Akamai & Sustainable Palm Oil
We are always looking for ways to have an even smaller footprint while delivering the best natural products possible. That’s why we only use palm oil that is RSPO certified (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) for our 3 in 1 Bar.
In January 2019 we took the added step (and increased cost) to move to “RSPO Segregated” palm oil. “Segregated” means the palm oil we use is both certified organic and only comes from certified sustainable sources. While it does cost more, it was an easy choice since it aligns with our values and is another step ensuring that our palm (like all of our ingredients) is both pure and sustainably sourced. Along with companies like Patagonia, we are on an ongoing journey to improve and be more sustainable.
While the vast majority of palm used in products comes from 3 & 4, we continue to move up the sustainability ladder.
RSPO Palm is rated on a scale of 1 - 4 (1 is the best)
1 = Identity Preserved - fully traceable to one mill (big supply issues)
2 = Segregated - use only certified sources (where we are now)
3 = Mass Balance - a mix of certified and uncertified sources
4 = Green Palm - uncertified sources
What is RSPO Palm Oil?
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an international forum founded to create a certification system for sustainably grown palm oil, including environmental and social guidelines for certified growers. Palm plantations that are ethically managed through RSPO or other initiatives provide livelihoods for many local communities and can continue to create economic benefits while coexisting with conserved forestlands. We acknowledge there is disagreement as to whether the current RSPO standards go far enough in reducing the negative environmental and social impacts of palm production. Akamai is considering alternative sourcing options that may be even more stringent.
The RSPO guidelines cover rainforest habitat conservation; fair working conditions and wages; and community engagement on local land use. RSPO principles and criteria for members help ensure their certified palm oil is produced under legal, socially and environmentally responsible management. The World Wildlife Fund has given the RSPO a thumbs up as a big step in the right direction for the production of palm oil in “providing assurance that valuable tropical forests have not been cleared, and social safeguards have been met during the oil’s production”.
Why use palm oil instead of another oil?
- Palm oil has special properties not found in other oils. It’s excellent for skin health and hair because it closely resembles our own body oils. Palm oil helps to restore the natural hair and skin oils that are stripped away by most shampoos and soaps.
- Palm oil is very heat resistant so that it maintains its beneficial properties during manufacturing.
- Soap made with palm oil is especially hard and resistant to “melting”, resulting in an unusually long-lasting bar.
- Palm oil plantations are extremely productive compared to other oil-producing crops and produce for up to 30 years, meaning less land and inputs are required. We are supporting sustainable farming in existing palm oil plantations thereby helping to create market pressure to move the entire palm oil industry toward sustainable practices.
How we’re improving
Akamai is looking into Palm Done Right oil (however adequate supply is a big issue):
- Palm Done Right farmers use organic growing practices. By definition, growing organically means growing without synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
- PDR farmers use multi-cropping—meaning interplanting with other crops such as passion fruit, cacao or pineapple—which increases the biodiversity of the land. Each plant’s root system, nutritional “footprint” and insect attraction profile benefits the other, making a healthier whole. In West Africa, small oil palm plots, typically 2-4 hectares, neighbor plots on which cocoa, citrus, cassava and maize are grown, promoting the area's biodiversity.
- Multi-cropping helps the farmer economically too. Additional crops give farmers a supplemental source of income and can help to even out cash flow depending on how fast a crop yields and when it produces.
- Gold standard natural brand Dr. Bronner sources their palm oil through PDR farmers.