Palm oil is a natural product utilized by several different industries for a diverse range of products and processes. Its harvest is a major contributor to rainforest deforestation and the effects are exacerbated by increasing global demand. To address this environmental problem, Ashland has become a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO is a non-profit organization which sets environmental and social standards for the sustainable harvest of this product.
When they are properly applied, the RSPO’s criteria can help minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions. They ensure the protection of ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, and that the needs of local communities are met. Other RSPO principles require a significantly reduced use of pesticides and fires; fair treatment of workers according to local and international labour rights standards, and the need to inform and consult with local communities before the development of new plantations. RSPO-certified producers have been independently audited so they can claim that they produce, use and/or sell sustainable palm oil. Ashland is currently pursuing this RSPO Supply Chain certification. Additionally, Ashland plans to restrict palm oil purchases to only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by 2025. When and if new palm oil initiatives are introduced, Ashland will evaluate all options for our palm oil supply chain.
Ashland commitment to FSC and PEFC initiatives
As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, Ashland recognizes the importance of sustainability in our cellulosic business which relies on wood pulp cellulose as a raw material for several grades of product. For these materials, we are committed to and working towards certification for maintaining Chain of Custody standards for the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), and for the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems (PEFC).
We work with suppliers who offer us controlled and certified wood pulp cellulose, and engage in sustainable supply chain management and source/support sustainable forestry practices.
We encourage our customers to work with end users who conform to recognized industry standards.
To the best of our ability we implement supply chain practices that prevent avoid trading wood from the following categories:
- illegally harvested wood
- wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights
- wood harvested in forests where high conversation values are threatened by management activities
- wood harvested in forest being converted to plantations or non-forest use
- wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted
- xiolation of any of the ILO Core Conventions, as defined in the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at work, 1998
Our cellulosic materials are used in a variety of applications within the coatings and personal care businesses. Our efforts towards FSC and PEFC support our continued commitment to sustainable and transparent supply chain management. We hope to engage with our customers to promote the use of these certifications to improve sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.