Zoological Society of London

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ZSL is an international conservation charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. It was founded in 1826. (WP)

Our mission is realised through science and conservation projects in more than 50 countries, and our two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

ZSL is an active member of the [[Forest Stewardship Council] (FSC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and works closely with other organisations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

ZSL’s Indonesia Programme has expanded to work more broadly on tiger habitat conservation, anti-poaching patrols and ecological surveys using the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), as well as community engagement to improve the livelihoods of local people.


Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit is an online platform supporting sustainable commodity production and trade. SPOTT assesses commodity producers and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitments related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. SPOTT scores companies annually against sector-specific indicators, allowing them to benchmark their progress over time.

SPOTT originally focused on the Palm Oil Industry, then added the Timber Industry - both major drivers of deforestation. SPOTT is now considering expanding its assessments of other commodities.
Companies are selected for assessment on the basis of their potential to have a significant impact on the environment and society given their size, location, and nature of their practices.

Palm oil: ESG policy transparency assessments
Timber and pulp: ESG policy transparency assessments
Other Commodities

Investors, buyers and other key influencers can use SPOTT assessments to inform stakeholder engagement, manage risk, and increase industry transparency. The comprehensive SPOTT framework of 125 transparency indicators for best practice in palm oil production highlights the potential financial, reputational and other risks facing responsible investors, buyers and wider stakeholders.

The SPOTT team conducts a thorough review of each company’s publicly available reports and documents against indicators specific to the scope of its operations. ZSL then contacts each company with its draft assessment for comment.
Scores: A high score (i.e. >66%) indicates that the company is being transparent, but this does not necessarily mean that the company is sustainable in terms of its impact on the ground. SPOTT does not score companies on whether they are putting their commitments to sustainability into action; however, SPOTT does feature interactive maps of company concessions and collates media stories on environmental issues (where available) to highlight potential risks that are currently too subjective to score.

An analysis of the land holdings disclosed by 50 of the world’s largest palm oil producers and traders assessed by SPOTT shows that companies are failing to publicly disclose figures on their total landbank and details of the different areas under their management, potentially masking environmental and social risks, such as deforestation. Hidden land, hidden risks?