A major new study from Greenpeace looks closely at palm oil sourcing by 14 prominent FMCG companies and how those practices are impacting day to day life in Indonesia.
“None of the companies we surveyed are able to say with any certainty that there is no deforestation in their palm oil supply chain,” states the report, titled Cutting Deforestation out of the Palm Oil Supply Chain. And, in fact, “most companies are unable even to say how much of their palm oil comes from suppliers that comply with their own sourcing standards.”
Of the 5 personal care companies included in the Greenpeace report, Nestle scored the best. According to the infographic that depicts the data, Nestle (which operates Nestle Skin Health as a subsidiary) is doing quite well in regard to “responsible sourcing” and “transparent reporting.” Against the “reforming industry” metric, the corporation didn’t do so well. Overall, Nestle was scored as a company that’s “on track” to ending deforestation.
Colgate-Palmolive scored abysmally, and the worst among the personal care companies that Greenpeace studied for its report. “Colgate remains reliant on GreenPalm certificates, which do nothing to ensure that the palm oil it buys is not linked to deforestation,” explains the report.
“Colgate cannot trace any of its palm oil back to the plantation, and even though more than half of its palm oil is traceable to the mill, that is insufficient progress when compared with other companies in the sector. Colgate does not disclose any information about its suppliers, nor has it joined any industry transformation initiatives.”
Johnson & Johnson scored quite poorly too, ranking well only for “reforming industry.” P&G, and Unilever tied in the rankings, doing a bit better than J&J, but poorly overall.
Sourcing ingredients like palm oil can lead to deforestation, destructive forest fires, and the extinction of wildlife.
But Greenpeace is quick to point out that this isn’t necessarily the case: “Palm oil can be grown responsibly without destroying forests, harming local communities or threatening orangutans,” Annisa Rahmawati of Greenpeace Indonesia tells greenbiz.com. “But our survey shows that brands are not doing enough to stop the palm oil industry ransacking Indonesia's rainforests.”
Read the full Greenpeace report here.