Towards Sustainable Palm Oil: The viability of entire industries depends heavily on social and environmental resources. One of the clearest examples of this is in the palm oil industry. Rapid growth in demand has resulted in high rates of deforestation and deeply inequitable social conditions in highly opaque supply chains. Major users of palm oil are highly invested in increasing the portion of sustainable palm oil that they source. However, an unclear and ineffective governance system prevents effective action and limited capacity for traceability to source bars faster progress. In addidiont, there is tentativeness by companies to disclose their work on sustainable palm oil. In this project, we are researching each of these components to identify the barriers in sustainable sourcing of Palm oil through an examination of governance, traceability approaches, and disclosure of practices in the palm oil supply chain. Existing research in cooperation with the Malaysia Institute of Supply Chain Innovation and P&G Initiative on Palm Oil. This research will have implications and follow up research extrapolating findings to other industries experiencing similar issues such as minerals and cocoa.

Researchers: Dr. Alexis Bateman (MIT), Professor Yossi Sheff (MIT), Yin Jin Lee (MIT PhD Student), Professor Asad Ata (Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation)