The Palm Oil Dilemma

Published 25 Aug 2014
Reference 5904
Region Global
Length 38 page(s)
Language English

This case explores the events leading to the creating of a multi-stakeholder platform, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The promotion of palm oil as an alternative to fossil fuels has increased demand, hence the “palm oil dilemma”: to produce oil more sustainably or save the forests? The ability to respond to NGOs and the additional cost of certified palm oil are some of the future challenges facing the RSPO.

Teaching objectives

The case is designed to explore: • The life-cycle impacts of the production of palm oil • The social and environmental trade-offs involved • The development dilemmas faced by emerging economies • The logic behind the creation of ‘green clubs’ • How reputational value is created or destroyed - in individual organizations and in coalitions such as the RSPO • The rationale for certification and eco-label schemes.

  • Palm oil production
  • Production and Operations Management
  • Value Chain
  • Sustainability
  • Green Clubs
  • Eco-activism
  • Voluntary Environmental Initiatives
  • Greenpeace
  • Q41314