Significant move to accelerate market transformation for sustainable Palm Oil
Submitted by: Unilever
Posted: Nov 12, 2013 – 03:05 AM EST
LONDON, ROTTERDAM and MEDAN, Nov. 12 /CSRwire/ - Unilever today announced a significant move in its journey to accelerate market transformation towards sustainable palm oil, announcing that by the end of 2014, all of the palm oil Unilever buys globally will be traceable to known sources.
Marc Engel, Chief Procurement Officer: “Market transformation can only happen if everyone involved takes responsibility and is held accountable for driving a sustainability agenda. Our progress has been made possible by the commitment and efforts of a number of our strategic suppliers. We will continue to engage with our suppliers, NGOs, governments, RSPO, end users and other industry stakeholders to develop collaborative solutions to halt deforestation, protect peat land, and to drive positive economic and social impact for people and local communities.”
Richard Holland, Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative said: “Unilever’s 2014 commitment marks a very promising step on the continuing journey towards real market transformation to sustainable palm oil. Unilever’s role and actions have been instrumental on this journey so far. They helped us establish the RSPO in 2004 and have been closely involved in its development into a credible institution and standard. But as importantly Unilever has also matched its commitment with action on buying RSPO certified sustainable palm oil. That is why we ranked Unilever amongst the top scorers in the industry in our Palm Oil Scorecard. But the journey is not over. We will continue to work with Unilever and others through the RSPO to encourage further certification by growers and buying of certified palm oil by manufacturers and retailers. WWF also encourages leading companies in the sector to set the industry benchmarks on important issues like traceability, protection of peat lands, significant GHG reductions and no deforestation. We urge other companies along the palm oil value chain to follow the lead shown by Unilever.”
Unilever is one of the world’s major buyers of palm oil for use in products such as margarine, ice cream, soap and shampoo. It purchases around 1.5 million tonnes of Palm Oil and its derivatives annually, which represents about 3% of the world’s total production.
Unilever is committed to driving market transformation towards a more sustainable palm oil sector. The company was a founder member of the RSPO and co-chair the Consumer Goods Forum Steering Group on Sustainability and has led the process which resulted in the creation of the Tropical Forest Alliance, a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving governments with the goal of eliminating deforestation.
Note to the editors:
Unilever’s Sustainable Palm Oil Roadmap:
2008: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be sustainable by 2015
2012: Commitment achieved three years early mainly backed by GreenPalm certificates
2013: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be traceable and certified by 2020
2013: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be traceable to known sources by end 2014
2020: All Palm Oil bought to come from traceable and certified sources.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. We work with 173,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of over €50 billion in 2012. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (55% in 2012). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s, Lux, Rama, Ponds and Axe, 14 of which now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living.
Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2012 Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard for the second year running and the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan /Sustainability latest annual survey - for the third year running. The company is an employer of choice in many of the countries in which it operates and is seen as a symbol for innovation and leadership development. Unilever consistently achieves strong recognition in this area by independent bodies and was voted best company in Europe for leadership in the 2013 Hay Group study.
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