Palm oil is an ingredient found in many food and non-food products. It’s versatility and efficiency over other vegetable oils has helped fuel demand for palm oil, with global demand expected to double by 2050. The rapid growth of the sector and increasing production is putting significant pressure on tropical forests and peatlands that are home to numerous Critically Endangered species.

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. At ZSL we are committed to ensuring that our vision, purpose and values are reflected in our procurement practices.

We recognise that the palm oil industry plays an important role in employment and economic development in many countries. We also believe that boycotting palm oil and replacing it with other vegetable crops is not an effective solution as it may lead to further deforestation and biodiversity loss through increased land conversion.

We believe that improving the sustainability of the palm oil sector is the most practical solution to protect people, wildlife, and habitats in countries where palm oil is produced. This month we have published our updated palm oil position statement outlining our 2020 commitments to source 100% sustainable palm oil and to transform the palm oil sector through our SPOTT initiative and on-the-ground conservation programmes.

Specifically, by end of 2020, ZSL commits to:

  • Sourcing 100% RSPO certified palm oil for all our food products
  • Require all suppliers to be independently audited against the RSPO standard
  • Undertake regular reviews to identify the use of palm oil in other products and ensure that all animal feed, cleaning, office supplies, and retail products in our UK offices and estates is RSPO certified
  • Work towards monitoring our use of all oils and fats to ensure we reduce waste and unnecessary consumption

We are also committed to raising awareness of the importance of sustainable palm oil and to support the transformation of the sector through our conservation programmes.

See our Palm Oil Position Statement for full details of our commitments to supporting the transformation of the palm oil sector.