ecostore is committed to using certified sustainable palm oil as it is a healthier and safer alternative to petrochemicals. It requires significantly less land than coconut for an equivalent yield. Our target is to achieve traceability back to the palm oil mills of our suppliers. While we believe certified sustainable palm oil is the best option for now, we are also keeping a watching brief on alternative developments.

Read or download our full palm oil policy here .

What is palm oil and how do we use it?

Palm oil and palm kernel oil are extracted from both the flesh and kernel of fruit from the oil palm tree. As well as being part of the diet of many people around the world, palm oil can be found in a large number of everyday supermarket products including processed foods, detergents and other cleaning products. We use palm oil as a functional surfactant in the majority of our product range.

What are the challenges and how are we overcoming them?

We know that oil palm plantations can have a significant negative impact on the planet through large scale deforestation, loss of biodiversity, threats to endangered species, the rights of local workers, and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. We share the widespread concern about these challenges and are committed to playing our part in reducing the impact of the palm oil industry on the environment. We are playing our part through supply chain management and by working with organisations that are setting the standard for sustainable production. We joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in 2007, and GreenPalm (the trading scheme that allows manufacturers to buy certificates from growers to offset palm oil use) was our first step in the journey of sourcing sustainable palm oil.

As users of palm oil derivatives, we are on a journey of continuous improvement. We’ve evolved beyond GreenPalm and have developed a policy which contains sourcing criteria we are working through with our suppliers. Our sourcing criteria include an additional no deforestation clause (on top of the RSPO’s no deforestation of high conservation areas only clause) which states: “No deforestation of High Carbon Stock forest areas. High Carbon stock forest areas include primary forests, high, medium and low density forests and re-generating forests”.

Assessing alternatives

Algae-derived oils could one day replace palm derived oils for fuel, surfactants, soaps and packaging. It requires a small land use footprint. Some of our competitors have switched from palm oil to coconut oil, however this is not a long term solution as all viable plant‐based substitutes for palm oil, including coconut, have even greater environmental impacts, including higher contribution to global warming and significantly lower yield per square metre. And coconut oil doesn’t have a body like the RSPO to set sustainability standards.

Achieving a transparent supply chain

We are taking responsibility for managing our supply chain through full engagement with raw material suppliers. Our aim is full traceability of our supply chain back to the palm oil mill.

We are also working with The Forest Trust to help us implement our policy and achieve full transparency in a very complex supply chain.

We are driving positive, lasting industry change thanks to the sustainability commitment of our partners, which include BASF, LG Chemicals and New Britain Palm Oil. In 2014, ecostore founders Malcolm and Melanie Rands flew to Papua New Guinea to meet the people behind one of our suppliers, New Britain Palm Oil - one of the largest certified sustainable palm oil producers in Australasia. Malcolm and Melanie were more than satisfied that New Britain Palm Oil is meeting all sustainability criteria related to the social and environmental impacts of producing palm oil.