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RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil)-Standard

Margarine, pizza, chocolate bars, detergents, creams or lipstick - almost every second product in the supermarket contains palm oil. With a one-third share of total consumption, this multifunctional product is one of the world's most important plant-based oils - and the market continues to grow.

At the same time, the economic and cost-effective palm oil is repeatedly criticized. Especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, large areas of rainforest are often cleared for the cultivation of oil palms. This makes it even more important, that the production is certified to be sustainable under ecological, economic and social aspects.

Ingredients based on palm oil and palm seed oil can be found in about 50% of the products in supermarkets - both in the food and non-food sectors. Palm oil is often used as frying oil, but also in many other areas such as:

  • Body care and cosmetics industry (mainly palm seed oil)
  • Biofuel and Energy
  • Feed (palm seed oil distributor)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial 

Certification according to RSPO SCCS: about the standard

  • From the palm oil mill through all production stages to the final product: They are only allowed to be labelled with a declaration of RSPO certification after every production and trade stage in the supply chain of sustainable palm oil complies with the requirements of the RSPO Supply Chain Certification System and after it is confirmed by an independent, approved and accredited certification body. RSPO provides four supply chain models for certified palm oil:

    1. Identity Preserved (IP): Only those (semi-finished) products can be certified according to this model, that contain 100% RSPO-certified palm oil and can be traced back to an individual palm oil plantation.
    2. Segregation (SG): Only (semi-finished) products can be certified according to this model, that contain 100% RSPO-certified palm oil. However, the palm oil can be from various certified palm oil plantations and palm oil mills.
    3. Mass Balance (MB): Products containing RSPO-certified as well as non-certified palm oil can be certified according to this model. It must be ensured that the processed quantity of RSPO-certified palm oil corresponds to the purchased quantity of certified palm oil. This model is particularly interesting for companies, that cannot guarantee certified and non-certified raw materials always being separated due to their structure or their products.
    4. Book & Claim (BC): This model enables sustainable palm oil producers to participate in certificate trading. The sustainable palm oil, i.e. the physical goods and the sustainability certificates, are traded separately. The tradable certificate represents a certain quantity of palm oil.

    Certification according to RSPO SCCS: about the ambitions

    Due to its versatility, palm oil has become an indispensable ingredient in countless products, including food, cosmetics and industrial materials such as inks and varnishes. At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the need for environmentally friendly, ethically harmless and socially adequate product manufacturing - sustainable production is becoming an increasingly important customer focus. The actual sustainability of your company's activities is not only determined by your own actions. You will also be judged by how your suppliers behave.

    RSPO SCCS certification of a supply chain certifies continuous monitoring of all stages in the palm oil supply chain: from refining and processing, through improvement and transport, to distribution and delivery to the consumer. Certification helps you build customer confidence and demonstrates your commitment to the sustainable production of palm oil products and the use of sustainable palm oil in your products.

    Certification according to RSPO SCCS: How do I prepare?

    The following procedures will help you prepare for certification according to the RSPO SCC standard:
    • Find out about the standard and rules for communication within the supply chain on the Roundtable on Sutainable Palm Oil (RSPO) website
    • Get the latest standard as a free download
    • Identify your role in the supply chain
    • Identify your supply chain system
    • Become a RSPO member
    • Get yourself certified and...
      • Identify and control your Critical Control Points (CCPs), i.e. points where a mixture of certified and non-certified materials would be possible
      • Clearly identify your certified products to ensure that certified and non-certified goods are not mixed. In detail, this means that...
      • products from certified sources must be clearly labelled and regularly inspected
      • raw materials as well as unfinished and finished products are also identified and traceability to a certified source can be ensured
      • the production of certified and non-certified products should be separated in space or time
      • Establish clear documentation of your system and keep records of purchasing, delivery, receipt of goods, shipping, production etc.
      • You should train your staff in the system so that they can understand and effectively carry out their tasks.

    What is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?

    To ensure the sustainable production of palm oil, stakeholders such as environmental organisations, food companies, plantations, companies, manufacturers and retailers of palm oil products joined forces in 2004 at the initiative of the WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) and founded the "Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil" (RSPO) initiative. The approximately 1,300 RSPO members (as of January 2014) from more than 50 countries have committed themselves, among other things, to follow...

    • no clearing of ecologically valuable forest areas for the cultivation of oil palms takes place,
    • observation of legal regulations such as land use and property rights,
    • prevention of child labour,
    • integration and promotion of small farmers and
    • that the plantations are inspected by independent and authorised inspectors.

    The aim is to support the use of sustainable palm oil through close cooperation between stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

    How can DNV help?

    Our experienced auditors have many years of practice in the field of supply chain assessment and certification and offer you professional expertise throughout the entire certification process: from preparation and planning to the audit itself - we support you every step of the way. Further advantages:

    • Assessments: Let us show you from our experienced staff, how to prepare most effective on the RSPO certification.
    • Training: Educate yourself or your employees to internally maintain and develop your RSPO system.
    • Events and webinars: Find out about the possibilities of RSPO in our live events or our webinars.

     DNV has been a member of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (FONAP) since February 2015. It is an association of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), private companies, non-governmental organisations and federations. The aim is to import only sustainably certified palm oil to Germany, Austria and Switzerland as quickly as possible. The members of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum have publicly committed themselves to using only certified, sustainably produced palm oil by the end of 2014 at the latest or to covering ingredients based on palm seed oil with corresponding certificates. Through these and further activities, 100% segregated and certified palm (seed) oil as well as corresponding derivatives should be available as soon as possible.

  • For additional information and resources on RSPO, please visit the DNV Germany local website.