The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has launched a new campaign in search of a future sustainability leader in Indonesia, named “Youth Leader in Sustainability”. Although Indonesia is responsible for the majority of RSPO-certified production globally, consumer demand for sustainable palm oil remains low in the country. Therefore, the goal of the Youth Leader in Sustainability initiative is to help educate Indonesian consumers and increase the demand for sustainable palm oil products. The campaign also showcases how industry stakeholders can take part in the effort to help empower consumers.
In collaboration with WWF-Indonesia, The Body Shop and SINAR MEADOW, the RSPO rolled out the 5-month campaign this January. The initiative is targeted towards Indonesian university students and consists of a series of events including roadshows, university engagements and seminars which will take place during the selection phase.
Study finds that consumer awareness of sustainable palm oil is low
The programme was based on the results of a consumer study, commissioned by the RSPO and carried out by Daemeter Consulting in 2015, showing low awareness regarding the impact of sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. In addition, the study found that consumers had little knowledge of their power to make sustainable palm oil the norm in Indonesia. This campaign is a continuity of the ‘Buy Good’ (Beli yang Baik) campaign which was initiated by WWF-Indonesia in 2015, and continues to receive active support from the RSPO.
Youth Leader in Sustainability ambassadors together with the RSPO, WWF-Indonesia, The Body Shop, and SINAR MEADOW will educate the public about the positive environmental, social and economic impacts of sustainable palm oil practices.
RSPO partners speak on sustainability
Tiur Rumondang, Director of RSPO Indonesia said, "Indonesia accounts for 58% from the total volume of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil production. Nevertheless, uptake of sustainable palm oil in the country is still relatively minimal because consumer demand in Indonesia is still low. By increasing the number of educational activities we hope to increase consumer awareness, supported by an increased demand for palm oil-based products that are sustainable."
Arnold Sitompul, Conservation Director of WWF-Indonesia explained why innovation is an important part of normalizing sustainable palm oil. "The condition of global biodiversity (including Indonesia) is already at a level that is very alarming. One of the factors that drives the rate of decline of biodiversity is the use of unsustainable natural resources. This includes the palm oil industry. Therefore, it is important to have breakthroughs in encouraging a sustainable palm oil industry to ensure the conservation of biodiversity.”
Suzy Hutomo, Executive Chairwoman of The Body Shop Indonesia emphasized the company's involvement in the Youth Leader in Sustainability programme as a form of global commitment to "Enrich Not Exploit, It's In Our Hands". Their commitment aims to achieve true sustainability and help them become the most ethical global business in the world. "The Body Shop believes that not only companies have the power and responsibility to create positive change in the world; but all of us, including all of our customers and young people, have the power to create positive change in the lives of others.”
Melvin Darmadinata, General Manager of SINAR MEADOW said that "SINAR MEADOW’s participation in the programme is in line with the company's commitment to providing our customers products that are produced sustainably. We hope through this programme to not only to raise awareness, but also increase demand for products that are environmentally friendly and manufactured responsibly. "
Students will compete using Sustainability Quest app
The RSPO, WWF-Indonesia, The Body Shop and SINAR MEADOW will take part in a roadshow to facilitate seminars at eleven universities in the wider Jakarta area, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Jambi province (Sumatra). The programme is supported by media partner KampusUpdate.com. University students participating in the programme will go through a selection process that consists of various assignments on Sustainability Quest, an Android and iOS app designed specifically for the competition. Applicants will ultimately submit their idea of a sustainability campaign. A panel will judge the top ten applicants and select three participants as Youth Leaders in Sustainability.
The young leaders will then be presented an opportunity to undergo an internship programme with the RSPO and partner offices where they will have the chance to materialize their sustainability campaign, following the completion of their internship.
For further information related to the Youth Leader in Sustainability campaign, please access youthleaderindonesia.rspo.org.