Unilever to transform market for sustainable palm oil
Anglo Dutch conglomerate Unilever says that all of the palm oil it buys globally will be traceable to known sources by the end of next year.
The fmcg giant says the pledge is a significant move into its journey to accelerate market transformation towards sustainable palm oil. The company uses palm oil in its products such as margerine, soap, shampoo and ice cream and purchases around 1.5 million tonnes of palm oil and its derivatives annually (representing about 3% of the world’s total production).
Marc Engel, chief procurement officer: “Market transformation can only happen if everyone involved takes responsibility and is held accountable for driving a sustainability agenda. Our progress has been made possible by the commitment and efforts of a number of our strategic suppliers. We will continue to engage with our suppliers, NGOs, governments, RSPO, end users and other industry stakeholders to develop collaborative solutions to halt deforestation, protect peat land, and to drive positive economic and social impact for people and local communities.”
Richard Holland, Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative said: “Unilever’s 2014 commitment marks a very promising step on the continuing journey towards real market transformation to sustainable palm oil. But the journey is not over. We will continue to work with Unilever and others through the RSPO to encourage further certification by growers and buying of certified palm oil by manufacturers and retailers. We urge other companies along the palm oil value chain to follow the lead shown by Unilever.”
Unilever was a founder member of the RSPO and co-chair the Consumer Goods Forum Steering Group on Sustainability and led the process which resulted in the creation of the Tropical Forest Alliance.