UNLESS Project
Rhinoceros photo credit: International Rhino Foundation

Palm Oil and You

Palm oil is a bigger part of your life than you realize.

Palm oil is the world’s most widely produced vegetable oil and an ingredient found in much of what you buy, which makes palm oil a bigger part of your life than you may have realized. This infographic will give you an idea of just how many products you’re using from dawn ‘til dusk that may have palm oil in them. 

A Day in Your Life with Palm Oil

In Your Food

Palm oil is in almost 50 percent of the packaged foods we eat.

Misleading labels

Product labels don’t always list palm oil or its derivatives.

Increasing demand

Global demand for palm oil has been on the rise since 2004.

Land conversion

Nearly 2,000,000 acres of land have been converted for palm oil as of the end of 2013.

Deforestation in Sumatra

In the last decade, close to 80% of deforestation in Sumatra was driven by the expansion oil palm plantations.

Carbon Dioxide emissions

Every year, peat swamps drained for palm oil release CO2 emissions equivalent to that of all the cars in the US and Canada combined.

US Use

More than 12 million metric tons of palm oil was imported into the US in 2013.

Trans Fat Replacement

Increased use of palm oil in the US is linked to trans fat bans because palm oil is a viable replacement.

Availability in Indonesia

There are an estimated 30 million to 183 million acres of degraded land in Indonesia alone available to plant oil palm instead of replacing natural forests.


Deforestation-free palm oil is grown without clearing forests or draining peat swamps.


Manufacturers are beginning to commit to using traceable, deforestation-free palm oil.

What You Can Do

Consumer feedback will encourage companies to follow through on their commitments.