new elements introduced in Principle 7 of the RSPO P&C 2013, and at the recommendation of the ERWG, the RSPO Board of Governors has approved the implementation date of 1st August 2014 for compliance to these new elements. This effectively means that:

  1. New planting procedure (NPP) submissions after 1st August 2014 shall include the requirements of Criterion 7.8 of the RSPO P&C 2013. The compliance to Criterion 7.8 is optional for NPPs submitted on or before 1st August 2014. 
  2. For NPPs submitted between 1st May 2013 and 1st August 2014, the inclusion of a Land Use Change (LUC) analysis (see Indicator 7.3.2) in the HCV assessment is optional. However, a LUC analysis must be submitted for the aforementioned NPP areas by the time of the final certification audit where the optional LUC analysis has been carried out. For NPPs submitted after 1st August 2014 a LUC analysis must be included in the HCV assessment. Additionally, as per the staged  implementation requirements of the RSPO Remediation and Compensation Procedures, a LUC analysis must be submitted for any area cleared since 2005 without prior HCV assessment by the end of September 2014.


Public reporting on C7.8 remains voluntary until 31st December 2016 when the implementation period ends. Therefore reporting on C7.8 will be as an annex to the standard NPP report. The annex will not be uploaded on to the RSPO website. However reporting to the Emission Reduction Working Group (ERWG) is required via the RSPO Secretariat. The only publicly available statement in the NPP, related to 7.8, would be a statement by a certification body confirming that the appropriate assessments have been made in compliance to 7.8 and that these assessments have been submitted to the ERWG. Public reporting is required from 1st January 2017. Please refer to Figure 1 for the process flow on the inclusion of Criterion 7.8.

There may be situations where extenuating circumstances do not allow for the inclusion of C7.8 as part of the NPP submission by the deadline stipulated. RSPO could accept proposals to incorporate C7.8 submission at a later date provided that there is a challenging time bound plan to meet this requirement. However, this flexibility will cease from 1st Jan 2015.

Process and Action Steps for Inclusion of Criterion 7.8 into the RSPO NPP submission 

As recommended by the Emissions Reduction Working Group, requirements listed in Table 1 serves as a mandatory add-on to the current RSPO NPP submission. It accommodates the new requirements of Criterion 7.8 which was introduced in the RSPO P&C 2013. Submission of the requirements under Criterion 7.8 becomes mandatory after 1st August 2014.

Public reporting of the requirements under Criterion 7.8 remains voluntary until 31st December 2016. During this time, requirements under Criterion 7.8 will be reported to the RSPO as an annex to the standard NPP report. It will not be uploaded onto the RSPO website. However, as required under the RSPO P&C, it will be made available to the Emission Reduction Working Group. As of 1st January 2017, when public reporting becomes mandatory, requirements under Criterion 7.8 will be published together with the standard NPP report.

Table 1: Detailed Process and Action Steps for Inclusion of Criterion 7.8 in to the RSPO NPP submissions

1. Impact assessments

Activities Detailed action steps Notes
Conduct a carbon assessment to identify and estimate all carbon stocks in the proposed development area; and Conduct a GHG emissions assessment to identify and estimate the major potential sources and sinks of emissions in the development area. (see RSPO criterion 7.8) Company appoints competent assessors Carbon assessment follows the RSPO carbon assessment tool.

Others tools and methodologies can be used. The RSPO PalmGHG tool or an RSPO-endorsed equivalent will be used to estimate future GHG emissions from the new development using information from the carbon assessment If alternative tools are used the company will have to demonstrate equivalence to the RSPO.

Procedure is only applicable to new plantings where the NPP is submitted to RSPO after 1st Aug 2014


2. Plan to minimise net GHG emissions

Activities Detailed action steps
Results of Soil, Carbon and GHG assessments are incorporated into planning and management for the new plantings and related development that:

  • minimises net GHG emissions from the development in ways which take into account the avoidance of land areas with high carbon stocks and/or maximises sequestration options (see RSPO criterion 7.8).
  • avoids extensive planting on steep terrain and/or marginal and fragile soils including peat and provides for appropriate management of these soils to protect them from adverse impacts (see RSPO criteria 4.3 and 7.4)
Based on the carbon assessment and net GHG emissions assessments results, develop a plan that minimises the net GHG emissions of the development and which includes at least the following:

  • avoiding clearing areas with high carbon stock
  • enhancement of carbon sequestration in new planting areas
  • avoidance of extensive planting on peat (see RSPO criterion 7.4)
  • management of peat soils to minimise subsidence and oxidation (see RSPO criterion 4.3)
  • minimisation of GHG emissions based on the proposed management regime such as fertiliser, inputs and fossil energy use (projected over the length of crop cycle)
  • Adoption of low emissions management practices at the mill level such as POME management, efficient boilers, etc

Use the RSPO PalmGHG tool or an RSPO endorsed equivalent to estimate the impacts of the above management measures on the net GHG emissions of the development Prior to 31st December 2016: Company refers to the ERWG via the RSPO Secretariat to pilot processes and methods to develop the management and mitigation plan

3. Verification

Activities Detailed action steps
Obtain written verification from an accredited RSPO certification body that the assessment process and the content of the plan are comprehensive, of professional quality and in compliance with relevant RSPO principles, criteria and indicators. The grower has the option of seeking such verification based on either a documentation audit by the certification body, or a field audit by the certification body. Statement of verification should be included in the main NPP public report. While the assessment report and results are not made public. The NPP report should indicate that the carbon assessment, GHG assessment and GHG minimisation plans were conducted and completed.


Activities Detailed action steps Notes
Submit copies of the carbon and GHG assessments, the emissions minimisation plan and the CB verification documentation to the RSPO along with the NPP documentation. Prior to 31st December 2016: Company refers to the “Carbon Assessment Tool for New Oil Palm Plantings Report – Version June 2014”* and submits proposed carbon assessment methodology to the ERWG via the RSPO Secretariat for review and endorsement Assessments are carried out and reported to the ERWG. Format for reporting to the RSPO is indicated in the “Carbon Assessment Tool for New Oil Palm Plantings Report – Version June 2014”* Prior to 31st December 2016, carbon and GHG assessments can be submitted in confidence to the RSPO. However it is desirable that they are also made public. Format for reporting to the RSPO is indicated in the “Carbon Assessment Tool for New Oil Palm Plantings Report – Version June 2014”*

*The “Carbon Assessment Tool for New Oil Palm Plantings Report” will undergo periodic review by the ERWG during the implementation phase which ends on 31st December 2016. Companies and certification bodies should always refer to the RSPO website for the latest version of the report.


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