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Title: Sustainability in the Malaysian palm oil industry
Author: Choong , Chee Guan
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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With a rapidly growing world population, the demand for palm oil is increasing. In 2010, palm oil accounted for 36.5% of the world's vegetable oil production and it is projected to be the leading vegetable oil in the world by 2016. The Malaysian palm oil industry is committed to delivering sustainable palm oil products to its customers. This is being achieved through the establishment of a roadmap identifying strategies and action plans that are priorities for 2009 to 2020. These include the implementation of IS014001 (Environment Management Systems), since 2004, and IS014040 (Life Cycle Assessment), since 2006. The implementation of carbon footprint labelling is currently being carried out as part of continuous improvements for the delivery of sustainable palm oil. The aim of this research was to investigate tools and methods that might be used in the delivery of sustainable Malaysian palm oil. Interviews based on a semi- structured questionnaire were used to identify current practices in the Malaysian palm oil industry. Results from the interviews highlighted the importance of IS014001 and IS014040 implementations in the delivery of sustainable palm oil. Case studies related to IS014001 and IS014040 were used to derive stakeholder needs for sustainable palm oil. These informed the creation of a supply network map that was used to visualisethe Malaysian palm oil industry and the extent of current IS014001 and IS014040 implementations. It was found that neither IS014001 nor ISO 14040 were implemented across the whole supply network. The supply network map was used to frame simulations of parts of the Malaysian palm oil industry system, namely, the plantation, mill and mill-refinery. Early results indicated that computer simulations could be a valuable tool that would complement existing methods such as Environmental Management Systems and Life Cycle Assessment. Simulation models could be populated with real-world data and used to inform policies for Malaysian palm oil production. For better traceability of decision making, considerations would need to be given to the identification of system boundaries, simulation parameters related to stakeholder needs, the capture of operating environments, and risks and uncertainties in the validation of models.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available