Ensures sustainable palm oil production and supply chain management, promoting environmental responsibility.

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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification validates organizations' adherence to global standards for sustainable palm oil, focusing on environmental conservation and labor rights within the palm oil industry. This certification is relevant to stakeholders across the palm oil supply chain, including producers, traders, manufacturers, and retailers. The certification considers supply chain models and ensures that sustainable practices are followed in existing and new plantings of palm oil.

Key Features

  • The RSPO and its members recognise, support and commit to following the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

  • The production of palm oil must not cause deforestation or damage any area required to protect or enhance High Conservation Value (HCV) or High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest.

  • Burning the land surface at any stage of operation on the plantation is forbidden.


Organizations seeking RSPO certification must demonstrate compliance with RSPO standards through a systematic annual audit process and maintain and improve their compliance status. However, the certification has faced criticism for inadequate auditing and failure to penalize non-compliant members, raising questions about its credibility and effectiveness in ensuring sustainable practices in the palm oil industry.

Duration and Renewal

The RSPO certificate is valid for five years, requiring annual audits to ensure continuous compliance with the RSPO Standard throughout the certification cycle. Organizations must maintain and improve their compliance status, reflecting continuous improvement.

Impact and Significance

While the RSPO certification aims to promote sustainability and ethical practices in the palm oil industry, its impact is debated due to allegations of inadequate enforcement and monitoring. Some studies find it beneficial in protecting high conservation value forests and endangered species, while others criticize it for allowing violations of labor rights and environmental standards. The certification's effectiveness in fostering sustainability and ethical practices in the palm oil industry remains a subject of discussion.