The UK's leading retailers have achieved an ambitious target to source 100 per cent certified sustainable palm oil by 2015.
The target was part of the BRC-led environmental initiative ‘A Better Retailing Climate', through which major retailers have set themselves a number of voluntary goals to improve the environmental sustainability of their business operations. The UK retail industry has amongst the highest voluntary coverage of RSPO  certified sustainable palm oil of any country or sector, for own brand products sold through the food, household and personal care categories. Given the very large and complex nature of UK retailers' product ranges and supply chains, this is a significant achievement and reflects the prominence the industry places on sourcing products sustainably from around the world.
In keeping with their commitments to ensure transparency in their supply chains, BRC members have openly reported on their usage of sustainable palm oil at a collective level for inclusion into the annual UK national statement on palm oil.
BRC DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY ANDREW OPIE SAID:
"As an industry, we are very proud of the leadership we have shown in working towards 100 per cent sustainable sourcing of our palm oil. We know this is important to our customers and we will continue to work towards ever greater sustainable practices right across our business operations and our supply chains and we would encourage other parts of the supply chain to follow retailers' positive lead".
 The retailers referred to are BRC members who are members of the RSPO (see note 4 below) and have signed up to A Better Retailing Climate. Of the certified sustainable palm oil used by retailers, 89 per cent was physically certified while just over 10 per cent was through the Book and Claim system, which enables retailers to financially contribute to sustainable palm oil production by purchasing certificates equivalent to the volumes of oil used. Going forward, the industry will work towards increasing the physical use of sustainable palm oil where it is available
 Palm oil is used as an ingredient in a wide range of consumer products from food and animal feed to detergents and cosmetics. Cultivated in tropical areas, demand is leading to the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations and, in some areas, is associated with the conversion of high conservation value rainforests or carbon-rich peatlands.
 Launched in 2008, ‘A Better Retailing Climate' (ABRC) is a voluntary initiative created by a group of leading retailers (representing half of the UK retail market) which sets out collective environmental impact targets, all of which were not only met but exceeded by 2013. A new set of targets were agreed in 2014, with targets to 2020. ABRC is increasingly extending to include sourcing products more responsibly and helping suppliers adopt better practices: A Better Retailing Climate
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