BASF spurs production of sustainable palm oil products

A map of the world showing the locations of BASF’s 20 RSPO-certified production sitesBASF is strengthening its operations network for certified palm products, which it manufactures at 20 locations around the world. These ingredients are used in the cosmetics, detergent and cleaning agent industries. This production network also includes the BASF factories in Gebze (Turkey) and Dahej (India), which have now received Supply Chain Certificates from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

BASF will announce this achievement at the RSPO’s fifth annual European Roundtable in London, UK, taking place on 12 and 13 June.

Present in all key regions

‘With our sites in Turkey and India, we can offer customers in all key regions the optimal conditions required for changing over to certified ingredients. It all depends just how quickly we can jointly transform the market to sustainable products along the entire value chain,’ says Jan-Peter Sander, senior vice president, BASF Personal Care, Europe.

Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important for manufacturers and consumers in regions such as South Asia.

‘Mass balance’ certificate for 120 ingredients

BASF is one of the largest global manufacturers of ingredients for cosmetics products, detergents and cleaning agents as well as foodstuffs. Palm kernel oil and its derivatives – and to a lesser extent palm oil – are used to manufacture these products.

In Europe, the personal care business unit currently offers about 120 ingredients based on palm kernel oil, which has been certified according to the RSPO ‘mass balance’ module.

‘Thanks to our broad portfolio of RSPO-certified ingredients, we are able to help our customers achieve their self-committed objectives and are in a position to actively contribute to market development,’ Sander adds. In the past year, BASF has virtually doubled its sales of certified ingredients based on palm kernel oil. Altogether, the company processed a total of 508 000t of palm-based raw materials. BASF is, therefore, one of the largest processors of palm products worldwide.

Working towards a common goal

Each year, 71 million tonnes of palm products are manufactured globally. Around 10 percent of this is palm kernel oil. This represents approximately 7 million tonnes of palm kernel oil, of which only about 1.3 million tonnes are currently RSPO-certified.

For many years, BASF has advocated to make sustainable oil palm products the industry standard in the cosmetics, detergents and cleaning agents markets. The company, which has been a member of the RSPO since 2004, also joined the High Carbon Stock Steering Group in 2016 to promote industry activities for forest conservation.

Sustainable palm oil is possible 

‘We have made some good progress in 2016 in the changeover to certified ingredients for the cosmetics industry, and we believe that sustainable manufacture of palm oil is possible. A reliable certification system and the best possible transparency are the key factors in protecting forests with a high carbon content,’ Sander explains.

In April, the company published its Palm Progress Report during a second dialogue event with palm experts at in-cosmetics Global, in London. Here European suppliers, processors and producers of palm oil products from all over Europe exchanged information with representatives from all along the supply chain and in developing new approaches for projects with small farmers and local communities.

In the Palm Progress Report, BASF describes market developments and its progress in implementing its palm oil commitments. As a partner of the RSPO European Roundtable this year, BASF is continuing its palm dialogue. 

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