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Company devises ingenious way to fight back against one of the biggest threats to endangered species: 'No more excuses'

"We want to reimagine our relationship with nature."

Palmless product to replace palm oil

Photo Credit: iStock

Palm oil has long been controversial. The oil, found in an immense variety of everyday products, has been linked to deforestation, endangering animals, and even exploitative labor practices

But one company has resolved to solve its problems. C16 Biosciences launched Palmless, an environmentally conscious and sustainable alternative to palm oil, with a simple motto — "No More Excuses."

Why is palm oil a problem?

Palm oil is an edible vegetable product from the fruit of an oil palm tree originally native to Africa. Irresponsible palm oil production continues to be a primary reason for deforestation and loss of habitat for endangered animals such as the orangutan and the Sumatran rhino

An investigation by the Associated Press also found links between palm oil harvesting and child labor. 

The conversion of rainforests into plantations, some of which are used for palm oil production, also contributes to the overheating of our planet, according to the World Wildlife Fund, as the process releases high amounts of carbon pollution into the air.

What is Palmless?

C16 Biosciences has harnessed the potential of synthetic biology, where they have identified a yeast strain that naturally produces Palmless oil and can grow it using fermentation. 

These palm oil-free products will be targeted toward innovative beauty, personal, and home care brands. 

"We want to reimagine our relationship with nature," Shara Ticku, co-founder and CEO of C16 Biosciences, told Forbes. 

Why does sustainable palm oil matter?

Palm oil is everywhere, and it is currently pretty much unavoidable. From personal care products such as cosmetics, lotions, and shampoos to cleaning products such as detergents and dishwashing cleaners to food products ranging from ice creams and cookies to chips, noodles, and oatmeal, palm oil is one of the most challenging ingredients to replace. 

Precedence Research valued the global palm oil industry at nearly $68 billion in 2022. C16 Biosciences aims to bring its innovation to all sectors that use palm oil, such as food, personal, home care, and cosmetic products.

What does C16 Biosciences hope to achieve?

C16's Ticku has explained that companies have wanted but could not find an alternative to unsustainable palm oil. And without such an option, those companies cannot stop using it.

"Palmless™ is unmistakably clear about what we do and what we stand for — and what you stand for when you buy a product that's made with Palmless™," Ticku told Forbes. 

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