Procter & Gamble Linked to Rainforest Destruction via Palm Oil

February 26, 2014

Jakarta, 26 February 2014 – Procter & Gamble, which makes Head & Shoulders, is sourcing palm oil from companies connected to substantial clearance of endangered orangutan habitat in Indonesia. That's according to findings from a year-long investigation by Greenpeace International, which also reveals that multiple traders supplying P&G with palm oil buy from a company whose operations are implicated in a police investigation of numerous orangutan deaths, near to Tanjung Puting National Park.

A baby Orangutan plays at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). The clearing of the land for palm oil is a threat to wildlife in the area, including these orangutans that have been rescued because their natural habitat has been destroyed.

© Greenpeace / Natalie Behring-Chisholm

Palm oil is a common ingredient in detergents, shampoos, cosmetics and other household goods that P&G manufactures.

 “Procter & Gamble is making everyday Americans complicit in the destruction of rainforests by not responsibly sourcing palm oil, an ingredient in products like Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay,” said Joao Talocchi, Greenpeace Palm Oil Campaigner “Household names like L’Oreal, Nestlé and Unilever have already promised to clean up their supply chains. There’s no reason for P&G not to follow suit.”

 Land used for palm oil cultivation owned by the BW Plantation Group, a company connected to P&G’s supply chain, was investigated over the course of several field trips. Greenpeace investigators documented an orangutan skull buried in a shallow grave within sight of Tanjung Puting National Park (which is famous for orangutan conservation) and further orangutan remains several months later.

 “Greenpeace has been warning P&G about the devastating effects of irresponsible palm oil production since 2007,” said Talocchi “There are ways of producing palm oil that won’t destroy the habitat of the last remaining Sumatran orangutans and tigers. As an organization that buys thousands of tonnes of palm oil each year, P&G can be part of the solution by insisting on palm oil that’s 100% free of forest destruction.”

 “Progressive palm oil producers in the Palm Oil Innovation Group, along with ambitious commitments from big palm oil players Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar, prove that there is a business case for responsible palm oil. There is no excuse for companies like P&G, as well as Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate-Palmolive to delay immediate action on deforestation,” said Bustar Maitar, Head of the Greenpeace Indonesian Forest Campaign.

 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.  Through a global campaign launched today, Greenpeace is demanding Procter & Gamble end its role in forest destruction.


Notes to Editors & available materials:

  1. The findings of Greenpeace’s investigation are available here:
  2. Photos to accompany the investigation are available here: including photo of the orangutan skull found, here:
  3.  An animation explaining the connection between palm oil & forest destruction is available here:
  4. The companies named in Greenpeace’s “Tiger Challenge” are ranked according to the efforts they are making to ensure palm oil in their supply chains is tiger and forest friendly. Details here:
  5. Greenpeace’s 2007 report on palm oil, naming P&G is available here:
  6. Greenpeace’s critique of the RSPO is available here:
  7. Greenpeace today launches a petition calling on P&G to guarantee forest and tiger-friendly products:

For interview or more information, contact:

Kat Clark, based San Francisco, 415-529-0941, [email protected]


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