WWF reveals majority of European companies not buying "green" palm oil

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The majority of European companies had failed to buy environmentally sustainable palm oil, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) revealed in a press release Wednesday in Gland, Switzerland.

Only 10 of 59 assessed European companies had fulfilled their commitment to buy "green" palm oil, according to scorecard data issued by the WWF.

Palm oil, a versatile product, accounted for a third of the 130 million tons of vegetable oil produced worldwide in 2008.

But the conventional palm oil was the leading cause of rain-forest destruction in Malaysia and India, according to a 2007 United Nations Environmental Program report.

In order to promote the purchase of environmentally sustainable palm oil, the WWF, a leading non-governmental environmental group, created a scorecard to assess the performance of European palm oil buyers, a week before its 7th Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in November in Malaysia.

"Although many companies have a long way to go, the performances of the top companies in the scorecard signal to the rest of the industry that it is possible to turn commitment into action and transform the market," said Rod Taylor, director of the International Forests Program at the WWF.

In 2009, the RSPO reported only 19 percent of more than 1 million tons of palm oil produced on certified plantations had been bought.

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