With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.
Palm oil is quickly becoming a hot-button issue in the sustainability space, and for good reason. The growth in palm oil plantations is among the most serious causes of deforestation in tropical regions. (For more on the issue, check out these posts from Phil Covington's recent trip to Indonesia.)
As consumers become more aware of palm oil-related deforestation, a select few companies are leading the charge and making bold commitments to sustainable sourcing. There's still more work to be done, but this week we're happy to give these 10 companies a well-deserved pat on the back.
The company’s trailblazing partnership with its leading palm oil supplier, Golden Agri Resources (GAR), and The Forest Trust (TFT) is a shining example of how sustainability collaboration can drive dramatic change.
Taking things a step further, the company made another commitment in 2013: All palm oil bought will be traceable to known sources by end of this year.
In response, the coffee giant announced that it will purchase all palm oil from suppliers with sustainable certification by 2015. A Starbucks spokesperson had this to say: “I can confirm that our products in the U.S. and Europe currently use RSPO certified palm oil and we have committed to extending our use of RSPO certified palm oil to 100 percent of our products globally by 2015.” Some have pointed out the shortcomings of RSPO, but this is certainly a good first step.
“We will continue to source 100 percent RSPO mass-balance certified palm oil, but we are now strengthening our commitment as follows to ensure this palm oil is genuinely sustainable,” the company said in its press release. To do this, it plans to “go beyond the RSPO criteria” by setting its own benchmarks for suppliers.
"We believe that certifying both our palm oil and palm kernel derivatives puts The Hershey Co. at the leading edge among consumer products manufacturers in this important area of palm certification," a Hershey's spokesman told Triple Pundit in an email.
In December, Hershey's announced it would go beyond RSPO certification and work with its suppliers to achieve 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of 2014, one of the most progressive palm sourcing commitments in the packaged goods industry.
"Greenpeace will continue to engage with P&G to ensure that this policy is implemented before 2020 and effective action is taken to deal with problematic suppliers," the group said on its website.
Currently Reckitt Benckiser sources just over 4 percent of its total palm oil from RSPO GreenPalm certificates, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, so the company still has a long way to go in realizing its commitment.
Image credit: Flickr/vincentraal
Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and the Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.
Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious Company, AlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia, PA.