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  • Writer's pictureJenny Taylor

Choosing Sustainable Palm Oil Just Became Easier!

Updated: Jan 15

As consumers have become more aware of the need to choose sustainable palm oil, tools to help them navigate the thousands of products which may contain palm oil are being developed. The latest is the PalmOil Scan app, produced under the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and lead by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Chester Zoo, and Auckland Zoo, which allows consumers to scan the bar-code of a product to check if the product you are about to purchase is “orangutan friendly” and certified sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

This app and barcode scanner are supported in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, with plans underway to extend to more countries.

Other ways for consumers to make the right choice include:

Some companies proudly display this trademark on pack to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable sourcing of palm oil, but they are not required to use it. The trademark should be accompanied by a certificate number, allowing the consumer to cross-check validity.

In the UK, consumers can use the Impact Score app which not only tells you which products are sourcing sustainable palm oil, but also rates products on a wide range of ethical issues.

Checking the Chester Zoo Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping List

Also in the UK, the Chester Zoo Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping List shows a selection of products using sustainable palm oil. Look at the Shopping List.

Reviewing companies’ commitments with the WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard

The Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard rates 227 companies around the on their commitment to sustainable palm oil across a variety of criteria. Simply search for the company and get the report in an instant. (Downloading the results allows the consumer to search not only by parent company but also by brand name.) Look at the Scorecard.

Checking for Supply Chain Certification

Consumers can either ask a company to provide evidence of their Supply Chain Certification or check the RSPO website.

All members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil are required to report their progress annually via ACOP submissions. These will show how much certified palm oil a company is buying and via which supply chain options. Learn more.

Communicate directly with brands and retailers

Social media is a great way to communicate with companies and raise awareness at the same time. Let companies know that you expect the ingredients in the products you buy do not contribute to deforestation and human rights abuses, and ask them how they can demonstrate sustainable sourcing of palm oil (and other ingredients). If they do use sustainable palm oil, encourage them to say so on the label so it is easier for other consumers to make the right choice.

You can use these tools to do an audit of the products already in your home first, and get an idea of which brands are front-runners. This will make it even easier when in stores to select the right products.

Enjoy your shopping, knowing that you are doing your bit to protect orangutans and their rainforest habitat by choosing only sustainable products!

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