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PRESS RELEASE: POSITIVE GROWTH FOR SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL

RSPO’s 2019 Impact Report shows double-digit increase in certified area, uptake, membership, and more.

Kuala Lumpur, 16 September 2020: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) released it’s 2019 Impact Report today, highlighting a significant increase in the uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).  The full 2019 Impact Report can be found here.

A total of 7.07 million metric tonnes (MT) of CSPO was purchased by the market, and overall sales increased by 13%, during the reporting period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.

Globally, the total RSPO certified area grew by 9% to 4.2 million hectares (ha) across 17 countries by the end of 2019, with certified palm oil mills producing 15.19 million MT of CSPO and 3.38 million MT of Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel (CSPK), respectively, a 13% and 11% year-on-year increase. Both Indonesia and Malaysia remain the largest oil palm producing countries, covering a total of 81% of RSPO’s total certified area.

The 2019 Impact Report is a special edition entitled Reflecting on a Decade of Growth, which documents RSPO’s achievements and performance over the past 10 years.

RSPO’s incoming Chief Executive Officer, Beverley Postma, said: “It is inspiring to see just how much has been achieved by RSPO members in the span of a decade, and more recently, to see several initiatives being launched that further solidify RSPO’s position as the leading sustainable palm oil certification standard. We know there is still a lot of work to be done if we truly are to achieve market transformation. I’m confident that  RSPO members throughout the supply chain will work together to increase the uptake of CSPO, deliver positive impacts, and tackle the other challenges and opportunities that may come our way in 2021 and beyond.”

The report highlighted explosive growth in membership numbers in the past decade to more than 4,500 members at the end of December 2019, and an impressive 579% increase in RSPO certified area to 4.2 million ha.

RSPO’s efforts to include more smallholders proved promising with a 39% year-on-year increase in the total number of certified smallholders to 157,580, and a 20% growth in RSPO Trademark licence holders, noting 958 licence holders across 60 countries in the last reporting period. Meanwhile, 230,195 ha of high conservation value (HCV) area were identified and managed by RSPO certified members within their certified concessions.

Members also scaled up their efforts to avoid land clearance and any new planting on peat, and by sequestering conservation areas in new development, thus saving 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year of carbon emissions; equivalent to removing 302,461 passenger vehicles from the road in a year.

Together, these achievements mark a positive step forward towards the RSPO’s goal of transforming markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm.  Every member recruited, and every certificate granted means that we are contributing to our bigger vision of driving positive impact for people, planet and prosperity.

RSPO is excited to announce that this year’s Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT2020) will be held virtually from 9 to 11 November. This year’s theme, RT2020: A Resilient and Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain, reflects RSPO members and stakeholders’ resilience and adaptation towards the challenges we face amidst COVID-19 and beyond.

More information can be found on the RT2020 website


About the RSPO Impact Report:

The RSPO Impact Report covers the performance and efforts of RSPO members throughout the previous reporting year and serves as a platform for RSPO to communicate its impact on people, planet and prosperity. The RSPO Impact Report is published bi-annually and previously it covered a reporting period of 1 July to 30 June. However, from this (2019) report onwards, RSPO’s reporting period has changed to cover progress from 1 January to 31 December. All the data included in this report have been adjusted retrospectively unless otherwise stated.

About RSPO:

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. RSPO is a not-for-profit, international, membership organisation that unites stakeholders from the different sectors of the palm oil industry including 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.

This multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Board of Governors, Steering Committees and Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders in working together to reach decisions by consensus, and achieving RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.

The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta (ID), London (UK), Zoetermeer (NL), Beijing (CN) and Bogotá (CO).


For further information, kindly contact:  

Name: Dan Strechay

Position: Global Outreach & Engagement Director

Email: dan.strechay@rspo.org

Name: Sara Cowling

Position: Global Communications Manager - APAC

Email: sara.cowling@rspo.org