Financial institutions support the transition to sustainable palm oil

Posted on: April 10, 2019

Banks and investors are more and more clear on their policies to invest in sustainable palm oil. The Dutch investment bank ROBECO believes the new RSPO principles and criteria are an important step forward in the pursuit of a sustainable palm oil industry. In their policy statement ROBECO emphasizes that palm oil has a future as an effective oil crop with the highest yield per hectare compared to other edible oils, provided it is produced sustainably in terms of production practices, location and scale, and its area does not expand at the expense of high conservation value forests, peatlands and other natural habitats as also explained by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in their latest report on the palm oil sector. ROBECO will therefore intensify and closely monitor their engagements with palm oil companies as well as the RSPO, with clear objectives to further increase the level of sustainability in the palm oil industry.

In line with this, fifty-six global investment organisations, through the PRI Investor Working Group on Sustainable Palm Oil highlight their support for the RSPO and call for the palm oil industry to adopt and implement publicly available No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policies. The investment organisations signing the statement expect companies to commit to full traceability of palm oil to the plantation level, and to report regularly on their progress towards these commitments. They also encourage companies involved in the production of palm oil to map and disclose their palm oil concessions and make efficient investments to improve palm oil yield and productivity.The statement can be used by investment organisations in their engagement with companies to clearly outline their expectations of the palm oil industry and the objectives of their engagement.