Committed to ‘no deforestation’
Greenpeace International has revealed a selection of companies, including Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, whose sourcing policies expose consumers to forest destruction.
Among the selection of companies in the ‘Tiger Challenge’, there is already movement. Although weak on timelines and dependent on the RSPO, Mondelēz International’s recent commitment to No Deforestation is a step in the right direction. It joins Unilever and Italian chocolate company Ferrero, which made stronger commitments last week.
“There’s a growing movement of consumers around the world who do not want to be part of the Sumatran tigers’ extinction. If Nestlé, Ferrero Unilever, and now Mondelēz can take steps to clean up their supply chains, then the challenge has been thrown to other companies such as Reckitt Benckiser and P&G to become tiger-friendly, ” says Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesia forest campaign at Greenpeace International.
“Mondelēz has responded to global pressure for cleaner palm oil with a commitment that is a step in the right direction, but consumers expect stronger action to guarantee their products are tiger-friendly. Without an action plan and ambitious timelines these commitments aren’t enough to help save Indonesia’s remaining forests and the last 400 tigers that call them home,” says Bustar, on Mondelēz recent commitment.
Based on an analysis of sourcing policies and responses to questionnaires that were sent to the companies, the ‘Tiger Challenge’ reveals that many brands rely solely on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to guarantee to their consumers that their supply chains are free from ‘dirty’ palm oil. Other companies such as Colgate Palmolive have failed to even meet their own deadlines to source sustainable palm through the RSPO. The RSPO is widely known to not ban forest destruction or conversion of peatland in its criteria for membership.
These companies, most of which are members of the Consumer Goods Forum, all buy from notorious palm oil trader Wilmar International. Greenpeace International exposed Wilmar in October for its role in gross acts of forest destruction in Indonesia.
“These companies are only a snapshot of the whole industry we need to transform if we are to save the last 400 Sumatran tigers that call Indonesia’s forests home. They all purchase dirty palm oil laundered onto the global market from Wilmar International and, have weak or no policies at all to guarantee their products are tiger-friendly,” said Areeba Hamid, forest campaigner at Greenpeace International.
The business case for responsible palm oil was strengthened with the launch of the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) last week, which brings together progressive palm oil producers, including Agropalma, Daabon and NBPOL and NGOs, including Greenpeace, RAN and WWF. The POIG builds on the RSPO’s certification scheme with additional requirements to ensure that there is a supply of palm oil free from forest destruction and exploitation.