SINGAPORE, 30 September 2021 — The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore today released its palm oil report “In the palm of Singapore’s hand – advancing the sustainable palm oil agenda” which highlights the central position that Singapore occupies in the global palm oil sector, and provides actionable recommendations for stakeholders to accelerate the transition to a more responsible and sustainable palm oil industry hubbed out of Singapore.
As Singapore focuses on sustainable development with the Green Plan 2030, the report underscores the opportunities for key palm oil stakeholders operating in Singapore — buyers, traders, financial institutions and the government — to become powerful catalysts that enable the transition to a more sustainable palm oil industry.
The report highlights that while some Singapore companies are leading the way, many have yet to make commitments on the use of sustainable palm oil. Today, only an estimated 10% of palm oil consumed in Singapore is RSPO-certified.
The report also finds that there are untapped opportunities for engagement with local palm oil buyers from sectors such as cosmetics, surfactants, pharmaceuticals and biofuels that have not been fully involved in the sustainability conversation. Many of the world’s largest palm oil trading companies are headquartered in Singapore and can lead by example by helping to secure strengthened commitments from suppliers and buyers, and contributing to an increased level of transparency.
Whilst Singapore banks and investors have started to develop sector policies and commitments, they can better leverage their influence over palm oil clients and investee companies to accelerate their transition towards sustainable practices. The Government can also play a leadership role in the region by adopting relevant regulatory measures that ensure that agricultural commodities are not linked to conversion and degradation of natural forests and natural ecosystems.
WWF-Singapore through SASPO helps businesses shift to sustainable sourcing practices by building knowledge and capacity. Businesses are encouraged to join the platform to build a sustainable future for the palm oil industry.
Said Stefanie Beitien, Head of Market Transformation at WWF-Singapore, “This report provides an overview of the improvements made by relevant industries in Singapore, but it also reveals linkages to unsustainable palm oil production and its associated risks — including deforestation and haze. We hope to inspire all actors with influence over the palm oil supply chain to take more ambitious steps. A move towards just and sustainable agriculture systems, in line with national and international commitments, will be beneficial to our economy, health and wellbeing as well as contribute significantly to combating climate change.”
The report is launched alongside WWF’s Global Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2021 (POBS) which assessed 227 major retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and hospitality companies on their commitments and actions in favour of a sustainable palm oil industry. Out of the 46 Asian-headquartered companies assessed in the scorecard, Singapore companies Fraser and Neave (F&N) and Denis Asia Pacific (Ayam Brand) topped the list, and are ranked as “middle of the pack” globally.
Hervé Simon, Group Marketing Director, Denis Asia Pacific (Ayam Brand), one of the SASPO founding members, added, “With an estimated 10% of consumed palm oil in Singapore RSPO-certified, the goal of 100% sustainable palm oil still seems far away and the report depicts a clear picture of all related issues. But Singapore is progressing in the right direction: The demand for sustainable palm oil is on the rise. The financial sector is working fast on implementing responsible financing as part of their ESG targets. Most importantly, a majority of consumers in Singapore are fully motivated to be part of the solution.”
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WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade. For more information, visit wwf.sg.
Started by WWF-Singapore, SASPO is a voluntary, industry-led platform championing and working for sustainable palm oil in business supply chains. The alliance is the first business initiative in ASEAN focusing on sustainable palm oil. Through capacity building, workshops and educational resources, SASPO lowers the barriers for businesses to adopt sustainable sourcing policies.
To learn more about SASPO, visit the website: https://saspo.org/