What is Shared Responsibility?

Shared Responsibility (SR) is the set of responsibilities adopted by RSPO Members to achieve RSPO’s vision, “a global partnership to make palm oil sustainable.”

The process for change at RSPO is characterised by a progression of “Mobilise, Act and Transform”. This is the backbone of the RSPO roadmap, the Theory of Change (ToC), and is underpinned by the concept of Shared Responsibility (SR) and accountability for results.

Why is Shared Responsibility needed?

Environmental and social issues throughout the palm oil supply chain are systemic issues which cannot be resolved by one stakeholder in the value chain. It requires collaboration and commitment from all stakeholders.

RSPO Certified supply of sustainable palm oil remains at approximately 19% of global volumes. Stimulating demand and increasing the production of sustainable palm oil to make it the norm requires every member of RSPO, including supply chain actors, investors and NGOs to play a role.

  • Grower members do their part by implementing the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C).
  • Ordinary, non-grower members do their part by implementing Shared Responsibility requirements and becoming RSPO Supply Chain Certified (where applicable).

What responsibilities do RSPO Members commit to under Shared Responsibility?

Ordinary, non-grower RSPO Members are subject to the Shared Responsibility requirements. All members share sustainability requirements that are the same across all stakeholder groups: palm oil processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social or developmental NGOs. Specific requirements may vary from one member category to another, reflecting the unique roles of different member categories to help make sustainable palm oil the norm.

Shared Responsibility Requirements Overview

There are 29 requirements covering different thematic areas and a summary of the requirements can be found below.

The SR requirements can be found in the Annex 1 of the ‘RSPO Shared Responsibility Requirements and Implementation‘ document endorsed by the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) on 31 October 2019.

The Shared Responsibility Scorecard

By implementing the SR requirements, members demonstrate sustainability leadership in each of their sectors. The Shared Responsibility Scorecard shows where organisations are in their sustainability journey based on RSPO’s Shared Responsibility (SR) framework.

SR Requirements Overview – Policies and plans

Transparency and legality
Publicly available and transparent information
Policies [human rights, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), no discrimination, labour rights, freedom of association, not forced, trafficked or child labour, no harassment, health and safety]
Waste, water and energy management plans
Volumes: annual uptake targets
Policies (ethical conduct)
Complaints and grievances mechanism
GHG emissions policy and monitoring plan
Sustainable Palm Oil Policy
Legal compliance (including third party contractors)
Inclusion of smallholders
Service and support to RSPO
Shared Responsibility and sustainability performance reporting and monitoring
Claims and labels
Information and outreach activities

Uptake and resourcing

Processors & Traders
CGMs & Retailers
Year 1 (2020)
Year 2 (2021)
Year 3 (2022)
Year 4 (2023)

As an RSPO Member, how can I uphold my commitment to Shared Responsibility?


If you are a downstream RSPO Member, develop policies and plans and upload to the MyRSPO portal. View our guides here.

Are you a member and do not have policies? Email our Shared Responsibility Team and we’ll help you get started.


Report your Shared Responsibility performance during the Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) and upload evidence in the MyRSPO portal. View guidance on how to update your MyRSPO profile here.


If you are a user of palm oil, ask your suppliers for RSPO Certified sustainable materials. If unavailable, purchase RSPO Credits, preferably from smallholders, to cover the volumes.

Learn how to purchase RSPO Credits and Independent Smallholder Credits here.


Encourage your peers, clients, suppliers and investors to become a certified member of the RSPO and adopt sustainable sourcing policies.

Learn how to become an RSPO Member here.

Interested to learn more? See our FAQs or email our Shared Responsibility Team.