Sustainable Palm Oil is Good for Business


Sustainable Palm Oil is Good for Business

New joint study from CDC, FMO and WWF shows economic benefits of sustainable palm oil

Protecting the environment by producing certified sustainable palm oil is also good for the bottom line, according to a ground-breaking new report released today.

Profitably and Sustainability in Palm Oil Production is a first-time study that comprehensively examines the financial costs and benefits of producing sustainable palm oil under the guidelines set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Produced jointly by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, and FMO, the Dutch development bank, the report shows that the business benefits gained from achieving RSPO certification typically outweigh the costs of implementation—in many cases significantly—yet often through unexpected and indirect channels.

For example, while many firms were initially attracted to RSPO for the price premiums commanded by certified sustainable palm oil, the larger financial gain often turned out to be resulting improvements in operations, documentation systems, labour relations, and other internal factors. In fact, each major category of benefits was itself capable of outweighing RSPO implementation costs, according to the report.

“Our research found that many firms who switched to producing sustainable palm oil – which is good for people and the environment – reaped significant return on their investments,” said WWF’s Joshua Levin, the report’s lead author. “In some cases, switching to sustainable production was economically transformative for the, business. Producers, buyers, and investors should see sustainable palm oil as a serious business opportunity.”

CDC’s Dr Samantha Lacey, a co-author of the report said: “This important report draws on direct operational experience of eight major palm oil producers to demonstrate how improvements to sustainability performance and financial returns can go hand-in-hand. By working with companies in our investment portfolio to improve business standards, CDC aims to demonstrate the bottom line benefits of sustainable business practice. We hope this research will inspire more palm oil companies to commit to the standards of the RSPO, protecting people, the environment and the bottom line.”

Share this story



Next Event

Business Fights Poverty Global Goals Summit 2024