Palm oil, a vegetable oil extracted from the fruit of the oil palm, is used in a wide range of products including foods, detergents, cosmetics, paint and biodiesel.
Palm oil cultivation is more efficient than other crops in terms of land use, and palm oil is also said to be a healthier alternative to trans fats in the food industry. Even so, its cultivation is controversial.
Important ecosystems end up being destroyed to make room for palm oil plantations. This threatens biodiversity, the natural variety of plant and animal species living on Earth.
Industrial-scale logging and slash-and-burn agriculture increase greenhouse gas emissions.
Human rights, labour rights and land rights may be violated.
The ‘Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’ (RSPO), a not-for-profit organisation, was set up to make palm oil production more sustainable. All member companies undertake to adhere strictly to the standards imposed by the RSPO.
KBC AM closely monitors the companies it includes in its SRI funds and is duly tightening its criteria for palm oil companies. Any companies that are not RSPO members or that are involved in controversial situations will be excluded, thus eliminating malpractice to the maximum possible extent from its funds.