In response to the urgent and pressing need to address these concerns and meet global demand for sustainably produced palm oil, a group of companies and NGOs joined forces in 2004. They established the first sustainability standard to certify the production and use of sustainable palm oil and founded the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry: palm oil growers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental and nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs.
Indonesia and Malaysia have also developed their own standards for certified sustainable palm oil. The respective Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) are important steps towards a more sustainable palm oil supply chain.
The standards focus on smallholder development, reducing greenhouse gasses and draw attention to environmental issues. The ISPO standard is mandatory for palm oil producers in Indonesia. Until now there has not been considerable demand by the European market for these certification schemes.