Palm oil is the world’s most common and versatile oilseed, found in products ranging from cooking oil to biofuels and household chemicals. Conventional palm oil production can be associated with illegal and unethical practices such as clearing of rainforest, land appropriations and the use of forced labour. These issues create regulatory, operational, and reputational risks for companies that can threaten their market access and overall brand equity.
This document, released by CERES in January 2017, aims to increase understanding, transparency, and accountability regarding responsible palm oil production by providing a shared set of reporting guidance for companies across the supply chain. Its primary purpose is to inform the content of public corporate communications and transparency on responsible production and sourcing activities including and beyond certification.
The document can also be used as a resource to guide dialogues and due diligence processes between companies, their suppliers, civil society stakeholders and investors.
The guidance document builds on, and integrates, common recommendations from existing reporting frameworks and sustainability initiatives. It is not intended as a new verification standard or as a separate reporting survey or scorecard. Companies are encouraged to report the information outlined in the guidance document through existing channels, such as sustainability reports, dashboards, and existing reporting frameworks.
While the document sets out “better practice” reporting, it can be used to improve reporting and transparency through a process of continuous improvement, regardless of where companies are in their sustainability journey.