November 30, 2015, by ICCSR

Wendy contributes to sustainable palm oil debate

Sustainable palm oil was on the agenda for the ICCSR’s Wendy Chapple recently when she took part in an international roundtable debate convened by The Guardian newspaper.

The debate, held in London, looked at the question: ‘How much does consumer understanding and action affect progress towards a sustainable palm oil industry?”

Wendy, who is deputy director of the ICCSR, was one of 12 panellists invited to make a major contribution to the discussion under the chairmanship of Tom Levitt, deputy editor of Guardian Sustainable Business.

Although Wendy has a general longstanding interest in sustainable palm oil she was in particular able to provide insights to the roundtable on the palm oil industry in Singapore, where she has taught many times on ICCSR’s MBA programmes. She told the audience that consumers in the country are becoming more engaged in the debate about sustainable palm oil, and are coming round to the view that the subject is not just one for governments to address.

A report on the debate, and on sustainable palm oil in general, can be found here

Wendy was one of two academics on the Guardian panel, which included sustainability experts from companies such as Boots, Ecover and Marks & Spencer as well as from non governmental organisations, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The use of palm oil has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, leading to intense pressures on rainforest in tropical countries. Despite the creation of a sustainability certification scheme by RSPO more than a decade ago, only around a fifth of the world’s palm oil is certified as sustainable.


Photo by ilkerender

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