A notorious palm oil producer linked to Procter & Gamble’s supply chains has been found to be actively destroying primary forest in the Papua region of Indonesia The findings come as activists knocked on the doors of the multinational’s Cabuyao facility, touted to be P&G Asia’s largest global business unit, demanding the company to guarantee that its products become forest-friendly.
“Every time we purchase P&G products, we become participants in wiping out the tropical rainforests in Indonesia, considered the lungs of Southeast Asia,” said Beau Baconguis, Program Manager for Greenpeace Philippines. “P&G has the power to change that by committing to a No-Deforestation policy today and ensuring that they can still provide Filipinos with dandruff-free hair, cleaner clothes and sparkling dishes without destroying forests.”
Greenpeace field teams and mapping analysis have documented recent large-scale clearance across a concession owned by PT Rimba Matoa Lestari (PT RML), located in the districts of Sarmi and Jayapura, Papua Province. Landsat images also showed clearing in areas mapped as primary forest on the Ministry of Forestry’s 2011 landcover map. PT RML is ultimately controlled by Indonesia’s industry conglomerate RGE Group, whose palm oil division includes Asian Agri. The Group sells palm oil to Cargill, a supplier to P&G.
RGE Group also owns notorious pulp and paper company APRIL – the company that has singlehandedly destroyed more forests in Indonesia than any other. RGE’s practices in high-risk regions such as Riau on the island of Sumatra are linked to illegal clearance of forests using fire, the sourcing of palm oil from illegal plantations in Tesso Nilo National Park and the destruction of Sumatran tiger habitat. The palm oil division of the Group is also embroiled in what has been described as Indonesia’s biggest tax evasion scandal.
“For weeks now P&G has been rehashing the same old line that it takes deforestation seriously and that it depends on certification schemes to guarantee so-called ‘sustainability’. Clearly this isn’t working. It’s time P&G joined the recent groundswell of companies making explicit promises to rid their products of forest destruction – companies such as their biggest competitors including Unilever, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Colgate, Mars and Ferrero,” said Areeba Hamid, Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace International.
Nearly 400,000 people have written to P&G’s CEO, Alan G. Lafley, demanding that the company immediately commit to No-Deforestation. In the 8 months since Greenpeace confronted P&G over its weak sourcing policies, the company has failed to respond with an adequate policy.
Indonesia's forests are disappearing at a rate of more than nine Olympic swimming pools each minute, with palm oil being the biggest driver of forest destruction.
Notes to editors:
1. A summary of the research findings and media briefing is at: http://bit.ly/moredirtysecrets
2. The companies in the Tiger Challenge are ranked according to the efforts they are making to ensure palm oil in their supply chains is tiger and forest friendly: www.greenpeace.org/tigerchallenge
3. Greenpeace today launches a petition calling on P&G to guarantee forest and tiger-friendly products: www.protectparadise.org/dirtysecret
For more information:
Beau Baconguis, Program Manager, +63917- 8715257,
Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner, +63917-8228734,
For photos and videos:
Grace Cabus, Regional Images Officer, +63917-6345126,
Godi Utama, Video Producer, +62 815 962 0208,