Mars committed to remove deforestation from all of its products by the end of 2015, a move that places pressure on companies such as Procter & Gamble to set an equally ambitious No Deforestation Policy. In addition, Greenpeace activists documented ongoing forest clearance and unfurled a giant banner in a palm oil plantation in Indonesia which is owned by P&G supplier Musim Mas, and where orangutan habitat was recently cleared. This follows last week's dramatic protest at P&G's global headquarters in Cincinnati.
“Mars joins a growing list of companies including Unilever and Nestlé that are finally promising forest-friendly products to their consumers. It shows that global public pressure is working, and is leaving P&G, which refuses to clean up their supply chains, increasingly isolated,” said Areeba Hamid, forest campaigner at Greenpeace International.
Mars’ policy includes an ambitious timeline of 2015 to remove forest destruction from its supply chain. Importantly, the policy recognises the need to move beyond the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards and Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) commitments to break the link between palm oil and deforestation—an issue that P&G has refused to recognize.
P&G, in whose suppliers Greenpeace has documented extensive forest clearance, continues to rely on insufficient RSPO standards. Greenpeace activists took the message to P&G by unfurling a giant banner in a plantation owned by one of P&G’s palm oil suppliers, Musim Mas, where forest, including orangutan habitat, is currently being clear felled. Photographs from the protest document forest destruction in dense, natural forest.
“In order to achieve so-called ‘sustainable sourcing of palm oil’ P&G is relying on a certification scheme that has failed to prevent rainforest destruction in the habitat of endangered orangutans, or help reduce man-made fires like the ones that covered Singapore in smog last summer. It’s time P&G finally becomes proud sponsors of rainforests and commits to No Deforestation,” said Hamid. “As commitments from GAR, Wilmar and the Palm Oil Innovation Group show, palm oil does not need to be linked to forest destruction. RSPO members like Musim Mas must immediately stop laundering dirty palm oil on the global market and commit to No Deforestation.”
Committing to a policy is just the first step to guaranteeing consumers are not made part of forest destruction through the products they consume daily. Greenpeace is engaging with a number of companies in Greenpeace’s Tiger Challenge, a ranking of how companies are implementing No Deforestation policies. Greenpeace has confronted P&G with how it is exposing consumer to forest destruction for the last months, during which time it has failed to take adequate action.