Taking Steps for Sustainable Palm Oil

There’s a lot of press surrounding the current state of palm oil, and Earth Balance is doing something about it. As palm oil is one of the critical elements to our proprietary blend of oils, they are dedicated to being proactive in growing awareness around the issue. Keep reading to learn more.

If you’re not familiar with the palm oil issue, it centers around the serious problems palm oil production creates for endangered orangutans in tropical rainforest regions, including Borneo and Sumatra. These problems include deforestation, habitat loss, and the harming of orangutans and other wildlife. Rather than re-using and re-planting previously deforested areas, some palm oil producers are instead choosing to destroy orangutan rainforest habitat to make way for palm oil plantations, leaving orangutans homeless and vulnerable to starvation, disease, poaching and other conflicts – all problems pushing the orangutan species closer to extinction.

While Earth Balance is only a small palm oil user (they use less than 0.05% of all palm oil), they care deeply and are taking a big stand against unsustainable palm oil.

First, they are committed to sustainable sourcing and educating our suppliers about ways to safeguard the rainforest through sustainable palm oil sourcing. Thirty percent of Earth Balance’s palm oil comes from Brazil. Their Brazil-sourced palm oil is 100% organic and is used in all of their organic products – including Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread, plus Sweet Cinnamon and Roasted Garlic & Herb Organic Culinary Spreads. (Because orangutans are not native to South America, the Brazilian palm industry does not adversely impact their well-being.) The remaining 70% of Earth Balance’s palm oil comes from responsible sources in peninsular Malaysia (also a non-native orangutan habitat), which are all members of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the leading global organization developing and implementing global standards for sustainable palm oil production. Earth Balance insists on continuing assurances from its suppliers that all palm fruit oil purchased for Earth Balance complies with the RSPO policies, and they are committed to terminated any suppliers that violate these policies.

Second, Earth Balance purchases GreenPalm Certificates, which work a lot like carbon credits. The money used to purchase these certificates helps improve the infrastructure and practices behind sustainable palm oil. Moreover, Earth Balance is supporting the action-oriented, on-the-ground conservation work of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) in Indonesian Borneo. OFI is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, led by world-renown primatologist and conservationist Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas. OFI is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans that are adversely affected by the palm oil industry, and has been working for more than 40 years to conserve rainforest habitat and educate people throughout the world about orangutans’ plight. Earth Balance is especially proud to be a financial supporter of OFI’s ongoing initiative to return 330 wild-born, ex-captive rehabilitated orangutans back into the wild, into biologically-rich, protected forest.