During the 19th General Assembly (GA19), which was held in person and virtually on 1 December 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Resolution GA19-2 was approved with the mandate of updating and communicating to all RSPO Members about the change in Clause 3.2 of the updated RSPO Code of Conduct for Members 2022 and RSPO Code of Conduct for Supply Chain Associates 2022.
The amended Clause 3.2 of the RSPO Code of Conduct for Members 2022 and the RSPO Code of Conduct for Supply Chain Associates 2022 states:
3.2 In being committed towards the production, procurement and use of Sustainable Palm Oil1, members to whom the P&C2 do not apply directly shall adopt and implement environmental and social standards no lower than those set out in the P&C.
This clause reinforces the commitment of RSPO Members towards a sustainable palm oil industry. Moreover, the RSPO Codes of Conduct state that it applies at membership level and is related to the member´s palm oil activities. Therefore, all RSPO Members are committed to implement environmental and social standards, not lower than those included in the P&C, in their palm oil operations to achieve sustainability.
It is fundamental to the success of the RSPO that all members commit to transforming markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm, and through the Codes of Conduct, members can be held accountable.
Webinar series highlights
A series of webinars to socialise the interpretation and implications of the revised clause took place in May 2023. The following were the recurring questions during the webinar series regarding the scope of Clause 3.2, on the applicability to members with refinery operations and the auditability of the clause:
- All members of RSPO, regardless of their category and/or sector, are under the scope of the Code of Conduct and are expected to implement the actions needed to be aligned with the Code of Conduct content. The CoC of members, and therefore Clause 3.2., applies to RSPO Members regardless of their commercial decisions. RSPO Members are expected to move towards the direction of sourcing and supplying certified material as per its membership and commitment to RSPO.
- As per Clause 3.2. of the CoC RSPO Code of Conduct for Members 2022 and RSPO Code of Conduct for Supply Chain Associates 2022, a member with refinery operations shall implement environmental and social standards in its operations not lower than those set out in the P&C. Environmental and social standards refer to policies/plans/actions that focus on all the environmental and social issues identified in the P&C.
- The CoC is not subjected to be audited during the Supply Chain Certification (SCC) annual audit or any other third party audit [i.e. Certification Body (CB)]. The CoC is expected to be implemented by the members as per their commitment upon becoming an RSPO member.
The RSPO Secretariat wishes to publicly thank all the members that joined us and showed their commitment to RSPO and the Code of Conduct implementation. Members can access the recording of the 11 May session here.
1 Production, procurement and use of Sustainable Palm Oil involves all members of RSPO whether directly or indirectly involved in the production, procurement, and use of Sustainable Palm Oil.
2 Environmental and social standards shall focus on all the environmental and social issues identified in the P&C (refer to the latest RSPO P&C: https://rspo.org/resources/certification/rspo-principles-criteria-certification).