Our plan: more sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil

Our aim is palm cultivation with as little impact on nature as possible. That is why we are using more and more certified sustainable palm oil in our own brand products, and it all meets the internationally recognised RSPO standard. And palm kernel oil – a variant of palm oil that is used in certain products like cosmetics and detergents – is also part of our action plan. If you are also concerned about the sustainability of palm oil, then put your mind at rest and choose our products with certified palm oil.

Using certified palm oil

Palm oil’s specific characteristics and affordable cost make it an essential ingredient in a lot of products. Because we are worried about the environmental impact of palm cultivation, we only want to use certified oil, so we apply the standard for more sustainable and responsible production from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This standard means that certificates can be awarded.

The RSPO label offers a number of guarantees; including that the oil comes from palm trees in plantations that are managed more sustainably and that do not contribute to further deforestation.

What are the most important RSPO criteria?

  • No deforestation of jungles or protected zones
  • Consultation with local residents
  • Proper agricultural practices, especially involving pesticides
  • Proper working conditions
Read more

Ambition 2020: 100% separate RSPO oil in our food products

Our Boni Selection and Everyday products contain increasing amounts of more sustainable palm oil. “Our aim is to have 100% separate RSPO palm oil in our food products by the end of 2020”, says Philippe Toussaint, Manager Sustainable Sourcing. That means that the RSPO oil is processed separately throughout the entire production process, so that the certified end product only contains oil from sustainable plantations.



Figure: RSPO palm oil: separate stream

This is a step-by-step plan, because some producers need time to implement a separate production process. Where refineries are not yet producing 100% certified palm oil, we are supporting them via the mass-balance system. The quantity of sustainable palm fruits that enters the refinery exactly matches the quantity of certified palm oil that is produced.

During this transition phase, those refineries are commercially encouraged to aim for 100% sustainable production. The tipping point where it is cheaper for a refinery to switch to exclusively certified palm oil is between 50% and 70%, so mass-balance is a system that expands the market for sustainable palm oil.

In addition, some of our end products also contain ordinary palm oil that is not sustainable, because those suppliers are not yet RSPO-certified. We compensate for that by purchasing RSPO certificates, which then guarantees that an equivalent volume of more sustainable RSPO oil is produced somewhere in the world.

2017: 100% certified oil

In 2017, we processed 44.6% (=2,264.4 tonnes) of RSPO palm oil completely separately in our own brand food products, and 47.9% (=2,432.9 tonnes) via the mass-balance system. We compensated for the 7.4% (= 377.9 tonnes) of non-sustainable palm oil by purchasing certificates which certified 100% of the quantity of palm oil that we used.

The pure palm oil that we use in our food products accounts for 90.5% of all the palm oil that we process. The remaining 9.5% is palm kernel oil that is mostly used in non-food products like cosmetics.

We also used 532 tonnes of palm kernel oil, with 2% (= 10.9 tonnes) being RSPO-certified as ‘separate’ oil and 33.8% (= 180.1 tonnes) as ‘mass-balance’. We purchased certificates for 64.1% (= 341.4 tonnes) of non-sustainable palm kernel oil and we want to reduce that proportion further in the future, depending on the opportunities available on the market.

Our efforts for more sustainable palm oil have borne fruit. The latest WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) ‘Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2016’ awarded us an excellent score of 9 out of 9.

Working with suppliers

Together we are strong. We are supporting our producers and suppliers as they implement the action plan by:

  • resolving technical problems linked to the separation
  • integrating all traceability procedures
  • giving them time to switch their organisation to these RSPO regulations

With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

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