Mondelēz has emerged as a front runner as it has released a responsible palm oil commitment that requires its suppliers to comply with a higher standard than the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by ending the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights across all operations.
In order to drive real change, Mondelēz should apply its commitment to palm kernel oil, verify traceability to known palm oil plantations, require independent third-party verification of supplier compliance, and publish a time-bound plan with an assertive deadline to cut Conflict Palm Oil.
Current Palm Oil Commitment (June 2014):
Requires suppliers to go beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and end the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights
Requires compliance across suppliers’ entire operations, including joint-venture operations, suppliers and oil traded on the open market
Requires suppliers to publish a policy and “be able to demonstrate policy implementation by year end 2015, or to have time-bound plans in place”
Requires suppliers to achieve traceability to the mill level by the end of 2015
Requires verification of supplier compliance with the RSPO standard “plus credible third-party verification of criteria outside recognized standards” which includes no destruction of rainforests and peatlands
Has a commitment to “give priority to supplies that meet our sustainability principles, and eliminate supplies that do not.
Has a commitment to transparent reporting on progress towards full implementation of commitment
Advocates for palm oil sector reforms with peers and other decision makers
Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:
Does not apply to Palm Kernel Oil (PKO)
No assertive deadline for eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from global operations
No deadline for verified compliance across suppliers’ entire operations
No requirement for palm oil to be traceable to the plantation level
No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across grower entire operations
No requirement for independent third-party verification of supplier compliance with social safeguards beyond inadequate RSPO auditing
No published procedures to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil suppliers
No public time-bound implementation plan, with clear performance based milestones for achieving traceable, transparent and independently verified supply chains
No requirement for public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders beyond published policies
Ongoing reliance on discredited RSPO GreenPalm Certificates instead of supply chain transformation
Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions
Company products at high risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil