These pages look at the various impacts of the palm oil industry on people’s health and social well-being, as well as the natural environment and global economy. Impacts can occur at all stages of the supply chain, from the production of palm oil in the tropics, to its use in products manufactured and consumed across the world.

For more detailed advice about best practice in sustainable palm oil production, visit our Topics pages. Other general information for supply chain stakeholders is available on our Resources pages.

 

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Environmental impacts

The potential environmental impacts associated with palm oil production are extensive, especially as oil palm is grown across the tropical belt, in areas holding some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. Read more.

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Social impacts

The production of palm oil can result in land grabs, loss of livelihoods and social conflict, and human rights are often violated on plantations. The resulting conflicts have had a significant impact on the social welfare of many. Read more.

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Economic impacts

Palm oil is one of the most profitable land uses in the tropics. For the main producing countries, palm oil significantly contributes to economic growth and the alleviation of rural poverty, as well as providing significant benefits to importing countries. Read more.

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Health impacts

The production of palm oil has many negative environmental impacts, such as water and air pollution, which in turn are harmful to human health. The consumption of palm oil can also have significant health impacts. Read more.