Unilever asks for moratorium in bid to achieve sustainable palm oilJune 2008
Unilever has called for a moratorium in Indonesia on rainforest destruction being carried out for the production of palm oil, which the multinational uses in leading brands, including Dove, Flora and Persil.
The call follows a campaign by the environmental group Greenpeace revealing that Unilever’s suppliers are contributing to climate change and depriving orang-utans of their habitats by clearing Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands.
Greenpeace points out that the deforestation in Indonesia is responsible for four per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is urging other big corporate palm oil users and members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, including Kraft, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble, to support Unilever’s insistence that all suppliers halt the devastation.
When making the plea for a moratorium, Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s chief executive, promised that his group’s palm oil would all be sustainable by 2015.
However, Tim Birch, Greenpeace International’s forest campaigner, warned: ‘Unilever’s commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil will be meaningless unless its suppliers stop trashing Indonesia’s rainforests. This is why the moratorium is so important. Every day Unilever keeps buying palm oil from these suppliers, orang-utans are being pushed closer to extinction and climate change continues unabated.
‘Other companies like Nestlé and Procter & Gamble now need to join forces with Unilever to exert real pressure on the ground. Greenpeace will not stop its campaign until there is a complete halt to forest destruction in Indonesia.’
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