How We Hit the Target of 100% Sustainable Palm Oil

Here at Upfield, we have a vision for a “Better Plant-Based Future”. A future that drives innovation in sourcing ingredients, protecting the world’s precious ecosystems, and preserving our planet for future generations.

In April 2019 we published our sustainable palm oil sourcing policy which outlines our commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil in accordance with RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards, as well as NDPE Principles (No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation).

We’re proud to say that since October 2019, all of the palm oil directly purchased by Upfield is 100% physically certified.

 

How We Hit the 100% Sustainable Palm Oil Target

What does it actually mean to hit the 100% sustainable palm oil target, I hear you ask?

It means that our supply chain has been assessed against strict criteria set-out by the RSPO.

For example, no deforestation takes place within our supply chain of areas containing significant concentrations of biodiversity (e.g. endangered species) or fragile ecosystems, or areas which are fundamental to meeting basic or traditional cultural needs of local communities (high conservation value areas).

Other RSPO principles include significantly reducing the use of pesticides and fires; fair treatment of workers according to local and international labour rights standards, and the need to inform and consult with local communities before the development of new plantations on their land.

By purchasing physically certified palm oil, we help to deliver up to a 35% reduction in carbon emissions compared with non-certified palm oil.

 

Using Partnerships to Help to Eliminate Deforestation

We are excited to announce a partnership with Starling.

We use their innovative satellite monitoring technology platform to further support efforts in eradicating deforestation completely from our supply chain.

Starling, created by Airbus and Earthworm, uses high-resolution imagery and radar data to monitor land cover changes.

By mapping the location of mills within our supply chain, we’ll be able to see where deforestation continues to occur, as well as ensure that the NDPE principles we require our suppliers to meet are adhered to.

This work will be piloted first in Indonesia where 50% of palm oil and 70% of the high risks mills in our supply chain are located.

 

Our Sustainability Plans for 2020

In 2020 we plan to extend the use of Starling technology to cover our global palm oil supply chain.

We do this to verify compliance and to help address deforestation risks with our suppliers.

As well as making sure we’re doing all we can to protect the environment and local communities, we’re focused on advocating for change across the sector, as our achievements and policy alone won’t solve deforestation.

This is vital because currently only 20% of palm oil production worldwide has been certified to the standards of the RSPO.

We believe that credible, robust, sustainable palm oil has to become the norm.

 

A Better Future is a Shared Responsibility

A sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility.

Shared responsibility is essential if we are to achieve real market transformation, and everyone has a role to play.

From the billions of consumers, millions of farmers, and thousands of decision-makers across governments, NGOs and industry.

We all need to work towards the shared goal of no deforestation and take responsibility for the part we can play.

For example, for consumers it’s about buying sustainable products, suppliers need to ensure they’re delivering on NDPE commitments everywhere, farmers must be encouraged to find ways to protect both the forest and their families, and companies like us need to do their bit by only purchasing sustainable palm oil.

We’ll continue to raise awareness of why we choose sustainable palm oil by telling our consumers through our product packaging, online campaigning, and by sharing our story, whilst also advocating for wider change and solutions that ultimately deliver no deforestation across the sector.

Read more about how we’re building a sustainable business here.