21 Sept 2016


Australian companies have scored highly for their use of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) in the 2016 edition of WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, released today.

Retailers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure production of the world’s most popular vegetable oil expands sustainably.

The Scorecard measures how companies performed on basic steps such as joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), committing to and buying certified sustainable palm oil, and transparency about sourcing.

Six companies headquartered in Australia were among 137 major retailers, manufacturers and food service companies from around the world evaluated in the report.

Local retailers Coles and Woolworths and manufacturer Arnott’s all scored 9 out of 9, while retailer Metcash and manufacturer Goodman Fielder scored 8 out of 9.

The scorecard reports that five local companies – Arnott’s, Coles, Goodman Fielder, Metcash and Woolworths - are now using 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Arnott’s is one of only three companies in the world recognised for achieving the next step of using 100% segregated certified sustainable palm oil (which means that the CSPO is kept separate from uncertified palm oil all the way from the mill to the end user).

“Some of Australia’s biggest users of palm oil are leading the way and we congratulate them,” said Andrea Wiseman, WWF-Australia’s Sustainable Palm Oil Manager.

“But globally there are still too many brands dragging their feet or even going backwards."

“Aussie companies have continued to improve showing the laggards what’s possible on the journey to sustainable palm oil."

“WWF believes that even more can be done to let the public know how positive this is for the vulnerable rainforest habitats of species like tigers, rhino and orangutan," she said.

WWF-Australia has partnerships with Coles and Netherlands-headquartered manufacturer Unilever (which also scored 9 out of 9).            

“We’re particularly pleased to see that our partners Coles and Unilever are taking the sustainability of palm oil very seriously and are making a solid contribution,” said Paul Toni, WWF-Australia Director of Sustainable Futures, “including Coles’ strong delivery of their commitments to responsible sourcing, and Unilever’s leadership on consumer education about sustainable palm oil.”

The 2016 Scorecard is the fourth WWF has published, and follows scorecards released in 2009, 2011, and 2013.

Palm oil plantations, established largely in low lying tropical areas in South East Asia but increasingly in Africa and Latin America, produce much of the world’s traded vegetable oil. Palm oil is a key ingredient in many foods, cosmetics, soaps and detergents and is emerging as a significant biofuel feed stock. Overall palm oil demand is expected to double by 2020, increasing the pressure on tropical forests and biodiversity, risking dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions from tropical peat swamps and increased community conflict. But that does not have to be the way the industry grows. The RSPO shows that palm oil can be produced sustainably – and that retailers and manufacturers can help by joining the RSPO, buying RSPO certified sustainable palm oil, and educating consumers about the benefits of sustainable palm oil.

The complete performance profile on all 137 companies is shared on the Scorecard website at palmoilscorecard.panda.org

“WWF urges consumers to visit the Scorecard website and use it to reach out to companies, both to commend those companies that are leading the way and to encourage others to do better,” Ms Wiseman said.   

WWF-Australia Media Contact: Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571, msymons@wwf.org.au