Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil Palm Research (SEnSOR)


The Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research (SEnSOR) programme is an integrated multi-disciplinary research programme designed to fill key knowledge gaps in testing and developing the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria for sustainability in oil palm agriculture. The SEnSOR programme has been developed as a result of the identification of significant gaps in the understanding of how to test and improve RSPO's Principles and Criteria for sustainability. We need to determine whether they are currently fit for purpose to deliver sustainability and benefits to People, Planet and Profit, as expected by industry and consumers, and to examine how their effectiveness could be maximised.

Aims and objectives

The five year programme will deliver a robust scientific evidence base for RSPO’s Principles and Criteria, strengthening the credibility of RSPO’s approach to sustainability, and thus providing benefits for People, Planet and Profit by:

  1. Creating confidence in RSPO certified palm oil for users, investors and the public
  2. Ensuring that growers’ efforts and investments in sustainable practices are cost-effective and have market value
  3. Safe-guarding the environment and society for the long term through the rigorous testing and development of practices which deliver significant benefits

Project activities and publications

To view the research outputs of this project visit the SEnSOR Reports webpage

Related links

To find out more please visit the project website 

Principal Investigator


  • Dr Colin McClean (Department of Environment and Geography, University of York)
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Oxford
  • Van Hall Larenstein University (Netherlands)
  • Wageningen University (Netherlands)
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Hawai’i (USA))

Related links

To find out more please visit the project website