ZSL expands palm oil web tool to bolster investor decision-making
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is aiming to bring further clarity to the complex world of palm oil production through the launch of its expanded Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT), which has now grown to encompass half of all land under oil palm cultivation globally.
ZSL’s established SPOTT platform is a free, interactive website designed to help investors, researchers and commodity buyers manage environmental risks in the palm oil sector. The site assesses, scores and ranks 50 of the world’s largest palm oil producers using publicly available information about the sustainability of their operations, helping stakeholders make more informed decisions.
SPOTT features a regularly-updated scorecard that provides quarterly assessments of 50 oil palm growing companies – double the number in 2014 – against a framework of over 50 indicators.
Framed as direct questions about best practice and its disclosure, the indicators cover areas including environmental management, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving supply chain traceability, and reporting to the industry’s largest certification scheme, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Users can compare and contrast company performance via trend-tracking graphs, as well as monitoring the media for company-specific stories on issues including fires, haze, deforestation and wildlife conflict.
Leonie Lawrence, Global Palm Oil Manager at ZSL, commented: “SPOTT supports growers to improve reporting and transparency. With double the number of companies and half of all land under oil palm development now covered by our platform, we want to engage with companies to improve their scores and urge the financial sector to use the information to better understand and address their environmental impacts.”