PepsiCo Focus of Major New Palm Oil Campaign by Rainforest Action Network, Union of Concerned Scientists, Others

Broad coalition identifies PepsiCo as key laggard still purchasing large quantities of palm oil tied to deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution; public encouraged to take action on YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY website

San Francisco, CA- Global food giant PepsiCo has been singled out by a broad range of groups that includes the Years of Living Dangerously project, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the Union of Concerned Scientists and the global consumer watchdog group for its continued use of large quantities of ‘Conflict Palm Oil.’ Conflict Palm Oil is palm oil produced through practices that cause rainforest destruction, human rights violations and massive climate pollution.

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world and it currently has no truly responsible palm oil purchasing policy to ensure its customers that PepsiCo products do not contain Conflict Palm Oil. PepsiCo consumes more than 450,000 metric tons of palm oil annually for its snack food brands in the US, Mexico, Latin America, Asia and Europe, and its consumption is on the rise.

“PepsiCo risks serious damage to its brand by refusing to do the right thing and accept the challenge to eliminate deforestation, human rights violations and climate pollution from its palm oil supply chain,” said Ginger Cassady, forest program director at Rainforest Action Network. “PepsiCo has fallen behind its peers by failing to raise its standards to the new global benchmark that’s been set for responsible palm oil use.”

The first two episodes of the newly premiered, star-studded climate series, Years of Living Dangerously, include Harrison Ford acting as a correspondent investigating the story of how industrial palm oil production is wreaking havoc on forests, peatlands and people in Indonesia, while contributing extreme carbon pollution to the atmosphere. At the end of the second episode, which first aired on Showtime at 10pm, Sunday April 20th, viewers are directed to a website which invites them to call out PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi to go on the record about her company’s continued use of palm oil known to cause globally significant greenhouse gas emissions.

Through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, tens of thousands of concerned shoppers and Showtime viewers are asking PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to publicly respond to the question: “Deforestation from palm oil is a leading driver of climate change. How can you ensure your customers that your supply chains do not contribute to this ongoing problem?”

PepsiCo is one of the “Snack Food 20” group of companies targeted by Rainforest Action Network’s year old Conflict Palm Oil campaign. Several of the major Snack Food 20 companies, including Mars, Kellogg, General Mills, Unilever and Nestle have recently responded to consumer outrage by announcing new commitments and strengthening their palm oil purchasing policies or sourcing practices.

“Over the past year, tens of thousands of people have called on PepsiCo to adopt and implement a truly responsible palm oil procurement policy,” said Rainforest Action Network’s Ginger Cassady. “The global palm oil industry is fast approaching a tipping point and PepsiCo’s global scale and influence gives it a crucial role to play in finally eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply.”