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Palm Oil making a green comeback

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin
May 5, 2011 Reviewed by Sunil 5 Comments
Palm oil as a whole is a decent ingredient, both for the inside and outside of your body. The ingredient can be found in multiple things such as cereal, soap, baked goods, and even cosmetics. You might not always recognize it though; sometimes it comes under the name of “vegetable” oil in your products which has faced scrutiny for being misleading.

From palm oil, you get vitamins A & E which are good for skin and fatty acids. It is not only a good ingredient to cook with, but can keep your skin moisturized which is why so many skin care companies have been using. Unfortunately, all of that good stuff comes with a price. As Summar noted last year, high demand has meant that slash/burn and deforestation in areas like Indonesia and Malaysia have been taking place to cultivate the trees. This endeavor has left animals without homes, disrupted vast ecosystems and on top of that, poured emissions in to the air from all of the construction in the area.

Now, you have two choices if you want to help save the rain forest. The first would be to hop off of the palm oil bandwagon entirely, which has been a step that some companies have taken.  Or, you can you follow companies that follow GreenPalm . GreenPalm was created in 2006 to help producers, who are using sustainable and responsible guidelines, be rewarded. These guidelines come from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which includes initiatives such as preventing the destruction of rainforest, promoting certified palm oil, gaining the locals peoples consent before making any changes to the land, and much more.


Palm oil producers who work in a “sustainable and responsible” way are able to earn certificates. They can then sell these certificates to those (cosmetic companies for example) that need to use their product through a trading program which both parties can sign up for. The payment for these certificates end up going back to the producer as a bonus, all in all, it’s pays to do the right thing in this case. It’s all in hopes that more producers of palm oil will be enticed into using sustainable methods of producing and harvesting rather than going into the rainforest with big bulldozers and little disregard.

The most recent company to sign on with GreenPalm is the giant beauty manufacturer Avon; they will begin purchasing certificates in July 2011. We can only hope Avon’s latest green move will have a trickle down effect on where the beauty industry gets their palm oil from. Still, there are those who are strongly against the cultivation of palm oil and believe that nothing can justify these palm oil plantations and that harvesting palm oil cannot be sustainable.

What are your thoughts about palm oil, would you use products containing palm oil which are GreenPalm certified or is it less of a concern to you where/how palm oil gets into your products.
  • August 26, 2011

    by Andrea

    They are encouraging them. I don't like any products with Palm-oil! GreenPalm certified even? The animals and their land are all I care for. There are other oils to use. Do away with Palm-oil I say. I won't buy this soap if they have Palm-oil in it. Now I have to find another soap instead of eco. If they still killing animals land off bit by bit.
    For money! It is not right. I hate Palm-oil. And any other product that kills animals for money! And those who encourage people to use such products like palm-oil and meat. What about the animal's life! How are they treated and cared for? Like New Zealand pigs are in cages where they can't even turn around and the chickens are the same. And they advertise on T.V to buy their pork or chicken meals but what was the animals life like? Hell that's what it was like. No I won't buy their product. It was a living being having a terrible life!

  • May 10, 2011

    by GreenPalm

    Its interesting to read an article which shows some of the benefits to Palm Oil along with the challenges it faces due to an ever increasing world population, change in eating & shopping habbits, the rise in biofuels and the economic growth of China India and Brazil.

    GreenPalm operates the RSPO Book&Claim supply chain option which is one of the four approved supply chains for the RSPO. Of course all manufactures would like to say my product contains physical sustainable palm / palm kernel oil. However due to the complex nature of the supply chain, the fact that palm in most cases is an ingredient and not the final physical product is very difficult to acheive.

    RSPO certified producers are allowed to sell their palm output from the approved mill as sustainblle and they have the option to sell this through all of the RSPO supplies chains. For every tonne of palm oil / palm kernel produced at the mill they can convert into one GreenPalm certificate and place an offer on the GreenPalm market. Once they sell the certificate they can then only sell the physical oil as standard palm, but the sustainable material still enter's the supply chain and the producer gains the premium from the sale through the GreenPalm market.

    GreenPalm operates as an open market, end product manufactures such as Avon place bids and purchase the certifactes claiming they have directly supported the production of sustainble palm oil. In Avon's case they have covered 100% of their palm/palm kernel oil usage, the sustainable material has entered the supply chain and is driving more producers to get their mills certified.

  • May 5, 2011

    by Sunil

    Phil, you're right. Palm Kernel Oil actually has properties related to being an antibacterial.

  • May 5, 2011

    by Phil

    I'd like to see the data that show palm oil per se is an antibacterial and that it's effective for acne and infections from cuts and scrapes. the only data I saw for direct twsting (Ekwenye and Ijeoma, 2005) found nono such efficacy. Short of hyfrolysis to form alot of luaric acid, I don't see a chemcial presence that might have a significant antimicrobial effect.

  • May 5, 2011

    by Timothy Artinger

    I think that if they went "green" and also planted more trees to recover the loss of habitat for Animals, then I would use it.. It does seem like a useful ingredients.. But like many things, it shouldn't interfere with the way of life just to look beautiful.

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