Inside SBTRCT: Why we don’t use Palm Oil

2 min read

The discussion around Palm Oil is a topic we spent a lot of time researching before we started working on our formulations. We discovered it's by no means a straightforward issue but our subsequent choice has been to make sure all our products are Palm Oil free.

This summary from The Guardian summarises Palm Oil’s domination:
It has replaced less healthy fats in foods in the West.
It is perennial and evergreen, enabling year-round production.
It is exceptionally efficient at photosynthesis for a perennial tree and requires less preparation of the soil than other sources of vegetable oils
It can succeed in soils that can’t sustain other crops.
It gives the highest yield per acre of any oilseed crop

This has led to an over-reliance on a crop which has in turn led to its devastating impact on the environment.

Deforestation, destruction of the habitats of some of the planet’s most endangered species, emission of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and exploitation of workers and child labour are just some of the problems.

The formation of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004 in response to increasing concerns about the impacts of Palm Oil is helping to address some of these issues with best practices around production and sourcing.

However, with an industry that’s annual production is expected to quadruple between 2015 and 2050 it is hard to see how this problem will be solved quickly enough. Looking specifically at skincare, we now know that 70% of personal care items today contain Palm Oil derivatives.

Clearly reform to an industry of this size has many economic, political, and societal implications. A global boycott is neither practical nor necessarily beneficial to the environment, in the short term at least.

We continue to work with our manufacturers and supply chain to learn and address this issue.

In the meantime, we will not be using palm oil in any of our products.

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