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Greenpeace publishes a ranking of 14 multinationals that demand palm oil and warns that there is still a long way to go to break the link between this product and deforestation.
Indonesia has lost an area of rainforest the size of Germany, a threat to endangered animals such as orangutans.
The expansion of oil palm plantations to supply the international demand for palm oil continues to be one of the main causes of the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest. Two years after the large palm oil consuming corporations made their commitment to the fight against deforestation public, Greenpeace has assessed the degree of compliance with these commitments by the 14 largest multinationals in the world.
The findings of this assessment show that only a few companies are taking significant steps to ensure that there is no deforestation in their palm oil supply chain and most are moving very slowly. While there are not many differences, none of the companies can yet guarantee that the supply of palm oil is not linked to deforestation. The worst ratings are received by Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo, who have demonstrated very poor compliance, and are unable to deliver on the promises they made to their customers and consumers. Palm oil is an oil widely used in many daily consumer products, such as Colgate toothpaste, Neutrogena hand cream or Doritos nachos.
"Palm oil is part of a large number of everyday products, so these big brands have a responsibility to assure consumers that they are not contributing to deforestation. Palm oil can be grown responsibly without destroying forests and without harming local communities or destroying populations of orangutans and other animals ", declared the head of the Greenpeace Spain Forest Campaign, Miguel Ángel Soto.
Indonesia has lost 31 million hectares of rainforest since 1990, an area the size of Germany. The palm oil industry is the main cause of deforestation in Indonesia , which in turn is a major threat to the endangered animals that live there, such as orangutans.
"People should be able to brush their teeth or eat nachos without helping to extinguish the orangutans. In this sense, PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive, and Johnson & Johnson are disappointing consumers. They must do more to clean up their palm oil supply chain and ensure they only buy from suppliers that are protecting tropical forests, "added Soto.
Deforestation for the expansion of palm oil plantations was one of the causes of the forest fire crisis that ravaged Indonesia last year. The estimated economic cost of this disaster is $ 16 million and the extensive smoke plume affected millions of people, not only from Indonesia, but also from neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. Data from the Indonesian government speak of more than 500,000 people who suffered from acute respiratory illnesses as a result of the smoke. Fires were also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions: On many days during October and November, emissions from wildfires exceeded the average daily emissions from the US economy.
To prevent a new fire crisis from occurring this year 2016, Greenpeace has asked palm oil consuming companies to take immediate action to protect forests.
The result of the Greenpeace ranking of the 14 largest companies reveals that none of the evaluated companies is able to ensure with certainty that there is no deforestation in its palm oil supply chain. Most companies cannot even say how much of their palm oil comes from suppliers that meet their own supply standards. Further:
- Only one of the 14 companies is in a position to know the origin (where it is grown) of 100% of its palm oil.
- Most companies are still awaiting independent verification that their palm oil is produced by companies operating in compliance with their own no deforestation policies.
- No company has published a complete list of their palm oil suppliers, although some have made public the names of their main suppliers.
- No company has published a list of suppliers from whom they have stopped buying palm oil due to non-compliance with their no-deforestation policies.
Notes:  To see examples of palm oil producers free from deforestation and human rights violations whose activity has been verified by an independent third party, consult the Palm Oil Innovation Group (http: // poig .org /)  Indonesia's fire crisis is a test of corporate commitment to forest protection: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Forests-Reports/Under-Fire/