A Greenpeace investigation has exposed how the world’s biggest brands are still linked to rainforest destruction in Indonesia.
Palm oil suppliers to the world’s largest brands, including Unilever, Nestlé, Colgate-Palmolive and Mondelez, have destroyed an area of rainforest almost twice the size of Singapore in less than three years, according to the report.
Greenpeace International assessed deforestation by 25 major palm oil producers and found that:
- 25 palm oil groups had cleared over 130,000ha of rainforest since the end of 2015
- 40% of deforestation (51,600ha) was in Papua, Indonesia – one of the most biodiverse regions on earth and until recently untouched by the palm oil industry
- 12 brands were sourcing from at least 20 of the palm oil groups: Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg’s, Kraft Heinz, L’Oreal, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever
- Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil trader, was buying from 18 of the palm oil groups
The investigation exposes the total failure of Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, to break its links to rainforest destruction. In 2013, Greenpeace International revealed that Wilmar and its suppliers were responsible for deforestation, illegal clearance, fires on peatland and extensive clearance of tiger habitat. Later that year, Wilmar announced a groundbreaking ‘no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation’ policy. Yet Greenpeace’s analysis found that Wilmar still gets its palm oil from groups that are destroying rainforests and stealing land from local communities.
In addition to deforestation, the 25 individual cases in the report include evidence of exploitation and social conflicts, illegal deforestation, development without permits, plantation development in areas zoned for protection and forest fires linked to land clearance. It is also the most comprehensive assessment of deforestation in Papua, Indonesia.
Palm oil impacts on environment, people and climate
- Half of the Bornean orangutan population has been wiped out in just 16 years, with habitat destruction by the palm oil industry a leading driver. More than three-quarters of Tesso Nilo national park, home to tigers, orangutans and elephants, has been converted into illegal palm oil plantations. Globally, 193 Critically Endangered, Threatened and Vulnerable species are threatened by palm oil production.
- The plantation sector – palm oil and pulp – is the single largest driver of deforestation in Indonesia. Around 24 million hectares of rainforest was destroyed in Indonesia between 1990 and 2015, according to official figures released by the Indonesian government .
- Deforestation and peatland destruction are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. This has pushed Indonesia into the top tier of global emitters, alongside the United States of America and China.
- Plantation development is a root cause of Indonesia’s forest and peatland fires. In July 2015, devastating blazes spread in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. These fires produced a haze that affected millions of people across Southeast Asia. Researchers at Harvard and Columbia Universities estimate that the smoke from 2015 Indonesian fires may have caused 100,000 premature deaths. The World Bank calculated the cost of the disaster at US$16bn.
- Wilmar International and other palm oil companies are regularly accused of exploiting workers, children and local communities.
. Our only true 'power' is to stop buying ALL products that contain/make use of palm oil completely. WE WOULD ALL HAVE TO COMMIT TO THIS TOGETHER!
I am looking to get in contact with the authors of this article on behalf of Forest Peoples Programme - please send me an email. Many thanks.
I like your articles and thank for the sharing information
There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a momentâ€™s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
Please tell the government the truth about this sad environment offences that are being cause from public people to sell the ingredients in the UK products that is being contain in please help our environment in the Indonesia rainforests asap please
unneccessary consumptions are the ugly causes
Hi, I have to write a sustainability report for a company where I give good feedback on what they are already doing but also give them recommendations on future projects. I wanted to work on a chocolate company (Mars, Mondelez or Ferrero) and was wondering which one might be more interesting. Thanks in advance,
we are leaving this disaster for our future genertion
Why don't they try growing palm oil in the desert? I don't know if it's feasible but surely they don't need highly nutrient rich rainforest soil to grow in and could be a way of reclaiming the dessert for the future.
I’ve joined the anti palm pol push a bit late. Still every little helps. There are firms online which only sell non palm oil products but the easiest way of doing it on the High Street is Holland and Barrett,sorry to advertise. I bought deodorant,shampoo and soap there this week and they have lots more products without the dreaded palm oil
The first step is to have all product uses prominently declared on the labelling. A master list of known products containing it (and derivatives) would be invaluable.
TYPICAL BIG COMPANIES...…."LIP SERVICE" TO DECEIVE.
I find it disgusting that major companies that many families think they can trust are raping our forfeits who are vital for our planets well being.I sadly believe the only way forward is to make a shame.This means getting to our children at school's they are great at getting parents to listen. A campaign that tell the population the conquests of doing nothing,this will costs millions at the very least.We must get our M.P to listen,we know that some M.P are not interested as that either they have private interests in the companies or there voters do.We much try to make it so uncomfortable for these companies to work in areas .I may not have any money but I will do all I can including not buying from these companies.
Dear Madam, dear Sir, I read your report. It’s shocking and unsettling, something drastic has to be done to bring these companies to account, stop their filthy trade, stop the ghastly and world-wide deforestation of ancient rainforest and its inhabitants. It’s awful to know that in everyday products lurks unethically sourced palm oil, it’s good to read the ingredients list of every product, before you buy it, but in every toothpaste and soap and shampoo they are produced by either Unilever or Colgate-Palmolive, same goes for beauty products. If it’s food and it has palm oil in it, I don’t buy it, unless it’s sustainable palm oil, where hopefully no orangutans have been kicked out of their rainforest homes and no deforestation happened. If the world refused to buy dirty palm oil, the big companies would have to listen and massively clean up their act. Vote with you wallet, if profits plummet to below zero, that will bring them to their senses. Because we all, humans and animals depend on the rainforests, they are the green lung of the earth, soak up the carbon dioxide we produce and provide us with oxygen. Without the rainforests and forests, we wouldn’t be able to breath, we would suffocate!!! Kind Regards, Constance Schertlen
Would it not be nice to know for sure that de-forestation will stop? I cannot believe that such a small number of individuals have such a selfish and destructive inclination and appear to be not about to desist. However, it seems they probably will not - whatever we wish or desire. Our only true 'power' is to stop buying ALL products that contain/make use of palm oil completely. WE WOULD ALL HAVE TO COMMIT TO THIS TOGETHER!
