Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 16 (1) March 2016 p. 8-17

Sustainability as a Success Factor for Palm Oil Producers Supplying the European Vegetable Oil Markets

Emanuele Novelli*
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


In Europe, due to their voluntary commitments, the leading businesses which are active in the food, feed, detergent and chemical sectors are moving towards procurement of sustainable and deforestation-free vegetable oils for their supply chains. The amended European Union (EU) biofuel legislation also requires them to comply with specific sustainability criteria for vegetable oils in the biofuels market. Both growing requirements of private businesses and EU biofuel legislation highlight the importance of sustainability certification for palm oil suppliers. Moreover, for those markets where a substitution of palm oil is unlikely due to technological and cost reasons, the implementation of the EU Regulation 1169/11 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers, further prompts the procurement of sustainable certified palm oil. Suppliers of sustainable palm oil could profit from these favourable circumstances only if their sustainability certification were granted through reliable and credible sustainability standards. Through the use of advanced tools granting deforestation-free supply chains, such as the Global Risk Assessment Services (GRAS), and the adoption of requirements even more stringent than the ones demanded by the European biofuel policy, the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification scheme (ISCC) emerges, among others, as a highly reputable scheme. The objectives of this article are to describe the current European regulatory framework, the impacts deriving from it and the reasons why sustainability certification, if supported by advanced tools and released by highly credible standards such as ISCC, will be the key to access the European energy, food, feed, detergent and chemical markets.

Keywords: sustainability, palm oil, ISCC, GRAS, deforestation-free supply chain, European Union

About Post Author

* Meo Carbon Solutions GmbH,
Hohenzollernring 72,
50672 Koln,

E-mal: novelli@meo-carbon.com