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Source: tristantan

New Palm Oil Guidelines Ensure Promises Translate Into Eco-Action

By Nicole Caldwell

A new set of guidelines for palm-oil producers seeks to ensure action on eco-friendly company promises. The High Carbon Stock Approach Toolkit marks a new standard in the palm oil industry that sets standards for protecting tropical forests, identifying suitable locations for palm oil production, and ensuring that companies making eco-friendly pledges are putting their money—and might—where their mouths are.

Palm oil is one of the cheapest oils to produce, with palm trees capable of bearing fruit for more than three decades. That produces a lot of ongoing employment opportunities for work on trees that are more prolific than any other major oilseed crop. The oil produced can be used for biofuel, cooking, shortening, non-dairy creamers, in pharmaceuticals, and even cosmetics.

Indonesia, the largest supplier of palm oil globally, has also been the biggest sufferer of palm oil’s collateral damage. Tropical forests are removed to make way for palm trees, which disrupts biodiversity, ecosystems, and thousands of species, including many that are endangered. This, along with the pollution from processing the oil, has made Indonesia the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States.