Certified sustainable palm oil

Ed Mcphillimy, Senior Sourcing Manager @ Oriflame 

Q1 : Can you provide a brief overview of Oriflame's sustainable palm oil policy ?  

Oriflame was the first major cosmetics company to source 100% sustainable oil palm products in 2010. This was achieved by book and claim but this is not enough as we want to achieve 100% physical segregation by 2020. We have a number of important steps along the road to this goal.

Q2 : As the first major cosmetics brand in the world to cover 100% of its palm and palm kernel usage via GreenPalm (RSPO book and claim), why did you choose the GreenPalm option ? 

We chose GreenPalm as this was the only option available to us for the oleo chemicals used in the personal care industry; no physically segregated ingredients were available in 2010.

Q3 : What percentage of your products contain palm / palm kernel oil ?  

This is a difficult figure to obtain precisely but we estimate approximately 65-70% of our finished products contain palm oil. Only our fine fragrance category does not contain oil palm products (personal care, skincare, colour and wellness do contain oil palm products).

Q4 : What, in your opinion, are the main barriers to other cosmetics manufacturers committing to RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil?

My own opinion is that end consumers, if they think about palm oil at all, have a negative perception. This means that the premium for certified oil palm products is passed up the supply chain as far as consumer goods manufacturers who are then unable to pass on the cost to end consumers. Companies wishing to take a lead in this area end up taking a hit on margin. What is needed is a major campaign to persuade end consumers there are ‘good’ oil palm products and ethical companies providing it.

Q5 : Have you received any comments or questions from consumers about your use of palm oil? If so, what are the main consumer concerns and which parts of the world are most vocal on the subject?

We have a customer service help desk and in the last two to three years we have not received one comment on palm oil. The only comments we receive are from NGOs or investors. 

Q6 : How powerful are consumers when it comes to persuading product manufacturers to commit to sustainable palm oil? Do you think the responsibility lies purely with manufacturers? 

NGOs are powerful in publicising responsible behaviour. Our own experience is consumers are not engaged with sustainable palm oil as an issue.

Q7 : What is your current role at Oriflame and how long have you been at the company ?  

I have been in my current role as Senior Sourcing Manager, with primary responsibility for all cosmetic and nutritional ingredients, for seven years. In total I have worked for Oriflame for 18 years..

Q8 : Do you take an active role in the RSPO and, if so, in what way ?  

I have been attending the RSPO conferences in Asia and Europe for the last three years. For the last two years I have been a member of the trade and traceability standing committee (representing the consumer goods manufacturers) and the derivatives sub committee. For the last six months I have been a member of the supply chain certification review body. I take an active role in forming company sustainability policy in relation to all ingredients and in particular oil palm products.

Links

Oriflame's Sustainable Sourcing Policy 

Oriflame shows how RSPO supply chains can work together

Associated Downloads:
GreenPalm Personal Care Sales Leaflet
Two page GreenPalm sales leaflet for personal care manufacturers.
GreenPalm General Manufacturer Sales Leaflet
Two page GreenPalm sales leaflet for manufacturers.
RSPO Sustainable Palm and Palm Kernel Oil - Cost and Complexity of Segregation
Infographic showing an overview of the complexity of the palm and palm kernel oil supply chain.
Palm and Palm Kernel Supply Chain - Fractions Derivatives & Product Uses
Infographic showing the complexity of palm and palm kernel fractions and derivatives. Learn more about the refining process. What does fractionation do? What is palm stearin used for?