Since August 2008, RAN has been in contact with hundreds of companies that use palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives in their products to express our concerns about the problems with palm oil and to encourage companies to make commitments to source or supply only socially and environmentally responsible palm oil. Over 45 companies, have made commitments to protect rainforests, communities and the climate by signing our pledge or developing their own palm oil statement.
RAN has been working with market leaders to ensure that socially and environmentally responsible palm oil becomes a reality. Together, we are working to create demand in the market for more responsible palm oil and provide an essential pathway away from rainforest destruction for Cargill, its customers and the entire palm oil industry.
What Some Companies Have Done
Seventh Generation has announced an action plan to ensure that the palm oil they use does not destroy rainforests, communities or the climate. Beyond signing our Pledge, Seventh Generation has committed to sourcing 100% identity preserved, fully-traceable "sustainable" palm oil by 2012; support a palm oil moratorium; and have agreed to call on industry peers to do the same, among other things. In 2009, Seventh Generation became the first company in the soap and detergent industry in North America to purchase sustainable palm kernel oil certification credits to offset use of palm oil across their entire product line. By purchasing the credits, Seventh Generation is paying a premium to palm kernel oil producers that use more environmentally responsible practices to produce and harvest palm kernel oil. This credit purchase, through what is known as a "book and claim" system, is a first step in moving toward a dedicated, traceable, and certified sustainable palm kernel oil supply. We encourage other companies that use palm oil to join them in becoming market leaders. Read our blog and watch our presentation with Seventh Generation on the problems with palm oil and what companies can do.
Lush Cosmetics has spent the past few years looking into the environmental and social problems with palm oil, and is gravely concerned with the impacts that oil palm plantations are having on communities, animals, ecosystems and the climate. Faced with these massive problems, the best solution for Lush was to remove palm oil from their products. In partnership with a top UK soap-base manufacturer, Lush has developed the world's first commercially available palm-free base, has switched all of its soap production to this new palm-free base, and is now working hard to remove palm oil from all of its products worldwide. Read more about the launch of Lush's North American campaign.
Unilever, the world's biggest buyer of palm oil, has cancelled its contract with PT Smart, part of the Sinar Mas group, after learning of the company's violations of Indonesian law and RSPO principles and criteria through an internal audit and a report by Greenpeace. Unilever has committed to this cancelation until PT Smart can provide verifiable proof that none of its plantations are contributing to the destruction of high conservation value forests and expanding onto peatlands. This action is in line with Unilever's agreement to support a moratorium on further deforestation in Southeast Asia. Unilever is an active member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and has made a public commitment to draw all of its palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015. Read Unilever's palm oil pledge to RAN.