Zoos across the world are pledging their support for rainforest conservation by promoting the use of sustainable palm oil. Chester Zoo in Chester, England, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado are leading ambitious global campaigns to educate the public about how their buying choices can help protect orangutans and other wildlife from extinction. 

Palm oil is found in thousands of foods as well as household products such as cleaning materials and cosmetics. 

Chester Zoo’s initiatives lead to the world’s first Sustainable Palm Oil City 

Thanks to an ambitious campaign spearheaded by the Chester Zoo in 2017, Chester England is now the world’s first city to source its palm oil from entirely sustainable sources, thanks to an ambitious campaign spearheaded by the Chester Zoo. 

Conservationists from Chester Zoo developed the Sustainable Palm Oil City model based on the framework created by the Sustainable Fish Cities project, led by independent group Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming. 

The city of Chester completely overhauled its supply chains, a massive undertaking, with the unprecedented collaboration of more than 50 organizations including schools, restaurants and manufacturers. Chester Zoo is now working with corporations and other entities to duplicate these efforts.

Chester Zoo maintains a downloadable sustainable palm oil shopping list to help the public make responsible choices. It reveals which brands offer 100% Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil-certified sustainable palm oil products.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has created a free app for sustainable palm oil shopping 

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is heavily involved with promoting worldwide support for sustainably produced palm oil. “When done sustainably, palm oil is our best option for an edible vegetable oil, requiring less land, pesticides and fertilizers than other oil alternatives. When done unsustainably, millions of acres of rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra are cut down each year to plant more oil palm,”  the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo writes on its website. 

The zoo has created a free sustainable palm oil shopping guide app, which consumers can use to discover a company’s level of commitment to using sustainable palm oil. The “Cheyenne Mountain Zoo palm oil” app enables consumers to scan products’ barcodes to see how the zoo rates that company’s progress towards sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil. 

The zoo reports that its app, available on the Apple App Store or Google Play, has been downloaded more than 155,000 times. It is promoted by other zoos across the U.S.