To reach scale and sustainability, there is an urgency for commitment to collective action through shared responsibility and accountability. As such, the RSPO Shared Responsibility Working Group (SRWG) was established in May 2020 to work on the practical implementation of Shared Responsibility requirements, as detailed in the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed ‘Shared Responsibility and Implementation’ document (31 October 2019). This document provides the definition of Shared Responsibility and the procedures applicable to selected non-producer ordinary members and also included the outline for an implementation mechanism for the reporting of SR requirements, built on existing RSPO systems and mechanisms.
The concept of Shared Responsibility (SR) has been discussed and agreed upon for a number of years across RSPO membership. While the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) are applicable to the production of sustainable palm oil, clause 3.2 of the RSPO Code of Conduct for Members, applicable to all members, requires: “Members to whom the P&C do not apply directly will implement parallel standards relevant to their own organisation, which cannot be lower than those set out in the P&C.”
A Shared Responsibility Task Force (SRTF) was formed in March 2019 to define more explicitly what SR means, i.e. the SR requirements, and outline what implementation would look like. They developed a set of shared requirements which are the same across all membership categories, but for each category, different actions may be required to achieve the shared goal. Additionally, some requirements may not be applicable to some membership categories due to the nature of the requirement in question (e.g. buying of CSPO, which is not applicable to the NGO and Financial Institution Categories).
This TF developed the draft of the ‘Shared Responsibility and Implementation’ document, which was later endorsed by the BoG and the TF has now been disbanded.
The topics covered by SR are as follows:
Role of the RSPO Shared Responsibility Working Group (SRWG)
The SRWG members will be working with the support of RSPO Secretariat on the development of procedural and/or guidance documents, the incentives and sanctions system, as well as the verification method and Monitoring & Evaluation plan of the implementation of the SR requirements.
Every year, the SRWG will review the progress on SR requirements, identify barriers and issues, as well as specifically review the CSPO supply and demand projections. They will also propose a projection-based percentage figure for the uptake of CSPO volumes for supply chain membership categories to the BoG for the following year.
Kamal Prakash Seth – WWF Singapore
Lim Sian Choo – Bumitama Agri Ltd