India’s Industry Leaders Support Sustainable Palm Oil

26 Mar 2012 --- The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi-­-stakeholder organization that aims to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil, reaffirmed that keeping in line with the overall sustainable development goals for 2015, Indian majors and RSPO members have demonstrated affirmative inclination and measures forward.

--- The   Roundtable   on   Sustainable   Palm   Oil   (RSPO),   a   multi-­-stakeholder organization  that  aims  to  develop  and  implement  global  standards  for  sustainable  palm  oil,  reaffirmed that  keeping  in  line  with  the  overall  sustainable    development  goals  for  2015,  Indian  majors  and  RSPO members  have  demonstrated  affirmative  inclination  and  measures  forward.

HUL  (Hindustan  Unilever)  is  the  one  of  the  main  player  in  the  Indian  market  so  far  to  procure  certificates from   GreenPalm’s   Book   &   Claim   system,   aligned   with   its   overall   vision   of   Unilever,   a   long   term committed  member  of  the  RSPO.

Commenting  on  this,  Nitin  Paranjpe,  CEO  and  Managing  Director,  HUL,  said,  “There  is  a  clear  linkage between  deforestation  and  climate  change,  therefore  companies  can  play  an  important  role  by  adopting sustainable  practices.    We  are  committed  to  work  with  like-­-minded  companies  and  NGO’s  to  influence the  sourcing  of  CSPO  into  India.

The  NGO’s  play  an  important  role  by  engaging  with  the  companies  that  source  Palm  Oil  and  thereby securing   commitment.     We   need   to   raise   the   level   of   consciousness   regarding   the   direct   link   of unsustainable  palm  oil  practices  and  deforestation.  I  am  happy  that  RSPO  is  creating  awareness  about certified  and  sustainable  palm  oil  through  media.  There  is  also  an  urgent  need  to  create  more  forums  to bring   Indian   refiners   and   traders   together   to   discuss   how   we   can   actively   promote   the   import   of sustainably  produced  palm  oil  into  India.”

Further   to   discussions   with   stakeholders   in   India,   Cherie   Tan,   Procurement   Operations   Director, Sustainable  Sourcing,  Renewables  and  small  holder  development,  Unilever,  said,  “By  2015,  Unilever will  buy  100%  certified  sustainable  palm  oil.  At  present,  Unilever  started  buying  RSPO  segregated  Palm oil  in  Europe.

63%  of  the  palm  oil  we  use  in  Unilever  is  covered  by  Green  Palm  Certificates.  At  present  we have  enough  GreenPalm  Certificates  to  cover  all  our  businesses  in  Europe,  Australia,  New  Zealand,  North America,  Latin  America,  Indonesia,  Malaysia,  India  and  China.  In  2012,  we  will  source  palm  oil  only  from RSPO  members.

Further,  RSPO  revealed  that  the  Indian  players  are  also  planning  to  review  their  procurement  policies  in line  with  the  global  trends  and  forecast  for  palm  oil  imports.  Key  palm  oil  buyers  in  the  market,  Godrej Industries  Limited,  VVF  and  Kamani,  all  members  of  the  RSPO,  have  therefore  shared  their  intent  to support  certified  sustainable  palm  oil  in  the  near  future.

Darrel  Webber,  Secretary  General  RSPO  adds:  “India  is  an  influential  and  significant  new  economy  for sustainable   palm   across   the   world.   When   India   does   adopt   strategic   policies   towards   Certified Sustainable  Palm  Oil,  it  will  set  a  benchmark  around  the  world  from  a  global  reputational  perspective  as it   clearly   demonstrates   the   nation’s   commitment   and   contribution   towards   international   sustainable endeavors.  The  RSPO  is  committed  to  continuing  the  momentum  of  engagement  and  collaboration  with the  government  of  India  and  directly  with  the  industry.  Our  outreach  and  advocacy  efforts  India  are  one of   our   strategic   pillars   for 2012  to accelerate   the   uptake   of   CSPO.   Whilst   Book   &   Claim   is   the predominant   method   of   supporting   production   of   CSPO,   there   has   also   been   a   steady   growth   in   the physical  trade  of  CSPO  using  the  Segregated  and  Mass  Balance  supply  chain  mechanisms,  which  has grown  from  zero  in  2008  to  33%  over  the  total  CSPO  traded.

Commenting on this initiative Mr.  Nadir  Godrej-­-  Managing  Director,  Godrej  Industries  said,  “We  all  are global  citizens  and  are  together  responsible  to  save  the  environment.  At  Godrej  Industries  we  plan  to  buy green   palm   certificates   and   Godrej   Agrovet   is   also   studying   the   procedures   for   certifying   domestic production  of  Palm  Oil.”

WWF-­-India  has  been  playing  a  large  part  in  pushing  policy  for  sustainable  palm  oil  at  one  level  and promoting   the   RSPO   principles   amongst   key   industry   players   here   in   India,   at   the   other.   WWF-­-India, reiterates  that  as  deliberation  over  palm  oil  and  its  role  in  deforestation  and  greenhouse  gas  emissions increases,  so  do  calls  for  the  oil  to  be  made  more  sustainably.  India  is  the  largest  consumer  and  importer of  palm  oil  in  the  world  today  with  more  than  90%  of  palm  oil  is  being  used  as  cooking  oil  in  the  country, and  the  rest  is  used  in  the  processed  food  and  items  like  soaps,  chocolate,  ice-­-cream,  cosmetics  and cleaning   agent,   etc.   Being   the   largest   source   of   edible   oil   globally,   palm   oil   today   features   high   on environment  related  agendas  across  the  globe.  With  the  changing  consumption  patterns,  large  import sizes  and  the  environmental  repercussions  (deforestations,  clearing  through  fires,  land  use,  etc),  the  need for  sustainability  in  Indian  industry  is  key.

Mr.  Ravi  Singh,  Secretary  General  and  CEO  of  WWF-­-India  said,  “We  are  pleased  that  Godrej  Industries has  announced  that  they  are  will  be  buying  GreenPalm  certificates  in  the  near  future.  We  believe  that this   is   a   positive   first   step   that   will   encourage   other   key   players   in   the   industry   to   move   towards sustainable  palm  oil  procurement.”

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