Evonik puts pressure on palm oil suppliers to go sustainable

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Palm oil, Management, Evonik

Chemicals supplier Evonik has joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in an attempt to put more pressure on suppliers to create a traceable supply chain.

The company offers approximately 250 standard products that are partly based on palm oil, purchasing the raw materials from a large number of different suppliers. This makes the supply chain remarkably complex, said Evonik’s Peter Becker.

“As a derivatives provider, our biggest problem is to trace back the produce through the supply chain to the growers,”​ he told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

According to Becker, the majority of suppliers are not making the necessary efforts to make the supply chain traceable and the cosmetics industry needs to stick together and enhance the pressure so that this occurs.

Support the workings of the RSPO

In becoming a member of the RSPO, the company says it is supporting the work of the organisation and its attempts to improve the situation.

In addition, Evonik has to submit its own internal action plan to the RSPO and make a pledge regarding its use of sustainable palm oil.

As a result it has pledged to use only fully segregated palm oil by 2015 (palm oil that has not been mixed with any other non-sustainable feedstock), which Becker said definitely presents a challenge for the company.

Palm oil and its derivatives are mixed in many steps during the conversion and refinery to produce the derivatives supplied by Evonik, so in order to fulfil these targets the company’s suppliers will have to be continuously evaluated and selected against RSPO criteria.

In fact, according to Becker, the RSPO’s definitions for sustainable palm oil are one of the ways it can help companies like Evonik with these objectives.

In addition, the number of certified supply chain members of the RSPO is growing all the time which results in increasing availability of sustainable palm oil.

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