Our plan: more sustainable palm and palm kernel oil

Are you concerned about the possible impact of palm cultivation? Then you can consciously choose products which are processed using more sustainable palm oil. Since 2014, at Colruyt Group we’ve used an increasing amount of certified palm oil in our own brand products. We chose the RSPO standard for this. Palm kernel oil is also part of our action plan. This variant of palm oil comes from the pit of the oil palm and is used in certain products such as cosmetics and detergents.

The use of certified palm oil

Due to its specific properties and favourable price, palm oil is indispensable in many products. Because of palm cultivation’s environmental impact, we only want to use certified oil. That’s why we use the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard for more sustainable and responsible production of palm oil. That standard allows certificates to be granted.


What are the most important RSPO criteria?

  • No deforestation of primary forests or protected zones
  • Consultation with the local population
  • Good agricultural practices, especially regarding pesticides
  • Good working conditions

Ambition 2018: 100% segregated RSPO oil

Our Boni Selection and Everyday products contain an increasing proportion of more sustainable palm oil. “By the end of 2018, we want to use 100% segregated  RSPO palm oil,” says Philippe Toussaint, manager sustainable sourcing. This means that during the entire production process, RSPO oil is processed separately, so that the certified product only contains oil from sustainable plantations.


Figure 1: RSPO palm oil: segregated stream

But this is a staged plan because our manufacturers need time to implement it. In the meantime, the mass balance system is the best way to work more sustainably. This means that the palm oil we need for technical reasons comes from a mixture of more sustainable and ordinary palm fruit. The amount of oil with the RSPO mixed label is then equal to the basic volume of more sustainably grown palm fruit. Our manufacturers will only work with the volume of RSPO oil.


Figure 2: RSPO palm oil: mass balance stream

In addition, some of our products still contain ordinary non-sustainable palm oil because the suppliers aren’t yet RSPO-certified. We offset this by buying Greenpalm certificates. These guarantee us that more sustainable palm oil is being produced somewhere in the world.

2016: 100% certified oil

In 2016, we processed 42% (2,347.4 tonnes) of completely segregated RSPO palm oil into our own brand products and 43% (2,446.3 tonnes) via the mass balance system. We offset the 15% (869.6 tonnes) of non-sustainable palm oil by buying certificates. So we certified 100% of the palm oil we used.

We also used 534 tonnes of palm kernel oil. Of this, 6% (34 tonnes) was RSPO-certified as ‘segregated’ oil and 17% (90 tonnes) as ‘mass balance’. We bought certificates for 77% (41 tonnes) of the non-sustainable palm kernel oil. In future, we want to reduce that share further, depending on market opportunities.

Our efforts for sustainable palm oil have borne fruit. In the latest WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) ‘Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2016’ we got the outstanding score of 9 out of 9.

Together with suppliers

Together we are strong. We guide our manufacturers/suppliers in implementing our action plan by:
  • resolving technical problems related to segregation
  • integrating all traceability procedures
  • giving them time to organise themselves in respect to RSPO regulations

5 reasons for choosing sustainable palm oil

Did you know that half the products we use each day contain palm oil? The fat is popular because of its composition, but non-sustainable palm cultivation has a major impact on the environment.
Read these five facts about palm oil and you’ll immediately understand why we all need to switch to more sustainable palm oil.

Read more

Met dit initiatief dragen we bij aan het realiseren van deze Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen van de Verenigde Naties.

Decent work & economic growth Responsible consumption & production Life on land