Palm oil and its derivatives are used in a number of cosmetics products, although GreenPalm executive Simon Christmas says that it is only recently that awareness of its presence has increased, and this has seen many manufacturers sign up to the GreenPalm initiative.
The GreenPalm initiative enables manufacturers to support responsible palm oil producers certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by paying the producers a premium equivalent to the amount of palm oil used.
With consumers becoming educated about palm oil use there is growing pressure on brands to make the palm oil industry sustainable.
“The presence of palm oil and palm kernel oil is less obvious in cosmetics than in many other products, because its fatty acids are often used to create other ingredients, such as cetyl alcohol, isopropyl myristate or PEG-20 palmitate,” says Christmas.
“Some of the world’s biggest names in cosmetics and personal care are already supporting RSPO sustainable palm oil; we want to see other brands follow the likes of Johnson & Johnson, Avon, L’Oreal, Unilever and Oriflame,” he adds.
The problems for manufacturers when they look to use only palm oil produced by an RSPO certified producer, the processing of the oil often means that several parties are involved.
“GreenPalm has become the most widely used RSPO supply chain option because it bypasses the supply chain and allows a manufacturer to start supporting sustainable palm production immediately, whilst engagement and collaboration takes place on physical supply chains,” continues Christmas.
“Our goal is to see the entire palm industry work sustainably. To make this happen, we need the world’s buyers of palm oil and palm kernel oil to step up and show their commitment. The rainforest cannot wait for supply chains to become audited and certified – it needs support right now.”