Palm Oil Technical Advisor, ZSL

Application Deadline: 
15 Dec 2019

Job Title


Palm Oil Technical Advisor (Full-Time / 1 Year Fixed-Term Contract)




The Palm Oil Technical Advisor will lead ZSL’s work in the palm oil sector, overseeing our work on SPOTT palm oil assessments, representing ZSL as part of RSPO and providing consultancy services to commercial clients in the palm oil sector. 


Job Description


The Technical Advisor shall be responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing ZSL’s palm oil strategy and providing related technical support on environmental and social best practice in palm oil production to the Business and Biodiversity and in-country programmes, particularly Indonesia and Cameroon. The Advisor shall develop and oversee adherence to budgets/ proposals for Palm Oil activities under ZSL’s projects and advisory services. This position will act as ZSL’s main liaison point for palm oil across the Society.  


The individual will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of the palm oil component of SPOTT; an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in high biodiversity impact commodity sectors. This will include leading the assessment and engagement of palm oil companies, ensuring the continual improvement of the assessment framework, preparing high quality briefs and reports, and leading outreach and engagement with users (e.g. downstream buyers, finance sector organisations, civil society organisations), where relevant to palm oil.


The Palm Oil Technical Advisor will represent ZSL on relevant stakeholder and industry groups, including on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and other initiatives identified as important in line with the strategy and to support the achievement of ZSL’s Mission.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the palm oil workstream of ZSL’s flagship SPOTT project, including reviewing the SPOTT indicator framework and overseeing SPOTT assessments.
  • Leading on company engagement and the development and implementation of a targeted strategy to support greater and transparency and accountability of palm oil sector.
  • Represent ZSL as part of the RSPO, as an RSPO board member and actor on select RSPO working groups.
  • Support ZSL’s in-country programmes and the wider organisation on palm oil issues Lead on the development of fundraising concept notes for Palm Oil related initiatives.
  • Ensure all project accounts are kept up to date on a regular basis.
  • Provide input to donor proposals and budget development for Palm Oil project work.
  • Responsibility for developing, overseeing and supporting implementation of ZSL's palm oil strategy.

Person Specification

  • BSc/BA in a relevant subject or relevant experience; a Masters degree of PhD would be desirable.
  • Prior experience working in a field relevant to business and biodiversity and/or sustainable commodities, with specialist knowledge of the palm oil sector and related environmental and social best practice.
  • Experience in standard-setting, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) or certification auditing, especially in the palm oil sector, is highly desirable (e.g. as an RSPO, HCV, HCS auditor).
  • Experience working on the ground to implement environmental best practice, ideally in Indonesia, Malaysia or West Africa, is desirable.
  • Fluent spoken and written English is essential and the ability to speak other languages, particularly Bahasa Indonesia and/or French, is highly desirable.
  • Experience in grant and service proposal writing and budgeting.
  • Experience in research and project management and delivery


Please find attached the full job description here.



Please note we will be accepting applications from candidates that either wish to be based in our Bogor office in Indonesia or our London office in the UK but candidates will need to have the correct right to work documentation in the countries they wish to work in.