Palm Vs. Coconut Oil: What’s the More Sustainable Choice?

For those who are thinking about going minimalist for the new year, don’t worry. A great way to join this eco-conscious trend is to choose coco-based products.

A growing number of consumers have started to be part of the solution by being mindful of the products that they use and how it affects the environment. Consequently, this movement spurs companies to reprioritize what ingredients to use for their products.  Natura Aeropack Corporation, as the leader of “Green Chemistry” strongly advocates the use of Coconut oil vs. Palm Oil in its vast offering of product solutions to its clients ranging from homecare, nutricare, oleochemicals and others.

Why choose Coconut-derived Products over Palm-sourced ones?

I. Safeguards Biodiversity

Let us not discount the main reason why companies understandably tend to favor making palm oil – it is quite cheap to make. However, evidence suggests that palm trees do not grow well with other plants and are grown in massive monoculture plantations. Palm trees can also produce only oil.

Coconut tree, on the other hand,  truly proves its moniker as  the “Tree of Life” since it produces not just oil. Every part of the coconut is harvested to produce milk, cream, coco-water, activated charcoal and other byproducts. Coconut plantations also have a more “natural” feel than oil palm plantations and coconut trees can be grown together with other profitable crops such as banana, cacao and coffee.

II. Devoid of Damaging Environmental Effects

Ever heard of the haze that Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians are constantly suffering from? This all comes from the “slash and burn” method used to further expand these palm plantations. Because of the big demand for cheap palm oil,burning forests would be the quickest method to make way for these palm plantations. This old method is also prone to human rights abuses and illegal land grabs.

Another detrimental effect of the massive deforestation that these palm plantations have caused is the loss of habitat for several endangered species. The World Wildlife Fund has listed the Orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, Bornean Pygmy Elephants and Sumatran Rhino as among the endangered species “threatened by unsustainable palm oil production.”

A small fraction of global palm oil is harvested sustainably with the establishment of Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil or (RSPO) certification and Palm Done Right movement. However RSPO-certified only accounts for about 19 percent of the global palm oil production and PDR is only a tiny niche player.

On the other hand, coconuts grown in the Philippines are world-renowned for their top quality as they are inherently organic and grow naturally as an indigenous plant. Growing coconuts does not entail deforestation, child labor or monkey labor. NGOs such as Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance and the Rainforest Alliance have even started to scale up certification with Ph coconuts in recognition of its profitable benefit with an environmentally-sustainable edge – a big boost for the coconut industry.

III. From Farmer Growers to Conscious Consumers – Empowerment to All

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and more importantly, as a leading advocate of Green Chemistry, Natura supports CSR initiatives which provide coconut farmers not just livelihood in its support for coconut-based products – but also educational scholarship to the farmers’ children. Natura, in partnership with Lao Foundation, has provided scholarships to ___ children-beneficiaries as of date.

Natura’ continued focus on expanding its coco-based products empowers the smart and ethical consumer. Since product standardization labels ensure the complete traceability of coconut ingredients from plant to shop, conscious consumption consumers are assured of better supply and high quality of the coco-based products that they patronize.

Truly, coconuts, specifically Ph Coconuts are #NUTurallyGood4U and #NUTurallyBetter4Earth!

Natura is the leading manufacturer of sustainable integrated coconut oleochemical-based specialty ingredients and a member of the D&L Group of Companies. D&L Industries is one of the country’s largest specialty foods ingredients, plastics, and oleochemicals firms. The Lao Foundation is the CSR partner of D&L.