The photographs tell the story, and they are devastating, as this industry is devastating to the rain forests. I will make even more efforts to boycott all products with palm oil. But is "sustainable palm oil" purveyed by the RSPO for example actually sustainable and actually to be trusted?
The RSPO is not enough. https://www.greenpeace.org/international/publication/19274/dying-cookie-mondelez-feeding-climate-extinction-crisis/
There must be alternatives to palm oil, amongst other products that either harm the planet, or species of animals, including humans! What is wrong with humanity, where money is of utmost importance??
Thanks for your comment, Donna. It *is* possible to grow palm oil sustainably, without destroying forests. That's why we need suppliers like Wilmar to do so and companies that buy from them to step and apply the pressure!
You didn't include my contribution. Read it and you might find how we can really save the forests! A BLUEPRINT FOR SAVING THE PLANET FROM COMPLETE ANNILATION. http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/74da12_a5952f168752449190449629e79736d2.pdf?dn=RAINFOREST+FOLDER+3.pdf If this doesn't succeed we'll be saying goodbye to over two thirds of the species on the planet and we therefore absolutely cannot afford failure.
I first seen this advert in an Iceland shop window it’s heart breaking what’s happening to the native people and the orangutans most people don’t know it’s in most of our food and essentials hope the other big companies follow Iceland advert but the tv companies stopped there Xmas advert part of it was going to show an orangutan I believe it’s horrendous what’s happening all over Indonesia’ and other countries hope I can help in my own little way by telling friends and family money/food versus a climate clean with natural habitat and homes for the people who live there
disgusting and dramatic
This is UNBELIEVABLE when there are alternative oils. WHY cause the extinction of our Rainforests and it’s inhabitants??
Alternative oils such as soya and colza have caused more deforestation over the last 25 years than palm oil and land clearance for cattle farming makes palm oil deforestation look minute by comparison. However, despite palm oil being the most land efficient vegetable oil crop there is and the most environmentally friendly from a chemical usage perspective (it uses a fraction of the chemicals required by other vegetable oil crops) and despite it creating work, trade and livelihoods in some of the poorest areas of the world, it is painted by many as the Devil in oil form. Maybe it's because the big chemical companies make very little money from palm oil, whereas they make a huge amount from other vegetable oil crops. The reality of this palm oil bashing is actually far more interesting - if palm oil were banned, we would require around 284,000,000 hectares of additional land to grow vegetable oil crops by 2050 (assuming global consumption per person remains at the current level). That is an area almost the size of India converted to just grow vegetable oil crops. I cant see it happening myself. Far better to have a blend of responsible vegetable oils - may be an idea to look at the deforesting practices of the soya and colza industries too which aren't exactly innocent
Thank you Thomas and Margaret for your points! Your raise some important questions. It's important to note that Greenpeace is not calling for a boycott or ban on palm oil. Palm oil is a very land efficient crop, and it *can* be grown without clearing rainforests. Many companies and millions of small-scale farmers are doing just that. The solution is for big brands to only buy palm oil from responsible growers that protect rainforests. Brands must demand traders to prove their palm oil is clean — and cut them off until they can do so!
I have been aware of this issue for over 30 years . I am still , after all these years , operating Australia's longest running "Australian Grown" hemp awareness/business greenhemp.com and have used a certified sustainable palm oil in our hemp soap . I have travelled the area's of Penang where it is grown in Airports , carparks , and old rubber plantations .... Pretty sure this smart way of farming is where I believe our palm oil is coming from and is not adding to the destruction of any forests or habitat. We deplore what is happening to fauna and flora in all parts of the planet . Governments everywhere are still facades with planet protection/destruction. I live on the edge of a National Park forest here in Victoria , Australia and a government permit has been given for the removal of my neighbouring virgin forest for building homes . It is a corridor for many where I watch daily the echidnas , goannas, wombats , wallabies , lyrebirds using the soon to be removed trees to live , travel and sleep in . A home for many furry critter , ringtails koalas , I see kingfisher , black cockies , gang gangs often camping here .... but it is going to be developed and only 40 Klms from Melbourne. Gob smacked this Nillumbik government behavior is still going on right in our own back yard , ... habitat that has been here since , forever , after all these years of so called intellect ? rave over !
All this for money, how can you look your children in the eye, just because you dont see the destruction, take responaibility NOW!
Lad være med at købe noget med palme olie...……..det ødelægger regnskoven !
This is discusting! Everone should stop bying products that contens dirty palmoil before the rainforests are destroed
stop this none sense.
all the people and bosses working for the companies or coperations should know better that we humans need forests to have fresh air to breath and water , keep more forests to save not just the lives in them for ourselves
Stop palm oil !!!!!!
Stop palmeolie in food !!!!!!
It’s not only in food; it’s in shampoo,soap,lot’s of vegan alternatives,and...OH NO! CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!?