We’ve updated our position statement on palm oil
At Standard Chartered we are proud of the important role we play in economic development in our markets, primarily through our support for trade. We believe that trade creates jobs and prosperity and, if done sustainably, can transform societies for the better.
By working with clients, governments, local communities, and NGOs to improve industry standards on sustainability, we demonstrate not only our commitment to being Here for good, but also our belief in managing natural resources for the long term. Our biggest impact on society and the environment is through the companies we finance, so we publish position statements outlining clearly the type of business we will - and won’t - do.
Over the past few months we have been working with a variety of stakeholders to strengthen and clarify our position on palm oil and have just published our updated statement on financing companies in the sector.
What is palm oil?
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world and plays a significant role in generating employment and export earnings in some of our markets. Unsustainable practices on the part of some in the industry, however, pose serious threats to local communities and the environment.
Developing a sustainable palm oil sector
The development of a sustainable palm oil sector in recent years shows that palm oil needn’t be destructive. We are active members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a coalition of growers, processors, traders, NGOs, banks and other businesses who are working to drive improvements and create a more responsible palm oil sector with a long-term future. We are also working directly with clients to improve their standards, helping them to make the necessary changes in a realistic and credible timeframe while also making clear the consequences if they don’t.
How our position statement has changed
Our revised position statement contains a number of key changes reflecting our ongoing drive for further improvements. These changes include requirements for our clients who have not already done so to apply to become members of RSPO and make a public and verified commitment to No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) by the end of 2018, and to work toward increased production and use of certified sustainable palm oil. We have – and will continue to – end relationships with clients who cannot or will not meet these enhanced standards.
A fully sustainable palm oil industry won’t happen overnight, but we have made clear our dedication to playing our part to improve standards and to making sure our clients do as well.