UPDATED – 3/05/14: P&G is Using Conflict Palm Oil After All – Sign the Petition/Watch the Film

Nioxin

10/7/2013:  My hair stylist told me I might think about using some Nioxin hair products (I swim a lot and the chlorine really takes a toll on my hair and scalp).  So, being the vain guy I am (not really), I went out and bought some shampoo and conditioner, WITHOUT checking for palm oil ingredients.  Just escaped my mind.

After I used the products for a few times, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks:  “CHECK THE FREAKING INGREDIENTS!  NO PALM  OIL!”

I turned off the shower water and, dripping wet, perused the lengthy chemical ingredients on the Nioxin bottles.  Yep, sure enough I found code words that could stand for palm oil.  When I got to work later that today I quickly got on the Nioxin chat line with a nice person who finally said she’d check with R&D — and claimed she understood the importance of my query.

Dear XXXXX,

I just wanted to touch base with you. I have submitted your inquiry to R&D and I am still awaiting their official response. I hope to hear back early next week at latest. Thanks! Have a great day! Best Regards, Consumer and Professional Services P&G Professional Care Exclusive Line 1-800-935-5273 WellaSalonProHelp.IM@pg.com.

So each day, I reach for my Nioxin products with a pang of guilt and crossing my fingers that I’m not adding to palm oil demand.  Well, today, I finally got a response:

Dear XXXX,
I have received a response from r&d. Please see below:
Yes, it is possible for Nioxin products to contain ingredients derived from palm oil or palm kernal. Please refer to the website below for more information on P&G’s stance on Palm Oil:
Thanks! Have a great day!   Best Regards, Consumer and Professional Services P&G Professional Care Exclusive Line 1-800-935-5273 WellaSalonProHelp.IM@pg.com

So bad news, right?  It may contain palm oil.  So I quickly went to the website above.  It looks promising — Proctor & Gamble is one of those behemoth corporations that NEED to help turn this unsustainable palm oil battleship to ONLY using sustainable palm oil — and that it is certified.  Looks like they’re on the right track.  Unfortunately, their target date is still a year (or more) away.  Maybe they’ll be like Unilever (allegedly), who has beat their target years in advance.

P&G is committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil. By 2015, we intend to purchase and use only palm oil that we can confirm to have originated from responsible and sustainable sources.  (Their emphasis.)

Although the vast majority of palm oil is produced in a sustainable way, there are some instances where tropical rain forests are being cleared for palm plantations. P&G is strongly opposed to irresponsible and/or illegal deforestation practices. We will continue to support efforts to eliminate irresponsible and/or illegal deforestation of land for use in the planting and harvesting of palm plantations, as well as efforts to help ensure the appropriate selection and designation of land for such uses.

We will seek to accomplish these goals through the following key steps:

Supplier and Partner Coaching

We will continue to share and reinforce our expectations related to Sustainability, and encourage and reward “sustainable behavior” on behalf of our partners and suppliers. This will include visits to our suppliers and audits of their on-the-ground operations to ensure that their practices will meet or exceed our Sustainability expectations, including their selection, purchase, and responsible use of land for the planting of palm plantations. We recognize the criteria and certification of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as evidence of sustainable palm oil sourcing. We will continue to partner with known suppliers with whom we have longstanding relationships and trust, as well as with emerging suppliers who embrace and support our Corporate Sustainability principles and expectations.

Stakeholder Partnerships

We will expand and strengthen relationships with trade associations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other critical external stakeholders to help influence positive changes and incremental Sustainability improvements in the palm oil supply chain and industry. We will partner with third-party organizations to help confirm and validate our palm oil sourcing and use strategies.

Industry Influence

We will continue to support industry efforts to eliminate irresponsible and/or illegal deforestation of land for use in the planting and harvesting of palm plantations, as well as efforts to help ensure the appropriate selection and designation of land for such uses.

All this to say, I’ll think long and hard before I replace my Nioxin products.  While they’re on the right track.  For now, they can’t promise that their palm oil isn’t added to the destruction, death, displacement, enslavement and exacerbation of global warming.

I’m torn.

UPDATED – 2/26/2014:  Articles abound about Greenpeace accusing P&G of using conflict palm oil after all, especially in Head and Shoulders. So how can they use it in one shampoo but not in others?

