Today, Unilever –– the largest producer of soap in the world and owner of over 400 brands including Dove, Lipton Tea, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream –– released a policy that sets firm requirements for its cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper, soy and tea suppliers to protect natural ecosystems from deforestation and land conversion, as well as respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, communities and workers. Unilever is the first company to publish such a wide-sweeping policy covering multiple commodities and mandating adherence to its rules across the entire business operations of its suppliers. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) welcomes Unilever’s “Policy on the Sourcing of High Risk Commodities”.
Robin Averbeck, Forest Program Director at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), issued the following statement:
“It’s never been more urgent to keep forests standing and the world’s largest brands must play their part by not only committing to policies but also immediately implementing them. They must eradicate deforestation and rights abuses from all commodity supply chains.
“Unilever’s new policy sets an important precedent as it may drive change not just in the plantations and farms it sources from, but across each commodity sector –– commodities that are known to drive the destruction of the rainforests of Indonesia, the Congo and Amazon basins and the vast savannah of the Cerrado. Unilever is the first global brand to do this and others must urgently follow suit.”
For more information on the actions that are needed to be implemented by brands and banks involved in forest-risk commodities, see RAN’s report Keep Forests Standing: Exposing Brands and Banks Driving Deforestation.