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Sustainable palm is tackling climate change on multiple fronts – article

As Daabon reinforces its commitment to sustainability, here’s how sustainable palm oil is doing its part to mitigate climate change.

December 14, 2021

5 Min Read
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Why is sustainability more important than ever at Daabon? As a sustainable palm leader, we are proud that our philosophy has always been to protect people and the planet in our everyday practices. But now, we are continually reinforcing this commitment because the issues around sustainability have become even more pressing. Climate change is the primary challenge of our times. And, simply stated, each one of us needs to do our part to protect the planet for the generations to come. For farmers and the billions of consumers they serve, such commitment to sustainability is of critical importance.

“If climate change doesn’t regulate or at least provide us some normalcy, it is going to be very difficult for us to do agriculture and not just palm oil, but bananas, coffee, avocados…everything that we have,” says Felipe Guerrero, sustainability director at Daabon. “We are continuing our focus on sustainability because we want to be aligned with the biggest cry of the planet right now, which is climate change,” he adds.

Sustainability affects all of us. Our global need for food and food products increases substantially every year, with the global population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. If agriculture is done unsustainably during this critical time, it moves the needle in the wrong direction, towards more environmental devastation and more rapid climate change. Manuel Davila, CEO of DAABON group, says“we believe the industry needs to keep momentum and to keep the conversation going about good palm oil, to ensure that this is the way forward.”

To solidify its commitment to palm farming that protects the future of the planet, in February 2021 Daabon joined The Climate Pledge, an initiative led by Amazon encouraging companies and signees to commit to powering their operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, with a goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement. So far, over 200 businesses have joined The Climate Pledge, which is a multilayered agreement that involves regular reporting of emissions, business changes and innovations for decarbonization and neutralization of any remaining emissions with real, permanent offsets.

This pledge gives Daabon the opportunity to showcase its sustainable practices, which go above and beyond what is required in the agreement. At Daabon, we believe—and have always believed—that this is crucial to the future of palm and the health of our planet. We are proud to be one of the leaders of the sustainable palm industry. Further proof of our focus on the environment and the future of the planet lies in our production practices, which include:

Deforestation-free

Deforestation is a massive contributor to climate change. Conventional palm oil operations often destroy peatlands, or natural carbon sinks, which when burned, release massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. At Daabon, we only farm on land that has been previously cleared, and we never clear or cultivate peatlands, preventing the release of CO2.

Renewable 

Daabon utilizes renewable energy sources wherever possible, including a methane-recapture plant at our main palm oil mill. With this technology we create a clean biofuel from the mill’s wastewater, purifying the water and creating a new, green energy source in the process.

Organic 

The threat that climate change poses to our world, our ecosystem and our health demands bold policy solutions. Organic agriculture is a crucial part of the solution, helping to tackle climate change through its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, store away huge amounts of carbon and enable farmers to be resilient in an evolving climate. Organic practices are so important that the Organic Trade Association (OTA) states, “any policy that addresses the role of climate change in food and agriculture should advance the opportunity for organic to be a climate change solution.” Additionally, the OTA has stated that organic should be elevated “as a key voice in climate-smart agricultural policy.” As the first palm oil company to be USDA certified organic, at Daabon, we couldn’t agree more.

Fair Trade, Rainforest certified and Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil certified

 All of our certifications protect the planet by protecting the land—they are the foundation of our sustainable business model. A recent study that examined Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm is especially illustrative of how effective these programs are. A 2020 study titled, “Certified palm oil reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to non-certified,” found that RSPO palm reduces emissions by 35 percent compared to non-certified palm oil. The study also stated that certified palm achieves the largest emissions reduction because of higher yields (less land is used to produce the palm), less palm is being grown on peat soil and certified palm utilizes greater energy recapture processes.

Following the RSPO’s advice has helped to illuminate the path forward as we strive for net zero carbon emissions. As the RSPO states, “Achieving a sustainable palm oil supply chain, which respects and protects natural ecosystems and wildlife, is a global challenge. People involved in palm oil agriculture can make a positive impact by following RSPO standards. As consumers, we have a big role to play as well. We can vote with our spending to tell farmers following sustainable practices that we support them, and to tell companies making the products we are purchasing that they should too.”

At Daabon, we will continue doing what we do best—sustainable palm for people and the planet. And together, with you—like-minded partners and customers—we know we can make a true and lasting difference for the future.

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