Beauty Company Avon Shifts to Sustainable Palm Oil

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.

Kara is 3p's writer from New England. In her Newport, RI community, Kara is the organizer of Green Drinks Newport, is a member of Newport's Energy & Environment Commission, is a volunteer for the Neighborhood Energy Challenge, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and has also volunteered as a panelist for Rhode Island Farmways, speaking to farmers from around the state about how they can better market and promote their businesses. Beyond the moat that surrounds her island home, Kara has backpacked Mt. Washington in New Hampshire too many times to count and she hopes her next adventure will be to ski the gnarly Tuckerman's Ravine. Kara is a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, a graduate of the Colorado Outward Bound School and in real life, she is a public relations director who'd just plain like to see the world a greener place. Kara has been writing for TreeHugger.com since January 2005 and began writing for 3p in January 2010.

2 responses

  1. I am very pleased to have heard of this new intervention the company has come up, locally here in Ghana I produce the palm oil but I will need a buyer or partner to make more production. Thanks I will be please to be contacted so to have better communication.

  2. I love Avon for many reasons its a charitable, animal free testing company, and helps women achive financial independance. This just adds to one more reason.

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