In this third edition of ‘Committed to Sustainable Palm Oil?’, ZSL and WWF analysed Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) reports submitted by palm oil growers, processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers (CGMs) and retailers for the year 2020. Some key findings of this year’s analysis were that:

  • 2020 was supposed to be a crucial milestone for progress on sustainability and halting deforestation in the palm oil sector. However, while several companies have made progress in meeting their commitments to be 100% RSPO-certified by 2020, many RSPO members across the supply chain still have not even set targets.
  • The share of companies with 100% RSPO certification has improved between 2019 and 2020, particularly across growers and retailers. However, progress remains very variable both within and between supply chain segments.
  • Companies with the largest land area and volumes of palm oil handled are still falling short on certification. All companies need to take immediate and meaningful action to close the certification gap, with additional responsibility for bigger players to rapidly and significantly increase their uptake of sustainable palm oil.

With rates of tropical deforestation, biodiversity loss and green house gas emissions continuing to rise, RSPO member companies across the supply chain need to act fast to set, strengthen and deliver on their commitments towards a sustainable palm oil industry. 

ZSL and WWF urgently call on all RSPO members to:

  • Increase awareness: Understand and embrace the Shared Responsibility requirements, and improve awareness
    of these among other members.
  • Improve reporting: Ensure clear and precise reporting of data in annual ACOP submissions, to allow improved
    analysis of ACOP reporting across and within sectors – in particular by vertically integrated companies. A clearer
    picture of current efforts on Shared Responsibility is essential to accelerating progress.
  • Act on certification: Implement the Shared Responsibility requirements and work towards increasing certified
    production and meeting the latest uptake targets, as relevant to each supply chain segment, and continue to
    strengthen these requirements over time.4
  • Collaborate for progress: Work collectively, embracing the principle of Shared Responsibility, to drastically
    improve efforts towards the production and sourcing of 100% RSPO-certified palm oil.


For more information, please contact:

Eleanor Spencer, ZSL-London, 

Mai Lan Hoang, Engagement Manager, WWF-Singapore,


Key Findings at a glance: