Many of the world’s top consumer goods companies have adopted “no deforestation” policies in their sourcing of palm oil – that’s the good news. The bad news is that, despite these efforts, progress is slow and deforestation continues to rise in Indonesia, the largest supplier of the commodity, says Greenpeace in a new report.
In its Cutting Deforestation Out of the Palm Oil Supply Chain, Company Scorecard, the environmental group surveyed 14 companies—all with “no deforestation” policies in place—to understand how the firms are implementing their policies and the impact they are having on the ground in Indonesia, where palm oil has contributed to the destruction of millions of hectares of forest.
The report finds that while the companies surveyed all have good intentions, more urgent action is needed to “break the link between palm oil and deforestation.” Palm oil is widely used in household products ranging from baked goods and confectionery to shampoo and toothpaste.
In assessing the companies’ progress towards a deforestation-free palm oil supply chain, Greenpeace looked at three criteria: responsible sourcing, transparency and how the company is supporting wider industry reform.
While some companies, such as Ferrero and Nestlé were credited in the report for showing significant progress towards a deforestation-free palm oil supply chain, others have “considerable” work to do. This work includes such measures as obtaining independent third-party verification to ensure the palm oil their buying is produced responsibly and to start mapping their supply chain back to the plantation where the palm oil was grown.