Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Becomes Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Member

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is taking the next step in making a difference for orangutans and other endangered Asian animals affected by the palm oil crisis. The Zoo is now officially a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Membership is contingent on a review by the RSPO, a process that took about three months to complete.

The RSPO is a non-profit association of international stakeholders from across the palm oil industry, including producers, processors, retailers, and conservation groups. The goal is to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. To achieve RSPO certification, members must meet stringent environmental criteria and protect native wildlife in the process.

Millions of acres of rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra are cut down every year to make way for palm oil plantations – the last place on earth wild orangutans are found. Palm oil is found in everything from cookies to shampoo to pet food. However, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo doesn’t feel boycotting palm oil is the answer. Indonesia and Malaysia are countries that struggle with poverty, and palm oil is a huge part of the economy. Additionally, oil palms are the most productive type of all the edible oil plants, and less land needs to be cleared to get the same amount of product. Using certified sustainable palm oil is a more effective and responsible choice because it comes from a plantation that’s committed to producing palm oil in a way that minimizes impact on wildlife, indigenous people, and the planet.

You can print off a copy of our Palm Oil Shopping Guide so you know which companies belong to the RSPO. Find out more about the RSPO and what you can do to help at our online resource center.