Social Sustainability of Palm Oil Industry: A Review

Sue Lin Ngan, Ah Choy Er, Puan Yatim, Bing Shen How, Chun Hsion Lim, Wendy Pei Qin Ng, Yi Herng Chan, Hon Loong Lam

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Climate change, resource scarcity, and an aging population are the most concerning global issues in recent decades. One of the best methods to manage and mitigate these problems while continuing to boost the economies and offer opportunities for the growing world population is sustainable development. As Malaysia is one of the major oil consumers in the world, the sustainability of palm oil has been controversial. Several sustainability standards are introduced to ensure the balance performance in terms of economic, environmental, and social performance of the industry. Nonetheless, the social aspect of the sustainability of palm oil has received relatively less emphasis as compared with the economic and environmental aspects. Literature, experts, and anecdotal evidence often claim that it is due to the complication in assessing and evaluating social factors and impacts. Thus, this work aims to fill the gap in the literature on social sustainability for the palm oil industry both in terms of methods and facets. Suggested facets and their implication can enrich the theoretical contribution of this field while providing a comprehensive profile of the social sustainability of the palm oil industry. The outcomes can also be adopted by policymakers and industry stakeholders to assess, manage, and enhance the social sustainability of the industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number855551
JournalFrontiers in Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022


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