ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF PEATMAS, THE PLANTATION GAVE TO ME
8 BRANDS IMPROVING!
In no particular order/ranking, these are 8 brands, who are in some way, stepping up to the plate to work towards making sure they use sustainable palm oil, and protect the fates of tropical forests, peatlands, and the people and animals who call these places home. DISCLAIMER: We’re not saying these companies are the best of the best. We’re just saying, they are companies who are making progress.
But don’t take our word for it! Check the links below to see if these brands are doing their part to make sure they keep our Earth healthy and work towards making sure the palm oil in their products was grown in a sustainable way!
For a few acronyms which may be a bit of a refresher before you read, go to the bottom of this page!
1. The Body Shop – The Body Shop have been members of the RSPO since 2004. They have committed that by the end of 2011 100% of the unmodified palm oil in their products would be certified sustainable.
2. Seventh Generation – Seventh Generation joined the RSPO in 2008. In 2009 they became the first household products company to buyGreen Palm credits to offset all of the palm oil they used in all of their products. http://www.seventhgeneration.com/palmoil
3. Nestlé – Nestlé joined the RSPO in 2009. In 2010 they worked with The Forest Trust (TFT) to design Responsible Sourcing Guidelines, one of which asked their suppliers to make sure they protect peatlands! They have committed by 2013, to be using 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in their products, even though they had previously stated their goal as 2015.
4. Unilever – Unilever is the the world’s largest consumer of palm oil. Every year they use about 1.36 million tons of the ingredient (3% of the world’s supply!) to make some of their signature products such as Dove soaps and Magnum ice cream bars. They recently announced that they would reach their target of achieving 100% certified sustainable palm oil, using Green Palm Certificates by the end of 2012 and by 2015 they have committed to buy ALL of their palm oil from certified sustainable sources.
5. H.J. Heinz- For starters, H.J. Heinz are RSPO members. They have also recently stated that they are on track to use 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2013. In the mean time, they have reduced their demand for palm oil by 25% in 2012 from 2011, and say they only use palm oil in new products only when there is no technical or commercial alternative.
6. Johnson & Johnson – In 2006, Johnson & Johnson joined the RSPO . In their 2015 goals, they have committed to make sure 100% of their palm oil and ingredients made from sustainable palm oil is from certified sustainable sources. In the meantime, they will purchase enough Greenpalm certificates to cover their palm oil usage.
7. Justin’s Nut Butter– Justin’s Nut Butter are a member of the RSPO and also work with the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to raise awareness about sustainable palm oil and make a difference for wild orangutans.
8. The Netherlands- Yes, you’re right, this Holland/The Netherlands is not a company. But they are doing something about unsustainable palm oil! Before 2010, Dutch businesses were Europe’s largest importer and exporter of palm oil (about 2 million tons annually)- much of which was going into products sold throughout the European Union. So what did they do about this? They committed to only using sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015.
Want to know more about the companies you know, love and buy from and how they add up? Check out the Palm Oil Scorecard put out annually by WWF http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/solutions/responsible_purchasing/scorecard2011/
ACRONYM DEMYSTIFIER: (as promised)
RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)- A global roundtable/group of individuals from seven different sectors of the palm oil industry (anywhere from growers, to traders, to manufacturers, to investors) who work to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. When a company joins the RSPO, this does not automatically mean that they are using sustainable palm oil, but that they are committed to raising global standards for the palm oil industry from the plantation to the products on our shelves.
Green Palm Credits – These credits are used by companies to offset* the use of palm oil in their products. What this means is that a company does not have to change the ingredients (from unsustainable to sustainable palm oil) in their products to buy these certificates. But what the company does, by buying these certificates, is show support for sustainable palm oil because the money from the certificates go to fund sustainable palm oil growers. This is definitely a step in the right direction for companies, but is not the end goal, ie for their supply of palm oil to be 100% certified sustainable of course!
*Offset – something that compensates for something else. ie for Green Palm Credits, this means a company does not buy palm oil that is sustainable, but instead buys credits to “make up for” the amount of regular palm oil they are purchasing by putting money towards funding palm oil growers who are farming sustainable.