As reported by Business Insider and the Washington Post, worldwide demand for palm oil and its associated toll on our global ecosystem is resulting in a rush among companies to source sustainable palm oil.
The environmental concerns are not with the oil palms themselves, because these crops are naturally eco friendly. As the Washington Post points out, the trees “yield up to 10 times more than rapeseed, soybean, olive and sunflower oils. … The trees can grow in a variety of soils, withstand short spells of drought or flood and bear fruit year-round for decades.”
However, unlike Malaysia, some nations do not have laws and standards in place to protect their rainforests; nor do they practice environmentally friendly growing, harvesting and manufacturing procedures such as Malaysians have done for generations.
The Business Insider reports, “Now, companies around the world are racing to prove that they can produce the world’s most popular edible oil sustainably, and are under pressure from major corporations. This year, huge corporations like Kellogg’s and Pepsi made changes to their palm oil policies, joining several other companies in pledging to source palm oil responsibly.”
To help corporations meet this urgent demand, the Malaysian palm oil industry is nearing its goal of 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil. As of September 3, 2020, 86% of Malaysia’s oil palm plantations — more than 5 million hectares — and nearly 90% of its 452 palm oil mills have obtained the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification.