Palm Oil

Did you know that unsustainable palm oil impacts chimpanzees? During the past 20 years global palm oil consumption has greatly increased. This surge in demand has driven the large-scale conversion of primary rainforest to monoculture oil palm plantations in south east Asia and, more recently, parts of central Africa. As a result, many environmental and social issues have arisen, including endangering native flora and fauna, displacing local peoples and increasing carbon emissions.

The Jane Goodall Institute Australia has joined together with many of our fellow NGO’s as a signatory of the Responsible Palm Oil Network. Our network is helping to break the link between palm oil production and deforestation, climate pollution and human rights abuses through educating and empowering consumers, and those involved in the supply chain, to take actions that support the transition towards a truly responsible palm oil industry.

Our vision is that 100% of all products in Australia and New Zealand are deforestation free. Using palm oil as a flagship crop we aim to halt and reverse deforestation globally, and encourage the restoration of forest cover at least to the levels seen in 2010, and protect the world’s last intact rainforests. Our full Joint Position Statement offers further information on our position including our support for responsible labelling.

Campaign Objectives

  • Raise public awareness about palm oil and the connections between consumer choices and deforestation
  • Promote the use of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) with grocery manufacturers, government agencies and the Australian community

How You Can Help

Download our full Habitat Protection Education Kit for ideas on how you can help in your school, shops and community.

1. In your School

Spread the word! Put up your own posters or download ourPalm Oil Poster. Talk to friends, family and community members about sustainable palm oil. Many people are not aware of the detrimental effects the palm oil industry has on people and the environment. Start a palm oil and wrapper free school lunch box day at your school. Or be like Lancelin Primary School and ban palm oil products like they did with Tim Tams!

2. In your Shops

Shop smart! Palm oil is present in up to 50% of products on our supermarket shelves, yet there is no requirement for the explicit labelling of  palm oil. You can support sustainable palm oil use by using the Palm Oil Investigations App and support companies and manufacturers committed to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). You can also read labels and learn about the different ways that palm oil and its derivatives can be listed on packaging labels. Some of the less explicit ways that palm oil can be listed include:

  • Palm oil kernel
  • Palmitate or Palmate
  • Elaeis gunieensis 
  • Hydrated Palm Gylcerides Hexadecanoic
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Vegetable oil (if a product contains saturated fats, it is often palm oil)
  • Anything containing stearate or stearyl
  • Anything containing acetyl or cetearyl
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate 
(SDS or NaDS)
  • Sodium 
Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate Steareth -2
  • Steareth-20 Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 465-67, 470-8, 481-483

3. In your Community

Campaign for CSPO labelling! Write to manufacturers asking them to explicitly label palm oil  and use CSPO. We can drive this change so that all consumers can make informed decisions on their purchases. Many companies have now committed to sourcing only sustainably sourced palm oil, with deadlines in place for when this is to occur. Write to some of the companies that produce your favourite products and ask them about their commitment to source only sustainable palm oil. If they have not yet made such a commitment, ask them why this is the case and advise them that you will favour companies that are ethical in their acquisition of palm oil. You can also facilitate your own (we can help!) Palm Oil Awareness workshop to engage and motivate your friends and family to use CSPO.

Contact us

For further information about palm oil, or supporting the Jane Goodall Institute Australia’s efforts to raise awareness about the issues caused by the palm oil industry please email palmoil@janegoodall.org.au