Palm trees produce the most popular vegetable oil in the world. Not only is it used for cooking, but it is an ingredient of foods, cosmetics, soaps, detergents, biodiesel fuels and many other products. Nevertheless, palm oil production poses many environmental and social challenges. The Council joined a collaborative Principles for Responsible Investment initiative with other investors in the autumn of 2013.
The members of the PRI working group on palm oil are working together to raise investor awareness and reach a consensus on developing a sustainable product. The group is supporting the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an industry initiative, whose guidelines they consider to be best practice in the area. The investors will pursue dialogue with palm oil manufacturers in 2014 to encourage more sustainable approaches.
In 2013 the Council participated in an international investor initiative for the purpose of persuading companies to produce and purchase certified palm oil. The Council will continue to be involved in this area, primarily via the PRI Working Group, in 2014.