SPOTT – Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit – is an online platform promoting transparency and accountability to drive implementation of environmental and social best practice for the sustainable production and trade of global commodities.

SPOTT assessments score commodity producing and trading companies on the public availability of corporate information relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues against recently revised indicators. 

New corporate ESG transparency assessments for 24 timber, pulp and paper companies are now available, alongside assessments for 50 of the world’s largest palm oil producers and traders.

SPOTT is developed by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).


Indicators, assessments and engagement

SPOTT supports constructive industry engagement by investors, ESG analysts, buyers and other supply chain stakeholders – those with the power to influence companies to increase corporate disclosure and improve their practices on the ground.

Investors and buyers can also use SPOTT to inform their own policies and procedures for due diligence, screening and sourcing by integrating SPOTT’s comprehensive and in-depth indicators.

Companies do not report directly to ZSL to inform their SPOTT assessments. Rather, ZSL conducts a thorough review of their publicly available reports and publications before contacting companies  with a draft assessment.

This engagement process ensures that assessed companies have the opportunity to respond to ZSL to provide feedback ahead of the final review and publication on SPOTT.

We encourage all companies – not just those assessed on SPOTT, members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), or other certification schemes – to report regularly and accurately on their progress towards meeting their commitments.

SPOTT annual reports

ZSL has published two SPOTT annual reports since launching in November 2014. These reports demonstrate the impacts of SPOTT on the palm oil industry, tracking notable increases in corporate transparency scores.


About ZSL

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. Our mission is realised through science and conservation projects in more than 50 countries, and our two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

ZSL is an active member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and other organisations.

ZSL’s Business and Biodiversity Programme works to reduce the negative (and promote positive) impacts of industrial activities on the natural world. ZSL first started working with the palm oil industry in 2001, initially advising companies on how to manage populations of Sumatran tigers found in their concession sites – the areas where producers are allowed to operate.

Today, ZSL’s Indonesia Programme has expanded to work more broadly on tiger habitat conservation, anti-poaching patrols and ecological surveys using the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), as well as community engagement to improve the livelihoods of local people.

ZSL and partners are working with the Government of South Sumatra to pilot a scalable and replicable model for sustainable landscape management. KELOLA Sendang is a public-private-people partnership that aims to address the challenges of deforestation, peatland degradation, wildfires, and associated climate impacts, while supporting green growth and biodiversity conservation.

As part of the project, SPOTT informs and facilitates dialogue between companies and their buyers and financiers, which supports the delivery of corporate sustainability commitments. This approach can support the implementation of  best practice and green growth opportunities across the South Sumatra landscape, Indonesia, and beyond.


SPOTT benefits from the valued support of donors and technical advisors. ZSL would like to thank:

Donors (in alphabetical order):

  • Credit Suisse
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Generation Foundation
  • The Government of Norway
  • The UK Government

Technical advisors:

Data and development:

  • Bloomberg
  • Blue Raster
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
  • Thomson Reuters
  • World Resources Institute (WRI)


This material has been part-funded by UK aid from the UK government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect UK government policies, nor those of any other donors.