UBS reinforces its commitment to responsible business standards

Zurich Corporate Responsibility

UBS has joined the not-for-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which was formed in 2004 with the objective to promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.

Our RSPO membership reinforces our commitment to responsible palm oil production. As part of the RSPO's 'Banks & Investors' membership category we actively promote RSPO in our business relationships in the palm oil sector, such as requiring that our clients are members in good standing of RSPO and actively seeking to enhance certification of their palm oil production. Additionally as a member we commit to annually report on progress made in promoting sustainable palm oil.

UBS is a member of key international and national organizations that promote corporate responsibility and is actively engaged in their activities. Participation in such important corporate responsibility initiatives as the Wolfsberg Group (on anti-money laundering), the Carbon Disclosure Project (on climate change), the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Thun Group of banks (on human rights) or the UN Global Compact demonstrates our commitment to developing and upholding responsible business standards.

Why is sustainable palm oil production important?

Palm oil is the most popular vegetable oil globally. It is relatively cheap, most versatile and high yielding. Palm oil is a common cooking ingredient in Africa, Southeast Asia and Brazil and is widely used by the commercial food industry. The largest producing countries by far are Indonesia and Malaysia, together accounting for over 85% of the global production.

Palm oil production is associated with various environmental and social risks, such as land rights disputes and deforestation of high conservation value forests. RSPO promotes sustainability in the sector and works towards its vision of transforming the market for sustainable palm oil to become the norm.