European Zoos for Sustainable Palm Oil
Zoos in the spotlight: changemakers in the palm oil supply chain
Did you know that zoos are key players in the promotion of sustainable palm oil? Besides being a major force in the conservation of biodiversity worldwide, an increasing number of zoos are committed to supporting the transformation to 100% sustainable palm oil. From engaging with actors across the supply chain to only buying certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). Zoos are driving change in many different ways. Find out below more about their work!
Bristol Zoological Society
Bristol Zoological Society actively promotes the use of sustainable palm oil. An example of this commitment is the partnership between the Bristol Zoological Society and We The Curious, which encourages the public to purchase products containing sustainable palm oil. In addition, Bristol Zoological Society actively engages with leading UK supermarkets which use CSPO in their own band products.
“Bristol Zoological Society is committed to shifting the demand from non-sustainable to sustainable palm oil and supports a 100% sustainable palm oil supply chain in Europe because it is essential for protecting the environment, safeguarding biodiversity and supporting people’s livelihoods”
Katie Major, Conservation Psychologist and Campaigns Manager
Photo credits: Bristol Zoological Society
Chester Zoo is a strong advocate for a sustainable production of palm oil. This zoo works closely with partners in Malaysia to carry out orangutan research and engage in other field work activities to protect species. They also engage with consumers, retailers and manufacturers to increase the demand for sustainable palm oil. Another example of their work is the ambitious initiative of making Chester the first Sustainable Palm Oil City.
“Our stance on palm oil mirrors that of our partners in the field – sustainable palm oil is the responsible choice… We want to make a difference by increasing the demand amongst consumers, retailers and manufacturers for sustainable palm oil, to make the job easier at the growing end of the chain. If the demand exists there’s more hope for sustainable production”
Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager Chester Zoo
Photo credits: Chester Zoo
Just as other zoos, Twycross Zoo believes that sustainable palm oil is the way forward:
‘To cope with the worlds’ demands for vegetable oils and to minimise negative effects for the environment and its people, palm oil must be produced sustainably’
To contribute to this, Twycross Zoo has its own palm oil policy to ensure that all products they buy and sell onsite comply with the Certified Sustainable Palm Oil requirements. In addition, Twycross Zoo is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for Bornean orang-utans which aims to conserve a genetically healthy population of the species in captivity. They have had great success with their two babies Basuki and Kayan, both born in 2017.
‘Simple consumer actions, such as purchasing products which contain … sustainably sourced palm oil, can really help so each of us individually can make a big difference to this species survival”
Dr Charlotte Macdonald, Director of Life Sciences Twycross Zoo
Photo credits: Twycross Zoo
‘Along with many other conservation organisations, we believe that the most effective way to achieve change is to promote a more sustainable method of growing the palms’
Newquay Zoo closely engages with their guests about the use of sustainable palm oil. Their aim is to inform consumers about the actions they can take to create a positive impact on the environment and the conservation of endangered species: ‘We also aim to help people make sense of a complex, and often emotional, issue, to ensure they can make informed choices that help achieve change’. Additionally, Newquay Zoo only sells products with sustainably produced palm oil.
Photo credits: Newquay Zoo
Support for zoos
More and more zoos are starting to reopen again after closing their doors for months as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. This is good news for the zoo community. And yet, their road to recovery is still uncertain. Zoos have suffered huge financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. With no income from visitors, zoos have struggled to generate the much-needed revenue to care for their animals and continue their work in protecting biodiversity.
You can make a difference by supporting their work. Find out more below: