For a conscious consumption of fats and oils, you first need to know that the fats contained in oils, margarines, fat mixtures and butter affect the environment differently. Edible fats are often made from a mixture of different fats, such as rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, palm oil and butter.
- Rapeseed oil and olive oil are among the fats that are best from an environmental point of view.
- Butter causes greater emissions of greenhouse gasses than rapeseed and olive oil, because butter is a dairy product that comes from cows that emit large amounts of methane gas.
- The fat that has the greatest impact on the environment is palm oil. Palm oil contributes to the deforestation of rainforests to make way for large plantations that cause a number of environmental problems such as polluted watercourses, depletion of soils, reduced water resources and forest fires.
- Palm oil is not only found in fats to be used in our foods but also in cakes, soap, make-up and ice cream.
- WWF has taken the initiative for a certification of sustainably produced palm oil called Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, RSPO. RSPO-certified palm oil must not come from palm oil plantations that harm animal and plant life or increase greenhouse gas emissions.
- Certification or boycott? Many believe that a boycott may be preferable to choosing certified palm oil. Read more on WWF’s website about palm oil.
Advice for a conscious consumption of fats and oils
- Choose rapeseed oil, and fats containing a lot of rapeseed- or olive oil. Rapeseed oil is the best from an environmental point of view.
- Reduce the use of palm oil, which is found in some fats. However, it can be difficult to know if palm oil is included in a product, as it does not have to be in the table of contents. One way to avoid palm oil is to choose edible fats with a lot of rapeseed oil instead.
- Preferably choose organic oils and fats.
Page updated 2021.