Jakarta, 17 February 2016. A joint-study between the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Standard (ISPO) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has been officially release today, marking a milestone for closer and effective cooperation between Indonesian and global palm oil sustainability standards. 

The study on “Similarities and Differences of the ISPO and the RSPO Certification Systems” is a joint initiative, which is endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture. PT Mutu Agung Lestari, an independent certification body with competency to conduct both RSPO and ISPO audits, was appointed to perform the study. 

Facilitated by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the study represents a milestone in the formal collaboration between the two sustainability standards and has been touted as an important move toward streamlining the certification process within the Indonesian palm oil sector. 

Speaking at the launch of the study, Chairperson of the ISPO Secretariat, Herdradjat Natawidjaja said, “This study marks a turning point in the international community’s effort to support and work with Indonesia’s laws and regulations relating to the palm oil sector. We are looking forward to strengthening the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil certification standard and to improve market access for the industry.”

The main findings of the study showed that both ISPO and RSPO aim to contribute to the reduction in loss of forest coverage, reduction of Green House Gas from land use change and adherence to legal requirements. However, the study also demonstrated that there are different elements contained in the requirements of the two standards. Key differences include the protected area and High Conservation Value concepts, oil palm plantation land ownership procedures based on Indonesian law and the concept of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process present in RSPO, as well as procedures for new development of plantation.

One of the key recommendations determined by the study is to use the many common elements required by both certification systems as a basis to conduct a joint, more efficient ISPO audit and RSPO certification on plantation companies with an auditor who understands both systems. 

"Findings from the joint-study showed how ISPO and RSPO could complement each other and offer robust solutions for all stakeholders beyond what each could accomplish alone. We look forward to continue this joint-effort to make sustainable palm oil the norm in Indonesia." Said Tiur Rumondang, Director of RSPO Indonesia.

“Implementing sustainability throughout the expansive Indonesian palm oil supply chain requires significant and effective collaboration between all actors and especially between the government and international market. Last year’s COP21 summit in Paris emphasized the urgency for a coordinated global response to climate change. This study provides us with an essential stepping stone to enhance the cooperation needed to ensure the sustainability of Indonesian palm oil and should be seen as a good example acting on the global call to work together,” explained UNDP’s Asia Manager for the Green Commodities Programme Tomoyuki Uno.

Moving forward, the ISPO Secretariat and RSPO are expected to continue dialogue in order to develop concrete activities that mutually enhance the competiveness and sustainability of Indonesian palm oil. 

To learn more about the similarities and differences of the ISPO standard and RSPO standard download an electronic copy of the study via the following websites: www.inpop.id or www.rspo.org


Notes for the editor

Today Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. The total plantation area for palm oil production in Indonesia was estimated to account for approximately 11 million hectares (2014), generating around 30 million tons of palm oil. Indonesia aims to increase palm oil production to 40 million tons by 2020.

The rapid development of the Indonesian palm oil industry, particularly over the past four decades, has contributed to significant economic gains in Indonesia but has simultaneously been linked to concerns for sustainability. Certifications and standards have been developed as a strategic tool in recent years to stimulate market preference for sustainable palm oil whilst enhancing the capacity of the producers and smallholders.

In the Indonesian palm oil industry two dominate standards have emerged: the Certification System for Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO), launched in March 2011, a mandatory national legal compliance and certification scheme managed by the Government of Indonesia (Ministry of Agriculture) and the RSPO, a voluntary business initiative launched in 2004 which aims to transform palm oil markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm.


About ISPO

The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) system is a policy adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of the Government of Indonesia with the aim to improve the competitiveness of Indonesian palm oil in the global market and contribute to the objective set by the President of the Republic of Indonesia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability.

The ISPO standard is based on a compilation of existing Indonesian regulations, and is thus mandatory and reflective of the sustainability guidelines and aspirations of the Indonesian Government and other domestic stakeholders. ISPO is equipped with a certification mechanism, and the essence of ISPO is to facilitate palm oil producers/mills to comply with the existing law and regulations.


About RSPO   www.rspo.org

In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably-produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta, London and Beijing.

RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.


About the UNDP’s Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (SPOI)

In order to facilitate sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia, the Ministry of Agriculture, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and several multinational corporations have partnered to develop the Sustainable Palm Oil (SPOI) Initiative, with aims at helping Indonesia break new ground in terms of building a greener economy that promotes growth, equity and better livelihoods.

The establishment of SPOI is in line with the UNDP’s mission to help countries such as Indonesia find ways to ensure that economic growth becomes sustainable and empowers the poor and the marginalized population. SPOI has played an instrumental role in supporting the government’s establishment of the Indonesia Palm Oil Platform (InPOP), a multistakeholder forum, which aims to develop a National Action Plan for the sustainability of palm oil.


For more information contact: 

Dhiny Nedyasari                                                              Rebecca Lake

RSPO Indonesia Communications Manager                     UNDP and InPOP Communications Officer

[email protected]                                                [email protected]

P: +6221 250 6417                                                            M: +62 813 106 34343

M: +62 818 740 121

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