I wrote a blog piece about a year ago (April 2012) on what RSPO certification meant. Unfortunately, I felt that needed a bit of updating as I’m getting alot of corporate responses lately that defer to their RSPO certification to prove their environmental bona fides.
Well, here’s a link to a post authored by Rainforest Action Network’s Rebecca Tarbotten, who tragically died while on vacation in December. She wrote this in November, so I hope it aptly captures what RSPO certification means — or doesn’t mean — now.
Perhaps the most important line to me is the last one:
After attending the meeting and observing the progress made over the past ten years to develop the RSPO standard, it is my view that the RSPO may be good for profits, but still falls well short of being good for people and the planet.
(I’m not a very religious person and these days tend toward the agnostic/atheist in that regard. But god bless Becky Tarbotten. Keep up her good work RAN!)
UPDATED 4/8/2013: Even more proof that suggests the RSPO is a nearly worthless, toothless, guilt-free agent of greenwashing that allows its organization members chop down forests to make way for palm oil plantations:
In March 2013 International Animal Rescue Indonesia, together with government conservation staff, rescued four orangutans from forest in Indonesian Borneo that was being bulldozed to make way for oil palm. The company involved, Bumitama Gunajaya Agro, is a member of the RSPO and cleared the forest in violation of the body’s statutes. IAR Indonesia urged the company to stop clearing the forest to allow time to rescue other orangutans stranded in pockets of forest, at risk of starvation.” (Emphasis mine.)
- In Memory of RAN’s Rebecca Tarbotten – Sign the Dr. Oz Petition to Get Him to Stop Promoting Palm Oil (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)
- Please Watch This Video: Why the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is Useless (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)
- Conservationists urge RSPO member to cease rainforest destruction after starving orangutans rescued from concession (thenewstribe.com)