Mars and P&G: one just took deforestation seriously, and the other didn’t

Feature Story - 11 March, 2014
Here’s how two different corporations respond to a consumers’ very real and very serious concerns… One makes a clear promise with ambitious time lines; the other continues as if it’s business as usual.

This is the difference between Mars and Procter & Gamble.

Today Mars promised to remove forest destruction from all of its products by the end of 2015.

People like you want their products to be made without the sort of destruction that drives tigers and orangutan’s to the edge of extinction. And when you all speak with one voice, this is the result. Mars joins a growing list of companies that are committing to cleaning up their supply chains: Nestle, Unilever, L’Oreal, Ferrero – check them out here.

But this should be a wake up call for the folks at P&G.

Ever since we revealed how P&G is sourcing dirty palm oil from forest destruction, its spokespeople have offered no real solution. Instead, they have recycled the same old lines about being committed to so called “sustainability”. And with every company that commits to No Deforestation, P&G’s “sustainability” policy is looking more and more shaky. As our activists in Indonesia showed today, this is what “sustainability” means for P&G...

Greenpeace activists hold a banner inside palm oil consession owned by PT Multi Persada Gatramegah (PT MPG), a subsidiary of Musim Mas company, a palm oil supplier to Procter and Gamble in Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan.

Greenpeace activists hold a banner inside palm oil consession owned by PT Multi Persada Gatramegah (PT MPG), a subsidiary of Musim Mas company, a palm oil supplier to Procter and Gamble in Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan. 10/03/2014

This morning, a dozen activists unfurled a giant banner in a plantation owned by Musim Mas – a company we identified as a supplier to P&G and involved in ongoing forest and orangutan habitat clearance. This is not “sustainable” – at least not for the half a million of you who have already called for forest-friendly products.

A Greenpeace activist holds a banner inside palm oil consession owned by PT Multi Persada Gatramegah (PT MPG), a subsidiary of Musim Mas company, a palm oil supplier to Procter and Gamble in Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan.
A Greenpeace activist holds a banner inside palm oil consession owned by PT Multi Persada Gatramegah (PT MPG), a subsidiary of Musim Mas company, a palm oil supplier to Procter and Gamble in Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan. 10/03/2014

What should P&G do? P&G must join other companies like Nestle, Unilever, Ferrero, L’Oreal and now Mars which have committed to No Deforestation policies. These companies recognise that the body P&G relies on to certify “sustainably sourced” palm oil – the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – is not enough.

As my colleague in the US, Joao, recently said, blindly trusting the RSPO, like P&G does, is like buying a used car without checking it out first. You might just end up with a lemon. In this case, P&G doesn’t even seem to care enough to investigate its own claims.

It’s time P&G finally becomes proud sponsors of rainforests and commits to No Deforestation. Tell P&G you want products like Head & Shoulders to be forest-friendly. Take action here.

This post was written by Areeba Hamid, Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace International

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