Sustainable production of palm oil and its derivatives – RSPO certificate for PCC EXOL SA
At the end of 2013, PCC EXOL SA obtained an RSPO certificate in the Mass Balance model. Because of this, the Company has the right to sell its products as certified in this model. This means that the raw materials used to produce them have been identified and verified as certified in one of RSPO's three models, such as IP (identity preserved), SG (segregated), or at least MB (mass balance).
The production of palm oil and its derivatives that are used to manufacture, among other things, surfactants, has increased significantly in the last 20 years. This trend created legitimate concerns related to the sustainability of palm plantations, and the impact of palm oil production on local communities in countries that are major sources of this raw material. In response to these concerns, a group consisting of leading stakeholders and NGOs entered into an understanding in relation to sustainable palm oil development (RSPO) in 2014 that is to ensure and promote a model of responsible management of palm oil plantations.
RSPO is the name of a product certification system, and, at the same time, the organisation 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil'. RSPO's mission is to transform markets to make ecological palm oil the norm throughout the entire supply chain, i.e. starting at oil plantations, through presses, refineries and chemicals manufacturers, to finished products for end users. RSPO members represent many different groups, including growers, producers, environmental and social NGOs, and companies that use palm oil or its derivatives in their operations.
The main objective that is successfully implemented by the RSPO is promoting the use of palm oil that comes from areas that do not contribute to the depletion of natural resources, and do not, in any way, have a negative impact on populations associated with palm oil plantation areas. In order to obtain an RSPO certificate, owners/plantation managers must also demonstrate active measures for protection of nature, original forests surrounding the plantations, rare and endangered species of animals and plants, well-balanced use of water, and special care for employees of oil plantations and local populations that live in nearby areas. RSPO is the first and only certification system that, through the use of relevant markings, allows differentiation of products that use palm oil (grocery items, cosmetics, biofuels and other products) that comes from plantations that did not contribute to the destruction of natural ecosystems and do not impact them negatively, while the people associated with these areas have kept their traditions and culture.
Palm oil is considered a controversial raw material due to its close links to illegal logging of rainforest trees and contribution to reducing biodiversity. It is believed that the expansion of oil palms is a major cause of deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, which is happening at an alarming rate. NGOs dealing with the environment actively publicise information on the way the palm oil industry works, in particular in south-east Asia (lack of environmental sustainability, poor working conditions, adverse impact on the environment). Malaysian companies have been repeatedly and regularly implicated by these organisations as one of those responsible for such practices. Due to growing international pressure, in particular from consumers at producers and distributors (intermediaries), the palm oil industry has started slowly changing in the last several years. An example of this is chemical raw material producers that are gradually implementing good practices, improving social well-being and environmental sustainability of activities, also because of the RSPO.
Information on certification and the RSPO system:
Marketing & Sustainable Development Manager