R.S.P.O. launches new level of sustainable palm oil

by Jeff Gelski
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RSPO NEXT palm oil
RSPO Next features stricter requirements for deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and wages.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has introduced RSPO Next, a voluntary initiative for R.S.P.O. members with companywide policies that exceed current R.S.P.O. principles and criteria for sustainably grown palm oil.

RSPO Next features stricter requirements in such areas as peatland, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. To be eligible, growers must demonstrate that at least 60% of their plantations already are compliant with the core principles and criteria. Growers must commit to implementing RSPO Next policies across all their plantations

Datuk Darrel Weber, RSPO
Datuk Darrel Weber, c.e.o. of the R.S.P.O.

“By creating RSPO Next, we respond to a request from some of our members to provide continuous improvements within the R.S.P.O. framework for those ready and able to go further on their sustainability commitments,” said Datuk Darrel Weber, chief executive officer of the R.S.P.O., a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry and develops and implements global standards for sustainable palm oil.

RSPO Next’s key policies include:

•Companies may develop a palm oil plantation only in areas where vegetation and soil contain low stocks of carbon, and companies shall limit carbon dioxide emissions caused by any form of forest conversion;

•Any peatland development after Nov. 16, 2015, is banned;

•Palm oil growers must have plans and procedures to prevent, monitor and combat fire on plantations and around their estates;

•Palm oil growers are required to monitor, manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their entire operations, including mills and other facilities, and publicly report their status and progress;

•In countries that have no definition of a decent living wage, palm oil growers and workers mutually must agree on terms;

•The use of Paraquat, a pesticide, is forbidden.

•Palm oil needs to be traced to the plantation where it was produced.
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