Only One-Sixth of European Retailers Showing Sustainable Palm Oil Progress

oil palm fruit

photo: fitri agung via flickr.

Back in the spring WWF said that they found that while plenty of companies had committed to using sustainable palm oil, only a tiny percentage of the available oil was actually being purchased and they would start outing companies not living up to their commitments. Well, the Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard for European companies has arrived:The Scorecard assesses the performance of 59 European retailers that buy or use palm oil and reveals that only 10 of those companies surveyed scored sufficiently well so as to be "showing real progress" with their sustainable palm oil commitments.

Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer Receive Top Marks
Topping the list were Sainsbury's which got 26 of 29 possible points, and Marks & Spencer with 25.5 points, both from the UK. Migros from Switzerland and Young's from the UK tied for third with 25 points. Unilever, Cadbury, The Body Shop, L'Oreal, Asda, and Coop Switzerland rounded out the top ten.

Twenty eight companies were found to score 5-20 points -- thereby starting to tread down the sustainable palm oil path, and only starting to take action.

Companies in this broader category included: Tesco, IKEA, Nestle, Waitrose, Boots, and Carrefour.

Many Companies Have a Long Way To Go
WWF praised top scorers,

WWF welcomes the action of those companies that have moved towards buying certified palm oil. Although many companies have a long way to go, the performances of the top companies in the Scorecard signal to the rest of the industry that it is possible to turn commitment into action and transform the market.

Enough Sustainable Palm Oil Available for One-Third EU Demand
Some background on why WWF felt such a scorecard was necessary: By mid-2009 enough certified sustainable palm oil was available to supply one-third of the European Union's annual palm oil demand. However, sustainable palm oil purchases amounted to 19% of what was actually produced -- less than 5% of annual EU consumption.

Download: WWF Palm OIl Buyers' Scorecard 2009 [PDF]

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