Sustainability, and particularly palm oil, has been under the microscope of late, and after the Greenpeace saga at its Ohio headquarters earlier this year, Procter and Gamble has announced advancement in its global sustainability goals.
The new statement declares a commitment to no deforestation in its palm oil supply chain by improving practices with all its suppliers, including small local farmers, to ensure protection of forests.
"P&G's commitment to no deforestation in its palm supply chain is unequivocal. Our aim is to develop effective long-term solutions to the complicated issue of palm oil sustainability,” says Len Sauers, P&G Vice President of Global Sustainability.
“We are committed to driving positive change throughout the entire supply chain, not just for us, but for the industry and for the small farmers who depend on this crop.”
All of P&G's purchased palm oil is certified by Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards, and the new goals call for ensuring no deforestation in its entire palm supply chain; the alleged issue Greenpeace had with the finished goods manufacturer.
The new plan hopes to establish traceability of palm oil and palm kernel oil to supplier mills by December 31, 2015, and ensure no deforestation in the palm supply chain to plantations by 2020.
There have been certain corners of the industry that have questioned why it will take a further six years for these plans to be put into place, but the Gillette brand owner says that it is working with suppliers, industry peers, NGOs, academic experts and other stakeholders to promote consistent industry standards and practices for sustainable palm oil sourcing.
"These goals go beyond our current commitments,” continues Sauers. “P&G will continue to work with each of our suppliers, and we will invest in and work directly with small local farmers, where much of our supply comes from, to improve their production practices.”
"This is the most complicated aspect of the palm supply chain, where P&G believes we can make a significant and lasting impact."