Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Making a Market for Sustainability: The Commodification of Certified Palm Oil

Buy Article:

$54.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

In the same way there are markets for carbon, there is now a market for sustainability. Ostensibly produced as a means of conserving land in South-East Asia, a commodity called ‘certified sustainable palm oil’ has been created by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and exchanged on its own international trading platform completely independently of the flow of physical palm oil. In this way, sustainability has acquired a precise pecuniary value and can be bought by ‘socially responsible’ companies to offset their use of conventional and potentially environmentally destructive palm oil. This is yet another instance of the commodification of nature, but of a kind largely unexplored in the literature because it has emerged without formal governmental authority. What this case adds analytically to the study of capitalism and environmentalism is two-fold. First, what is commonly described as non-state, market-driven governance must now be seen as actively market-making. Second, rather than foreclosing politics by moving outside the state and within markets, the fragile authority of the RSPO has opened space for activists and other interest groups to challenge both the regulatory mechanisms and social purpose of primary commodity governance.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: certificate trading; commodification; market environmentalism; palm oil; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Publication date: July 4, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more