Here’s a bit of good news from a corporate giant amid so much bad, depressing environmental news. Unilever updated their corporate sustainability report recently. In it, they said that they would shoot for the “ambitious” goal of sourcing its sustainable palm oil from “traceable” sources by 2020. I know what you’re saying — Hell, by 2020, it’ll all be gone!
I don’t disagree. However, turning a huge behemoth like Unilever around is like turning a battleship. It takes time — especially where greed is involved.
But here’s a sign of hope that we can take to the bank NOW: this report also says that Unilever will achieve its goal of sourcing 100% of its palm oil from certified sustainable (CSPO) sources by the end of 2012, three years AHEAD of schedule. That’s a win and you know it!
So let’s give some (begrudging) corporate credit where it’s due, yes? Who knows, with continued market pressure, they’ll achieve this goal years ahead of schedule while there’s still some forest and wildlife left.
Here’s the report:
UPDATED: April 2013: Here’s more from Unilever: They apparently have achieved the goal of sourcing their palm oil from sustainable sources in 2012, but 97% of that was through the purchase of Green Palm certificates. 3% of palm oil was purchased from certified, traceable sources (through a segregated supply) bythe end 2012. The next goal:
We will purchase all palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015.
We will purchase all palm oil sustainably from certified, traceable sources by 2020.
Just know that Green Palm is like a cap-and-trade system. The companies that want to use Green Palm certificates then purchase them on an exchange with that money going to palm oil growers who supposedly endeavor to grow their palm oil in a sustainable manner. It does NOT necessarily mean that the palm oil in their products is 100% certified sustainable. That’s entirely different. The RSPO has got a whole lot of problems (like certifying “sustainable” palm oil from secondary forests, even though those initial high conservation value rainforests were destroyed originally to get to the secondary forests). Green Palm isn’t perfect either.
But hopefully we’re not letting our quest for the perfect destroy the good.
- Setting the Record Straight: Cargill and Tripa Forest Controversy (understory.ran.org)
- Noxzema Responds! A Classic Non-Answer Answer! (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)