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has put on the spotlight one of the world’s largest producers of cosmetics and personal care productsProcter & Gamble (P&G), urging the global manufacturer to step up its sustainable palm oil commitment as new evidence has linked its products to palm oil plantations involved in forest fires and clearing of peatlands.

So I’m back to avoiding it.  Here’s the story:  http://www.eco-business.com/news/dirty-palm-oil-stains-remain-pg-products-supply-chain-trail-reveals/

Here’s a petition to sign:  https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/speakout/protect-paradise

UPDATED:  3/5/2014:  Please watch this powerful short Greenpeace film:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/code/2014/PalmOilVideo/PG_video.html

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7 Responses to UPDATED – 3/05/14: P&G is Using Conflict Palm Oil After All – Sign the Petition/Watch the Film

  1. Pingback: UPDATED – 10/23/2013: Just in Time for Halloween, iPhone Apps For Avoiding Palm Oil While Shopping GOES MAINSTREAM | gettingonmysoapbox

  2. Greg Gomberg says:

    All interesting – except for the link to P&G’s site, which is broken (too old?), but easily found by doing a Google site search.

    BUT on my screen this page comes with a working link to a misleading (possibly fraudulent) advert for a penny auction site. That taints everything on this blog page – all sensible readers will take it as equally untrustworthy, rather than with just the usual small pinch of salt. Avoiding products from manufacturers who source their ingredients in destructive ways is good, but it is just as important to avoid supporting systems like this one that attach such anti-social announcements to your postings. Please find somewhere else to post your views.

    • I don’t know what you’re talking about. Other than the P&G site being old (it was an original October post), the update (today) contains working links.

      Do NOT accuse me of posting “anti-social” announcements to my posts. If you think I did it, you’re high.

      You are more than welcome to not visit this site.

      • Greg Gomberg says:

        Thanks for the fast response, though – of course – not so much for the tone. Yes I appreciate the original post is old enough for its links to have decayed and I was trying not to blame/flame you for it.

        If you don’t know what I was talking about when I mentioned the nasty ad on your page then this is because someone in the web site supply chain added it without your knowledge. It’s surprisingly slippery – when I added a comment the ads disappeared and I have skimmed other pages in your blog without finding any. Additions like this are a different sort of ecosystem poison and I had expected you would want to help stop that too. This sort of ad insertion is usually dynamic, but I hadn’t expected it to disappear that way – I’d have kept a screen shot. The link I followed led to:
        .

        You posted good stuff and then someone else degraded it by associating this with it. We are both the victim here, but from where I sit you are the more victimised and the more able to do anything about it. I never thought you had done this on purpose – that’s why I wrote “on my screen …”; I didn’t expect the same thing would have appeared on your screen and recognise that other readers may see different ads or – as it turns out – none at all.

        The best guess has to be that it was WordPress that inserted the ads. If you subscribe to the WordPress “No-Ads Upgrade” then you were robbed / the system temporarily malfunctioned – take your pick. If you take the default for a free service or use WordAds to get some deserved payment for your efforts on the blog then just note that this is the sort of thing you may get.

        fyi I found this page by Googling to check up before joining Greenpeace’s email campaign on Proctor and Gamble. It was helpful, thank you, and reading about the P&G response certainly made me think more carefully before customising and sending the Greenpeace text.

        Cheers

      • Thanks for reading and the nice thoughts. Hugely appreciated.

        But from my home page’s quote (“Just because I’m an environmentalist doesn’t mean I’m a sissy, mother fu*ker”) to my liberal use of profanity and irreverent distaste toward authority figures, Republicans and corporations, you would have to figure that my writing voice has a distinct edge to it — and I use it often. Sincere apologies if you were offended. I took your comment, “That taints everything on this blog page – all sensible readers will take it as equally untrustworthy, rather than with just the usual small pinch of salt,” quite personally — as if what I write is not to be taken seriously. So I gave it back. That’s me — one pissed off, angry, edgy, liberal environmentalist who cares far too much about the world we’re leaving future generations (and I have NO kids!). 🙂

  3. Pingback: Procter & Gamble | Sunset Daily

  4. Pingback: Seven Nearly Extinct Sumatran Elephants Killed By Palm Oil Greed | The Hunt FOR Truth

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