Kuala Lumpur, 7 April 2022: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is aware of the Final Assessment by the Dutch National Contact Point OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (NCP), which was published today, on the alleged violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by ING. In this Assessment, the NCP reflects, among other topics, on the use of RSPO certification in the due diligence process of ING. NCP recommends that banks regularly check the appropriateness of RSPO to be used in their due diligence processes.

RSPO is the leading global sustainable palm oil certification standard.  Approximately 19% of all palm oil produced globally is certified to RSPO standards, which protects peatlands and primary and secondary forests from deforestation, ensures that wildlife habitats are not harmed, and also safeguards workers, communities, and indigenous people in oil palm producing regions. RSPO certification is widely used by companies in OECD countries as part of their ambition to halt global deforestation and human right violations and in contributing to sustainable development.

RSPO standards have evolved to become one of the most rigorous sustainability certification standards globally, with a multi-stakeholder, RSPO review process commencing every five years to ensure their effectiveness and credibility. The next review cycle is currently underway for both the 2018 RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C), now in its fourth cycle, and the 2019 RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard for small-scale farmers, now in its second review.

RSPO’s Chief Executive Officer, Joseph (JD) D’Cruz, said, “We welcome the reference to RSPO’s standards in this assessment of due diligence processes. As indicated by NCP, our standards can support companies in their due diligence work. We will analyse the assessment and will use it to continue our work with partners and members, such as ING to improve our standards and strengthen the role they can play for financial institutions to perform sustainability due diligence, validating their efforts in a transparent and recognised way."

The credibility of sustainable production rests on transparent and verifiable supply chains, and it is RSPO’s mission to develop, implement, verify, assure, and periodically review credible global standards for the entire sustainable palm oil supply chain.

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: Sara Frederiksen

Position: Co-Head of Marketing & Communications

[email protected]

Name: Irene Fischbach

Position: Director, Stakeholder Engagement & Communications

[email protected]

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