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Shiseido commits to 100% RSPO-certified palm oil in 2013

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 12-Nov-2012

Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido has declared that it intends to use only RSPO-certified palm oil in its cosmetics products in 2013, as it continues its goal of preserving biodiversity.

“Shiseido considers the need to preserve biodiversity during every stage of the product life cycle, from the procurement of cosmetics ingredients to manufacturing, distribution and sales, and strives to utilize sustainable resources,” says a company statement.

The Tokyo-based firm joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international non-profit organization, in 2010, following in the footsteps of many other cosmetics manufacturers.

Plans in place

At the RSPO General Assembly in March 2012 for ordinary members, the resolution was passed that all ordinary members be required to submit a time bound plan to produce, trade, process and use 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil prior to the next General Assembly to be held on November 1, 2012.

As a part of its efforts, Shiseido joined and made its declaration to the RSPO that the total volume of palm oil used as a raw material of cosmetic products will be RSPO-certified oil by 2013.

Certification of Shiseido’s latest plan requires employing the Book&Claim system for trading quantities of the output of palm oil and palm kernel oil produced at RSPO-certified plantations as certified credits.

The system has the same structure as green electricity, which means that the purchase of certificates is recognized as the purchase of RSPO-certified oil.

Unsustainable demand

Palm oil and its derivatives are present in about 70 percent of cosmetic products and are obtained from the flesh of the fruit of African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and palm kernel oil is obtained by pressing oil from the kernel, or seed, of the fruit.

Currently, the amount of palm oil (including palm kernel oil) produced is the highest level in the world, surpassing soybean oil, and is utilized worldwide as a raw material or ingredient in the production of cosmetics as well as foods, detergents and other products.

With global demand fuelling unsustainable growth of the palm industry over the past decade, the RSPO hopes this new phase will transform the market.

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