When doing the initial research for our synthetic alternative to palm oil components, we quickly came across lots of information regarding the current palm oil industry. It soon became apparent that the economies of countries, for example Indonesia and Malaysia, depend almost entirely upon the current methods of palm oil production. Therefore we compiled a detailed impact analysis report for synthetic palm oil, which can be found by clicking on the button to the right.

The Constant Battle Against Deforestation

Despite companies attempting to use more and more sustainable palm oil, government efforts to combat the mass deforestation associated with this industry are, for the most part, failing:

  • Norway offered to give Indonesia $1 billion if the country suspended the conversion of natural rainforests to oil palm plantations[1]. This moratorium was flawed and soon failed, yet a second attempt was initiated in May 2013. However, problems with the original moratorium are still relevant for this renewed version[2].

  • Plantation owners start to look at other, less-regulated, land when policies are put in place to protect their current area of work. This simply leads to a shift in where the deforestation is occurring, and does not benefit the earth overall[2]

  • An alternative to RSPO, Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) was introduced. This initiative is controlled by the Indonesian government and so many NGOs fear that it is simply a front, allowing companies to present a sustainable front to the public whilst continuing to operate unsustainably behind the scenes[3]

It is apparent that attempts to curb deforestation whilst maintaining the palm oil industry in its current incarnation is very difficult to achieve.

[1] Lang, C (2010) “Norway and Indonesia sign US$1 billion forest deal” May 27th
[2] Vidal, J (2013) ‘“The Sumatran rainforest will mostly disappear within 20 years”’ The Guardian. May 26th
[3] DTE (2011) Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Scheme to Speed Up Palm Oil Development
[4] Photo © CIFOR