Sustainability in the palm oil industry is largely being driven by GreenPalm certificates – instead of physical sustainable palm oil, according to new figures from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Its figures show that while certified sustainable palm oil production has surpassed 5 million tonnes, 2.65 million tonnes have been sold, and 70% of them traded via GreenPalm certificates, which businesses buy to off-set their purchases of palm oil from a range of sources.

GreenPalm general manager Bob Norman said: “It may surprise many people to learn that most of sustainable palm oil being bought by businesses is through the book-and-claim route. But when we take into account the sheer complexities of obtaining a segregated sustainable supply of palm-based products, it’s easy to understand why many businesses are choosing this approach.”

Norman said GreenPalm was an important tool in the drive to change the palm oil industry at source, instead of rewarding only those certified mills with a supply link to large corporations.

GreenPalm was set up by oil company AAK and the RSPO in 2006. AAK UK recently announced that its full range of bakery fats and many other standard product lines will now contain RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil.

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