Large-scale production of palm oil can entail serious risks for both people and the environment, such as deforestation and decreased biodiversity. The criterium contributes to an improved traceability and more sustainable cultivation of oil palm.
- Technical specification
- Cosmetic products
For products containing palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil derivatives and/or palm kernel oil derivatives, the production of this raw material shall comply with one of the following two alternatives:
1. Is produced in such a way that, at a minimum, it covers the following
- Implemented routines that ensure that the conversion to agricultural land does not result in deforestation or damage to areas of high conservation value1. The evaluation of what is regarded as high conservation value can be undertaken in agreement with the High Conservation Value Approach2, or a similar evaluation method relevant for the geographical area.
- The planting of oil palms on peatlands is prohibited as of November 2018. This applies to both existing and new plantations.
- The use of plant protection products shall be in accordance with the principles for Integrated Pest Management (IPM3). This involves preventing plant protection problems, monitoring the risk of damage in culti vations, need-based measures, as well as following up and evaluating the effectiveness of pest control measures.
2. Is produced in compliance with Regulation (EU) nr 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products.
It is sufficient that the documentation of the traceability of the palm oil can be shown through a segregated supply chain (Identity Preserved or Segregated principle), or through the principle of Mass Balance.
Raw materials where the content of palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil derivatives and/or palm kernel oil derivatives is less than 1 percent.
1High Conservation Value
Concentrations of biological diversity including endemic species, and rare, threatened, or c endangered species, that are significant at global, regional, or national levels.
Landscape-level ecosystems, ecosystem mosaics and IFL
Large landscape-level ecosystems, ecosystem mosaics and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) that are significant at global, regional, or national levels and that contain viable populations of thegreat majority of the naturally occurring species in natural patterns of distribution and abundance.
Ecosystems and Habitats
Rare, threatened, or endangered ecosystems, habitats or refugia.
Basic ecosystem services in critical situations, including protection of water catchmentsand control of erosion of vulnerable soils and slopes.
2HCV value approach
The method is used to identify and protect areas with high conservation value (HCV). https://hcvnetwork.org
3IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
Integrated Pest Management, IPM, concerns a sustainable use of plant protection products. By combining different types of measures, weeds, fungal diseases, and pests in the cultivation can be prevented or suppressed. Everyone using plant protection products shall apply integrated pest management.
Cultivating in accordance with these principles is effective regardless of the type of cultivation. Plant protection measures in your cultivation - Jordbruksverket.se (in Swedish)
The supplier shall, upon request, be able to present any of for example the following:
- Valid license for any of for example the following labels:
Good Environmental Choice for Cosmetic products, version 2018:1
EU Ecolabel for cosmetic products, (EU) 2021/1870
- Certificate showing that the raw material of palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil derivates and/or palm kernel oil derivates is certified according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Pal Oil (RSPO). The levels Mass Balance, Segregated and Identity Preserved meet the requirement.
- Certificate showing that the raw material of palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil derivates and/or palm kernel oil derivates is certified EU organic.
- The supplier’s self-declaration including technical documentation of compliance verified by an accredited verification body, accredited for the task in accordance with ISO/IEC 17029 or equivalent standard.
Certified palm oil
Check the certificate from the supplier to ensure that any palm oil used is certified in compliance with RSPO or certified as organic in compliance with the requirements. Keep in mind that palm oil can be included in the product and listed as, for example, vegetable oil in the list of contents. Ask the supplier if palm oil is included in the vegetable oil.
If the palm oil is certified in compliance with RSPO, ensure that the certification level is in accordance with the requirement. The levels Mass Balance, Segregated and Identity Preserved comply with the requirement. An RSPO-certified company can be followed-up on RSPO's website.
Self-declaration verified by an accredited verification body
If a verified self-declaration is used to prove that the requirement is fulfilled, request the supplier’s self-declaration, including documentation showing that the requirement is met. The self-declaration shall be verified by a verification body accredited for the task in accordance with ISO / IEC 17029 or equivalent standard.
Information about the criterion
There are currently a limited number of accredited verification bodies for ISO/IEC 17029 (Conformity assessment - General principles and requirements for validation and verification bodies) as it is a relatively new standard. This may change, especially if the demand for verifying compliance in this way increases. More information about the standard and accredited verification bodies can be found on Swedac's website.
Large-scale production of palm oil is connected to serious risks for both people and the environment.
In Sweden, there is the Swedish Platform on Risk Commodities that was launched in April 2022. The platform is coordinated by ETI Sverige (Ethical Trading Initiative) and the members of the platform commit to requiring verified, more sustainable palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivates through for example certification. Similar initiatives also exist in other countries.
Organic palm oil can be purchased for certain products, but there is not the same level of availability compared with RSPO-certified (RSPO = Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) palm oil.
RSPO-credits are not accepted as an equivalent degree of certification as RSPO. The traceability systems that are accepted are Mass balance, Segregated and Identity Preserved. Mass Balance: palm oil from certified sources mixed with other palm oil from the supply chain. Segregated: palm oil from different certified sources, that are held separate from other palm oil in the supply chain. Identity Preserved: palm oil from an identified and certified source that is held separate from other palm oil in the supply chain.
Raw materials that contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil derivatives and/or palm kernel oil derivatives that are less than 1 weight percent in the product are exempt from the requirement. The exeption means that documentation is not required if the amount of palm oil contained in, for example, perfume, paint, or conservatives, is less than 1 per cent of the products weight. The documentation of palm oil content is applicable for products with a larger palm oil concentration, such as surfactants.
The definitions of high conservation value are taken from HCV's definitions, see HCV Network, categories 1-4 (High Conservation Values).
New Deforestation Regulation
In December 2022 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU agreed upon a new regulation, the so-called deforestation regulation. The regulation covers inter alia soy, palm oil, cocoa and other risk-crops connected to deforestation. It is still not completely clear what consequences the deforestation regulation will have on different parties on the market. The regulation is expected to come into force during the second half of 2024.
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
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