The RSPO acknowledges the importance of the issues raised by some institutional investors and industry players in the recent letter published by Ceres on June 1st. It is encouraging to see that more and more actors today are willing to play an active role in moving towards a sustainable palm oil supply chain, and share RSPO’s vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
The RSPO, in its multi-stakeholder nature, has a commitment for inclusivity and the RSPO standard is agreed upon through a consensus process. While the nature of this system means that at times compromises are necessary to move forward and ensure buy-in of all stakeholder groups represented within the RSPO, this system is also essential to ensure that RSPO not only supports existing exemplary organisations, but also assists those who are still trying to improve their sustainability standards.
Having said that, the RSPO and its members share, within the RSPO Principles, a commitment for continuous improvement. In living up to this commitment, earlier this month, the RSPO announced work-in-progress on an additional voluntary addendum, aimed at further enhancing the existing standard’s requirements on issues such as Deforestation, Peatland Development and Indigenous Peoples rights.
The RSPO has also in the last years improved the systems it has in place to ensure a correct implementation of the standard. These systems include but are not limited to:
- the accreditation of all third party certification bodies who certify RSPO standards, by an independent international accreditation body
- the institution of a system of licensing for assessors carrying out High Conservation Value assessments, and
- the undergoing of a complete review of the RSPO complaints mechanism.
We are, and will continue taking all constructive comments on board. We are confident that with a commitment to continuous improvement and with the support of all committed players we will be able to truly achieve our vision of market transformation.
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 Zoetermeer (NL).
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.
Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project-level 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 to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and make decisions by consensus.
Contacts for RSPO Secretariat
Acting Communications Director
T: +603 2302 1500
European Communications Director
T: +44 (0)208 282 6069