2023 Goldman Prize Recipient Honored for Holding Procter & Gamble-linked Company Accountable

Winner of the world’s preeminent environmental award and descendants of Procter & Gamble co-founders call on the company to take action on environmental and human rights abuses

San Francisco, CA –  Today, the Goldman Environmental Prize –– the world’s foremost award for grassroots environmental activists –– named Indonesian activist Delima Silalahi among this year’s recipients for her work in securing the legal land rights of 17,824 acres to Indigenous communities in Indonesia. The communities have been resisting the expansion of a pulp company onto their lands for decades –– a company that is linked to American commodity giant Procter & Gamble. With the recognition of the Goldman Prize, Delima and her organization KSPPM continue to advocate on behalf of communities who have not yet gained legal recognition of their land rights and continue to face harm from the company connected to P&G through its supply chain. 

“We’ve worked alongside Indigenous communities in North Sumatra for years, fighting to prevent the clearing of more invaluable forests,” said Delima Silalahi, the Goldman Prize winner and program director for KSPPM, a Sumatra-based human rights and forest advocacy organization. “P&G contributes to land grabbing and intimidation against these Indigenous Batak communities through its ongoing business with its supplier, Royal Golden Eagle. P&G must immediately suspend its business ties and demonstrate it respects Indigenous communities.”

The recognition of Delima’s work comes on the heels of years of public pressure against P&G  from shareholders, global environmental and human rights advocates, Cincinnati residents, and by the direct descendants of the original cofounders William Procter and James Gamble, calling on the company to reform its practices. Advocates have highlighted that P&G –– the world’s largest consumer company and major purchaser of forest-risk commodities like palm oil, tree pulp, and paper –– is failing to live up to its own claims and commitments. 

From Canada’s Boreal forests to the rainforests of Indonesia, P&G is implicated through its supply chain in deforestation and human rights abuses around the world and continues to source from suppliers the company knows are causing serious human suffering and environmental harm. One of P&G’s notorious suppliers, Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), is connected to the controversial pulp and paper company, PT. Toba Pulp Lestari, that’s been operating on dozens of Batak Indigenous lands in North Sumatra, Indonesia, without their consent. One of the impacted communities, Pargamanan-Bintang Maria, has over 40 percent of their customary forest under the company’s concession and is at risk of deforestation indefinitely.

“The leadership at Procter & Gamble has known for years that their operations are connected with violating Indigenous land rights and the destruction of some of the world’s highest conservation value rainforest in Indonesia,” said Maggie Martin, Senior Forest Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “We demand that P&G stop flushing away our future. It’s past time that this company live up to its own promises and cut ties with its harmful suppliers.”