Many American companies are actively promoting their green initiatives. From cutting greenhouse gas emissions to protecting forests to reducing food waste, these companies realize that today’s shoppers are more eco-conscious than the previous generation. Sustainability is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. That’s one reason why many American food manufacturers rely on Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil for their products. Malaysian palm oil, the world’s first sustainable vegetable oil, has been a quiet symbol of environmental responsibility for decades. And now the country is strengthening its sustainability commitment with its nationwide Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification program. The term “sustainability” can have several interpretations. Here’s what it means for Malaysian palm oil:
Malaysian palm oil producers protect natural resources
Malaysia has committed to retaining at least 50 percent of its total land cover under natural forest cover. It restricts burning, encourages recycling of organic waste, and has strict water and soil conservation policies in place. The progressive county, a leader in orangutan and elephant care, also has high-profile initiatives in place which protect endangered and threatened species, and help animals live in harmony with oil palm plantations.
Palm oil production must consider the community needs
Country-wide initiatives have been enacted to protect palm oil workers’ rights and help family famers – this group tends more than 40 percent of Malaysian oil palm-planted lands – increase their quality of life. Safe working conditions are mandated, forced or child labor is banned, and fair wages are paid. In fact, palm oil plantations are credited for lifting many Malaysians out of poverty.
Malaysian palm oil production should support international sustainability goals
The MSPO program requires efficient energy use, such as the use of renewable energy sources, aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also supports increasing palm oil yields which can help feed the growing planet without stressing our planet’s resources. Note: Palm oil is already the most land-efficient vegetable oil. Finally, MSPO standards support United Nations sustainable development goals which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.