Just a few weeks ago we wrote about sustainable palm oil in the food business. It seems that with growing consumer awareness, the industry is under pressure and under a microscope. But food companies aren’t the only ones who are guilty of using palm oil. In fact, it’s also widely used in cosmetics and personal care products such as lipsticks, soaps, and shampoos. The reason? It’s a low-cost alternative.
Many smaller personal care companies have made the move towards the use of sustainable palm oil. Now one of the biggest beauty companies in the world, Avon Products, Inc., is making the industry’s biggest move to support sustainable palm oil production. Called The Palm Oil Promise, this company-wide global commitment is launching for Earth Day. Now while we usually cringe at the PR buzzwords “launching for Earth Day,” it was nice to hear that this commitment is actually part of a bigger program that Avon has launched called 2011 Hello Green Tomorrow.
Avon launched Hello Green Tomorrow last year and raised more than $2 million for the Atlantic Rainforest in South America. For 2011, Hello Green Tomorrow is expanding by mobilizing and fundraising in more than 50 countries across six continents to help save two of the most endangered ecosystems on earth: the Atlantic Rainforest, once again, as well as the forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.
Through their Palm Oil Promise, “Avon has become the first major beauty company to commit to back 100% of its global palm oil use with certificates designed to advance the production of sustainable palm oil.”
The certificates are called GreenPalm, a certificate trading program endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which seeks to increase sustainable palm oil production. By purchasing GreenPalm certificates, Avon is most likely paying a premium to sustainable palm oil producers but in turn the hope is that it will help drive demand for sustainable palm oil and increase the supply.
Apparently the company isn’t a significant user of palm oil to begin with, but this is one step to help continue the research, development, implementation and verification of credible global standards for sustainable palm oil.