Countdown to the Olympics

Nathan E. Jones headshot By Nathan E. Jones


Olympic Countdown

The countdown to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan has begun.

The opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games is now less than one year away and that means our fight to get rainforest destruction OUT of the Olympics is just warming up!

Last fall, our investigations — with partners TuK INDONESIA and WALHI — revealed that more than 130,000 massive sheets of rainforest plywood had already been used for construction of the Olympic venues, including a brand new stadium. We further exposed how a company providing that wood to the Olympics had a history of cutting down rainforest in some of the most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world, with links to Orangutan habitat destruction, and had duped entire communities of people out of their own land.

With your help, we called out the organizers of the Olympics for fueling deforestation, human rights abuses, and habitat loss and demanded that they stand behind their claims of sustainability.

But we didn’t stop there: you sent 850,000 (!!!) emails to Olympic partners, telling them to stop sponsoring rainforest destruction.

As you may know, palm oil, a major driver of deforestation, is found in everything from soaps to snacks. But one place you might not have expected to find it — and a whole lot of it — is in instant noodles. Nissin Foods, inventor of instant noodles — including Cup Noodles and Top Ramen — is a major sponsor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Nissin, make Tokyo 2020 a deforestation-free Olympics

FACT, in the US alone, Nissin uses nearly 20,000 tons of palm oil each year!!!

And that’d be okay… if the production of palm oil wasn’t so often wrapped up with rainforest destruction, not to mention habitat loss for critically endangered species, human rights abuses and climate chaos!

We’re talking about critical habitat for clouded leopards, orangutans, elephants, tigers, birds, bats, and bees not found anywhere else in the world… The list goes on but grows shorter and shorter as incredible intact forest is systematically burned, cleared, and re-planted with palm oil plantations…in part to satiate the world’s Olympic-sized appetite for instant noodles.

It’s not like we haven’t given Nissin a chance. For five years we’ve called on it to adopt a No Deforestation, No Peatland, No Exploitation (NDPE) palm oil policy and clean up its supply chain … and it’s responded with half measures. Nissin’s palm oil policy lacks strict prohibitions on deforestation and, in practice, judging from its latest report, the company cannot prove that it has excluded palm oil from bad actors that may be contributing to the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem — the last place on Earth where elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans roam together in the wild.

Now, as we count down to the 2020 Summer Olympics, the limelight is on Nissin, and we have a chance to pressure this corporation to change.

Nissin must:

  1. Adopt a truly responsible palm oil procurement policy;
  2. Develop a time-bound plan to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain;
  3. And prove that it’s cut ties with bad actors that clear rainforests, abuse the rights of communities and workers, and destroy orangutans’ homes.

There’s nothing like a high-profile opportunity like the Olympic Games and if Nissin wants the world’s attention as an Olympic partner, then let’s give it the attention it deserves. We need your help to spread the word to Nissin’s social media channels, to make it face the truth, and to let it know that there’s still time to do the right thing.

Nissin Olympic torch - make 2020 a deforestation-free Olympics

Here’s the plan:

STEP 1: Head over to Nissin’s Facebook page and paste this response into a comment:

Hey @Nissin, the world is watching! Your @OriginalCupNoodles may be causing oodles of destruction to rainforests. The countdown is on for you to get Conflict Palm Oil out of your ingredients.

STEP 2: Then click this link and you’ll automatically create a Tweet calling out Nissin

Hey Nissin, #CutConflictPalmOil from your @OrigCupNoodles for the @Tokyo2020 Olympics! #DeforestationFree #PalmOil @WeAreTopRamen #CupNoodles #1YearToGo

STEP 3: Ask your friends to join in and repeat!

The countdown to the Olympics has just begun and we only have 12 months to move this massive company away from Conflict Palm Oil. But we can do it. Let’s get started.

Nissin Olympic torch - make 2020 a deforestation-free Olympics