Singapore’s top firms are coming together to drive an increase in the amount of sustainable palm oil used in Singapore with the goal of delivering products that have not contributed to haze pollution or deforestation to consumers.
The Singapore Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil is supported by five founding members, who together produce some of the most popular everyday brands used by Singaporeans. It was WWF-Singapore who first engaged the founding members with the idea of the alliance and the conservation organisation will remain on the steering committee to support and guide members as the alliance grows. The five founding members are Unilever, Danone, Ayam Brand, IKEA and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
The formation of the Singapore Alliance on Sustainable Palm Oil was prompted by the public outcry over 2015’s prolonged haze pollution. Through the We Breathe What We Buy campaign, which reached over 20 million people globally, WWF-Singapore was able to raise awareness of the link between the slash and burn practices used in in the production of palm oil and haze pollution, and enlist public support for a switch to sustainable palm oil.
“The alliance sends a clear signal to consumers about which companies are committed to sustainability”, says Elaine Tan, CEO, WWF-Singapore. “This is a timely opportunity for NGOs and businesses to work together towards transforming the palm oil industry”.
The mission of the alliance is to work towards 100% sustainable palm oil in Singapore. If this happens it would mean consumers could then be certain the products they buy were not contributing to deforestation or haze pollution. Palm oil is in around 50% of the goods on supermarket shelves and currently it is not possible for consumers to identify which products contain sustainable palm oil, if any.
Sustainable palm oil (CSPO) is produced in a way that has minimum impact on the environment and does not destroy natural forest habitat. CSPO is not responsible for haze pollution because slash and burn clearance methods, which lead to uncontrollable forest fires, are not used in its production.