RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Supporting RSPO certified sustainable palm oil

What is sustainable palm oil?

Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and palm kernel oil (CSPKO) is produced by palm oil plantations which have been independently audited and found to comply with the globally agreed environmental standards devised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). These stringent sustainability criteria relate to social, environmental and economic good practice.

Oil Palm Tree

The first independent palm oil smallholder group receives RSPO certification.  

 
The RSPO 



 


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was established in 2004 to promote the production and use of sustainable palm oil for people, the planet and prosperity.

Forty per cent of the world’s palm oil producers are members of the RSPO, as well as many product manufacturers, retailers, environmental and social non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Vision: RSPO will transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm


The RSPO has become the globally recognised standard for sustainable palm oil. Sustainable palm oil is defined by the eight principles and criteria against which oil palm plantations are certified against.


Eight RSPO Principles and Criteria

If you ask the question: What does RSPO certified sustainable palm oil mean ? Then the answer is, palm oil that is grown and certified against the 8 RSPO P&Cs.

These are reviewed every five years via public consultation, followed by member agreement on a consensus basis.

 

Download a copy of the RSPO P&Cs at the bottom of this page.

 
A multi-stakeholder approach 


The RSPO is managed by a member-elected board of governors comprising 16 members, designated by the General Assembly for a period of two years. 

View which members currently sit on the RSPO board of governors

Each of the seven RSPO member groups is represented on the board of governors. 

  • Palm oil growers (4 seats)
  • Palm oil processors and/or traders (2 seats)
  • Consumer goods manufacturers (2 seats) 
  • Retailers (2 seats)
  • Banks and Investors (2 seats)
  • Environmental/nature conservation (2 seats)
  • Social development NGOs (2 seats)
The board of governors was elected at the inaugural General Assembly held on 6 October 2004.Through staggered voting, within each sector, half the board is re-elected every year, at the Annual General Assembly of members.

Any changes to the RSPO principles and criteria must be voted through the board under consensus.  

RSPO Secretariat 

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Secretariat is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Secretariat is supported by the RSPO Indonesia Liaison Office (RILO), based in Jakarta. Responsibilities include:

View the current RSPO secretariat organisational chart 

  • The day-to-day running of the RSPO
  • Organisation of RSPO Executive Board Meetings
  • Organisation and coordination of Roundtable meetings and General Assemblies
  • Recruitment of new members and service to members
  • RSPO project support
  • Coordination of Technical Groups (TG)
  • Communications
  • Networking with other organisations or institutions
  • Financial management

Learn more about how GreenPalm is making a difference   


What is a sustainability standard?

women working agriculture, sustainable farming

A sustainable standard like the RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - is based on a set of principles and criteria which define good social and environmental practices within an industry/product.


The video below, courtesy of Iseal Alliance, provides an explanation on what sustainable standards do and various parts of the system that make them credible to local/global markets. The RSPO is currently an associate member of Iseal, working towards full compliance with the Codes of Good Practice. 

ISEAL Alliance:

"Sustainability standards operate in a diverse and complex landscape. In order to do so, they must be effective, efficient and credible."
Associated Downloads:
RSPO Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil
RSPO certified sustainable palm oil production is comprised of legal, economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial management and operations. This is delivered through the application of the following set of Principles and Criteria, and the accompanying Indicators and Guidance.
WWF Palm Oil Scorecards 09 - Onwards
Measuring global companies on their sustainable palm progress (2009 onwards).
Wild Asia Biodiversity in Plantation Landscapes - Part 1
Biodiversity for Busy Managers is an initiative by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and Wild Asia to develop useful and practical resources for those on the front line of land development.
Wild Asia Biodiversity in Plantation Landscapes - Part 2
Biodiversity for Busy Managers is an initiative by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and Wild Asia to develop useful and practical resources for those on the front line of land development.
RSPO - Environmental & social impacts of oil palm cultivation on tropical peat - A scientific review
This report provides an independent review of available scientific information and published literature on impacts of the use of tropical peat for oil palm cultivation in Southeast Asia.
Palm Oil – Sustainability is possible! Promotion & Certification of independent smallholders
RSPO independent smallholder certification report by GIZ - The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government.
WWF 2012 China - The Journey Towards Sustainable Palm Oil
A WWF 2012 report looking at how companies in China can get started on their sustainable palm oil journey.
WWF 2013 India - Palm Oil Market & Sustainability in India
A WWF 2013 report looking at the palm oil market in India, the largest consumer of palm oil on the planet.
WWF 2012 Palm Oil Investor Review - Investor Guidance on Palm Oil
A WWF 2012 report, Palm oil investor Guidance looking at the role of investors in supporting the development of a sustainable palm oil industry.
WWF 2012 Profitability and Sustainability in Palm Oil Production
A WWF 2012 report analysing the incremental financial costs and benefits of RSPO certification for oil palm growers.