The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit, international membership organisation that is working to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To do this, we have united stakeholders from all sectors of the palm oil supply chain and civil society to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil production and procurement.

Since its inception in 2004, RSPO has enjoyed rapid growth and today has close to 5,000 members from 99 countries, including oil palm producers, processors, traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks, and non-governmental organisations. Thanks to the commitment and actions of these members, nearly 20% of the global supply of palm oil has already been certified as sustainable.

Reporting to the Director of Standard Development, the Head of Biodiversity will be responsible for supporting the Director of Standard Development in leading, coordinating, and ensuring the development, revision, and implementation of all RSPO sustainability standards, pertaining to biodiversity and High Conservation Value (HCV) subject matters; and providing advice and input of strategic and policy significance to facilitate decision-making.

KEY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Duties include but will not be limited to the following:

  • To ensure the development and revision of RSPO key standard documents and relevant technical procedures and guidelines for the production of sustainable palm oil, particularly on matters related to biodiversity and HCV conservation and sustainability, whilst ensuring that all are in line with the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) and based on best practices of standard development procedures.
  • To provide subject matter input relating to biodiversity and HCV standard setting and system development, monitor the implementation and improvement of RSPO standards and any other relevant document development, and review procedures.
  • To act as subject matter specialist to external and internal stakeholders in a professional, consistent, and evidence-based manner, whilst keeping in line with the RSPO sustainability principles.
  • To participate in meetings and discussions of relevant committees addressing environmental matters.
  • To provide guidance to ensure effective management and facilitation of the relevant Standing Committees, Working Groups and/or Task Forces that may be required for standard development, and review procedures on all matters related to biodiversity and HCV conservation.
  • To ensure timely and adequate communication and socialisation of progress (and/or changes) of newly developed (and/or revised) RSPO standards, procedures, and guidance to RSPO members and beyond on all matters related to biodiversity and HCV conservation agenda.
  • To establish and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders pertaining to matters related to biodiversity conservation and/or HCV issues within the palm oil industry.
  • To contribute to building the credibility of the RSPO standards through the engagement of internal and external stakeholders.
  • To promote and support innovations, adoption of best practices, and the development and continuous improvement of relevant tools, systems and approaches, in line with the RSPO P&C requirements.
  • To facilitate training on the RSPO standards for RSPO members to ensure compliance to the RSPO requirements.
  • To work in consultation with other relevant units and/or departments within the RSPO Secretariat, whilst facilitating coordination as and when required.
  • To manage the day-to-day operations of the Unit, including the development and implementation of its annual plan and budget, whilst keeping in line with the wider organisational objectives.
  • To ensure the provision of sufficient allocation of resources to RSPO’s standards development.
  • To provide timely, expert, authoritative, and strategic advice to the RSPO Leadership Team as and when required.
  • To provide input on standard and policy writing by RSPO on matters relating to biodiversity and HCV issues.
  • To coach and motivate the Biodiversity Unit staff, identify learning opportunities for staff development and advancement, track work progress to build staff competence on the job, and encourage motivation, proactiveness, and job satisfaction of all direct reports.
  • Apart from the duties stated above, to perform any duty or duties reasonably assigned.

THE SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT

  • A bachelor’s degree in the field of Environmental Science, Biodiversity, Agronomy, Sustainability, or other related majors. A master’s degree would be advantageous.
  • At least 10 years of experience in the fields of sustainability, management, audits, and/or certification schemes.

TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE

  • Knowledge of regional environmental issues and priorities to facilitate communication and negotiation with key stakeholders and the anticipation of and response to problems.
  • High level of understanding of RSPO’s certification process and requirements, including but not limited to HCV and High Carbon Stock (HCS) Assessment protocols, Remediation and Compensation Procedure (RaCP), and Land Use Change Analysis (LUCA).
  • Familiar with palm oil sustainability standards (e.g. RSPO, MSPO, ISPO, etc.).
  • Ability to manage multiple stakeholders and/or projects.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).

ESSENTIAL SKILLS

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and interact with different stakeholders.
  • Proficiency in English with good communication skills.
  • Ability to establish cooperation and rapport with internal and external parties of different backgrounds and/or nationalities.
  • High integrity and a good team player.
  • Goal-oriented and organised.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed.
  • Ability to manage a team under pressure.
  • Strong in strategic and negotiation skills.

WHAT’S ON OFFER

Your commitment and passion to drive innovation will be rewarded with an opportunity to work in an international multi-stakeholder organisation, where making a difference to People, Planet and Prosperity is not just a statement, but what we passionately believe in.

Operating within a dynamic and fast-paced environment, you will enjoy functioning within a role that offers the opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop your capabilities.

HOW TO APPLY

Qualified applicants are invited to send in their updated CV giving comprehensive details of educational background, work experience, and related achievements to [email protected]. Please state “Job Application – Head of Biodiversity Programme Unit” in your email subject line.

**RSPO is an equal opportunity employer. Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Get Involved

Whether you’re an individual or an organisation, you can help make sustainable palm oil the norm.

As an individual

Take a stand for sustainable palm oil with your weekly shopping. See how you can influence brands and businesses.

More on individual action

As a smallholder

Discover how RSPO Certification can introduce you to sustainable farming practices to increase your yield and the land and wildlife around your smallholding.

More on smallholder impact

As an organisation

You can make an impact on reducing the negative social and environmental impact of conventional oil palm cultivation through producing and sourcing certified sustainable palm oil.

More on organisation influence