A group of over 50 signatories coordinated by the PRI, formed an investor working group (IWG) on sustainable palm oil, which aimed to raise awareness of these issues among investors, provide a unified investor voice in support of sustainable palm oil and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and engage with companies in support of more sustainable practices.

Group objectives

The PRI investor working group on sustainable palm oil was formed in 2011, the following aims:

  • To raise awareness amongst investors of the ESG issues that arise within the palm oil value chain, including deforestation, land and labour rights issues, and climate risks.
  • To provide a unified investor voice in support of sustainable palm oil.
  • To engage with companies across the value chain in support of more sustainable practices and to promote a sustainable industry, in addition to improving companies’ disclosure and management of the ESG risks associated with the industry.

Why investors should care

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil and boasts a number of advantages compared to its substitutes, including versatility, low cost and high yield. It has contributed significantly to economic development in a number of countries, in particular Indonesia and Malaysia, which together produce over 85% of the world’s crude palm oil. However, the development of palm oil plantations has been linked to significant negative social and environmental impacts that pose risks to investors, including widespread deforestation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, social conflicts and damage to ecosystem services.



Affirmative Investment Management
AIA Group
Allianz Global Investors
Allianz SE
APG Asset Management
Arisaig Partners
Australian Ethical Investment
Aviva Investors
AXA Group
BMO Global Asset Management
BNP Paribas Asset Management
Boston Common Asset Management
California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
CDC Group plc
Christian Super
Church Commissioners of England
Colonial First State Global Asset Management (including First State Investments)
ECO Advisors
Future Super
Generation Investment Management LLP
Green Century Capital Management, Inc
Handelsbanken Asset Management
EOS at Federated Hermes (formerly Hermes EOS)
HSBC Global Asset Management

Legal & General Investment Management (Holdings)
LionTrust Investment Partners
Local Government Superannuation Scheme
Manulife Investment Management
NEI Investments
New York State Common Retirement Fund
New Zealand Superannuation Fund
Nikko Asset Management
NN Investment Partners
Panarchy Partners
PGGM Investments
PIRC Limited (on behalf of LAPFF)
QBE Insurance Group Limited
Resona Asset Management
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) AB
Storebrand Asset Management
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management
Swedbank Robur
Trillium Asset Management
Triodos Investment Management B.V.
Union Asset Management Holding AG
Value Square NV
Wells Capital Management

Engagement focus companies

Not disclosed.