Hillyer McKeown is committed to being a Sustainable Palm Oil City Partner

Chester Zoo, Sustainable Palm Oil, SPO, challengeWe at Hillyer McKeown (HM) are committed to taking part in the Sustainable Palm Oil City project and are taking the Act for Wildlife Sustainable Palm Oil Challenge led by Chester Zoo.

We have been working with the Zoo to identify areas where we can switch current products to those which use Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO). An SPO group has been set up to achieve the task and starting in the kitchen, the team has identified and begun swapping cleaning products to support the campaign for Chester to become the first Sustainable Palm Oil City in the World, an contribute to  long term change.

We were delighted to hear the news that HM has become the First SPO Workplace in the World!

Developing an SPO programme

The team is continuing to promote SPO throughout 2019 by highlighting initiatives to increase the uptake of SPO across the firm. The commitment also includes encouraging individuals to choose SPO products and brands. This initiative is not short term. If forms part of HM’s ongoing commitment to Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) activity which promotes and supports the communities in which we live and work.

In terms of SPO, we will continue to work with suppliers to ensure that where palm oil is present in our food or products, it will be from sustainable sources. By doing so we know that we are helping to protect wildlife around the world from the impact of unsustainable agricultural practices.

Sustainable vs unsustainable palm oil

Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) farming methods do not:

  • convert high value forests
  • burn forests
  • exploit people and the environment.

Unsustainable palm oil can be involved in all of the above. Why is this important? Because the forests of South East Asia which produce palm oil are home to many species which depend on the habitats exploited by unsustainable palm oil practices to survive.

Chester Zoo, Sustainable Palm Oil, SPO, Sustainable Palm Oil CityHow you can get involved in the SPO campaign

Chester Zoo is spearheading the campaign for Chester to become the first Sustainable Palm Oil City in the World. Achieving this requires 5 stars and to achieve the accolade, the Zoo requires key organisations in Chester to get involved.

  • Star 1 – 25 Restaurants, cafes, hotels and fast food outlets (including fish and chip shops).
  • Star 2 – 4 Workplaces that offer staff catering services. (Hillyer McKeown is proud to be the first workplace to take up the challenge!)
  • Star 3 – 2 of 5 Schools, universities, council food outlets and hospitals.
  • Star 4 – 3 Visitor attractions or leisure facilities.
  • Star 5 – 3 Manufacturers or retailers.

The campaign is not only about businesses – everyone can get involved. You might be surprised by the small changes which can make a big difference. Here’s how individuals can pledge their support for SPO.

Visit the Act for Wildlife page led by Chester Zoo to find out more about the campaign and how you can support the Sustainable Palm Oil campaign.


Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil. RSPO, SPOIs unsustainable palm oil hiding in your shopping?

Palm oil can be found in many foods and products. So much so that it can be hard to spot. The Zoo’s campaign supports actually using ‘sustainable’ palm oil (from a segregated supply chain), rather than just supporting using SPO.

The industry-led body championing SPO is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is backed by the WWF. Visit the website to find out more about RSPO and look out for the logo on products.


How Hillyer McKeown taking the Sustainable Palm Oil Challenge

Sustainable Palm Oil, Chester Zoo Campaign, SPO, Sustainable Palm Oil CityJanuary – a fresh start!

HM has teamed up with Chester Zoo to strive towards a more sustainable work environment, one small step at a time. Sustainability is very important and it isn’t always easy. We are taking it slowly starting with swapping to sustainable palm oil products. (Note the campaign is about choosing sustainable palm oil, rather than never buying palm oil ever again).

Fast SPO fact

Vast areas of rain forest, once home to orangutans and other species, have been cleared to make way for oil palm trees. The Bornean Orangutan population has declined by 25% over the last 10 years. Each of us can make a difference, which can be as easy as swapping shampoo! Pledge your support to swap to SPO here.

HM’s Top SPO picks (look out for the SPO logo on products)

  • Quorn
  • Trek Bars
  • Nakd Bars
  • Fry Light
  • Soreen loaf
  • Urban Fruit
  • Goodness Knows snack bars

Our January SPO recommendation is (drum roll please) … 9Brand snack bars from a fellow SPO  champion based in Eccleston, Chester!


ChocolatesFebruary – love is in the air!

Planning for Valentine’s Day? What better way to celebrate with your loved one than by celebrating sustainably? Choose foods and places to eat which promote the use of SPO.

Fast SPO fact

50% of supermarket products contain palm oil  from chocolate and crisps to shampoo and body wash. Remember – this is about sustainable palm oil rather than avoiding palm oil!

If you haven’t yet signed up, you can pledge your support for SPO here.

HM’s Top SPO picks

For a romantic meal, try one of these SPO restaurants in Chester:

  • Joseph Benjamin
  • Chez Jules
  • Porta tapas bar
  • Oddfellows Chester
  • Stile Napoletano (if you’re a pizza lover, you’ll love this one!)
  • Artichoke

For a night in, pick  one of these takeaways:

  • Meltdown (a cheese lovers dream)
  • Fish and Chips at Weston Grove
  • Mamma K’s

Whilst these are all Chester-based eateries, help the zoo branch out and turn cities such as Liverpool into SPO cities too. If you know of any places in Liverpool who are supporting SPO, support them too.

Valentine’s Day is a time for buying fancy chocolates, but did you know that most chocolates contain palm oil? HM’s favourite SPO friendly chocolates are Lindt, Thorntons, Galaxy and Ferrero Rocher. You can find more sustainable treats by looking at the SPO campaign’s shopping list, led by Chester Zoo here.

Until next time!