Palm oil: Certified but NOT sustainable
Last month, Jonathon Porritt stated in his edie blog that the intent of the Changing Markets Foundation was to 'undermine the creditability of certification schemes' without suggesting alternatives. As the Foundation's campaign's director, I was surprised by this accusation and feel compelled to provide my own response.
Certified & sustainable
One of Europe's most influential thought leaders on sustainable development, writer and broadcaster Jonathon Porritt, on the need to support certification programmes that deliver zero deforestation.
World's biggest palm oil firm unveils new measures to end supply chain deforestation
Palm oil sourcing giant Wilmar International has unveiled plans to use satellite tracking and other digital technologies in a bid to eliminate deforestation risks from its supply chains.
More than 800,000 people sign petition to release Iceland's banned Christmas advert
More than 800,000 people have signed a petition calling for an overturn on the decision to ban Iceland's palm oil-focused Christmas advert from being aired on television during the festive period.
Why Iceland's deforestation-focused Christmas advert won't be on TV this year
Iceland's decision to use part of its Christmas communications campaign on an advert that highlighted the destructive nature of palm oil has been blocked from airing on UK television channels, but why?
PZ Cussons outlines plastics and palm oil goals
Healthcare and consumer goods manufacturer PZ Cussons has committed to reduce the amount of plastic it uses by 25% while also setting out an action plan to source all its palm oil from sustainable sources.
Lidl becomes first UK retailer to purchase 100% sustainably-sourced soy
Discount chain Lidl has become the first UK retailer to switch to 100% sustainably-sourced soy for its own-brand products, after joining the Government's Roundtable for Sustainable Soy.
Big-name investors make joint call for stronger palm oil certification standards
More than 90 institutional investors representing more than $6.7trn in assets under management have jointly urged the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its draft certification standards before they are finalised in November.
Ending deforestation: A collective effort
As of March 2017, 447 companies had made 760 commitments to curb forest destruction in supply chains ranging from palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and cattle. At the same time, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement saw 80% of the 196 signatories committed to halting deforestation and better managing forest and agricultural landscapes.
edie at 20: How did sustainability become so business-critical?
edie's 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of the past two decades of corporate sustainability, which have seen it evolve from an environmental add-on to a fundamental aspect of growth.
PepsiCo on track for palm oil goals despite NGO concerns
PepsiCo has released an updated sourcing policy in a bid to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2020, a move that the Rainforest Action Network has described as a "dodge and cover" action plan.
EU raises 2030 renewable energy target, outlines palm oil phase out
Negotiators from the European Parliament and Member States have this morning (June 14) struck a deal to raise the target for the proportion of energy it will source from renewables by 2030 to 32%, up from the previous 27% goal.
'Label shopping': Is the certification scheme model broken?
Voluntary certification schemes have fiercely denied claims from a new report that that are providing cover for companies that are "destroying the planet", raising questions of whether the abundance of certification offers is watering-down sustainability efforts.
Iceland pledges to stop using palm oil in own-brand food
Frozen food giant Iceland has vowed to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand food products by the end of 2018.
Hershey commits £355m to supply chain sustainability
Global confectionery company Hershey has committed $500m (£355m) to tackling child labour and links to deforestation in its supply chains, as part of a comprehensive new sustainability strategy.
Unilever implements 'radical step' on palm oil traceability
Unilever has become the first consumer goods firm to publicly disclose palm oil suppliers and mills that it sources from, both directly and indirectly, a move described by the firm as a "major milestone" in driving sustainability through the industry.
Unilever to increase sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has struck a deal with a government-owned palm oil plantation firm in Indonesia to create a support framework that enables local mills and smallholders to produce palm oil according to standards of no deforestation and no peatland deterioration.
Corporates set to miss zero-deforestation targets for 2020
A new report has found that no sector is on track to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2020, with individual companies adopting a "piecemeal approach" by largely ignoring big contribution areas to deforestation, such as cattle production.
Transparency focus helps Kraft Heinz accelerate towards supply chain goals
EXCLUSIVE: Food processing company Kraft Heinz has enrolled in a journey of transparency to help deliver its CSR strategy, with the company's first ever sustainability report highlighting achievements with palm oil sourcing and challenges related to water consumption.
UK Government provides £62m to combat deforestation in Latin America
The UK Government has announced two new projects worth £62m will help tackle deforestation across Latin America by promoting sustainable new business models and sourcing practices.
Nestlé, Hershey and Mars 'breaking promises over palm oil use'
Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have been accused of breaking pledges to stop using "conflict palm oil" from deforested Indonesian jungles, just days before the annual Halloween confectionery frenzy.
What the world needs now, is sustainable soy
Producing more responsible - and certified - soy will be critical in protecting the Cerrado region of Brazil.
New airplane biofuels plan would 'destroy rainforests', warn campaigners
A new plan to accelerate production of biofuels for passenger planes has drawn stinging criticism from environmentalists who argue that most of the world's rainforests might have to be cleared to produce the necessary crops.
Raising the bar on sustainability: Not just “the what” you do, but “how” you do it
Sustainable business is on the rise. More and more organisations are realising that they can do well by being good to people and planet. The most recent report on sustainability performance of listed companies, from Carbon Clear, states that the transition towards more sustainable business is happening more because of carrots (demand) rather than sticks (regulation).
How to expand your business sustainably: it all starts with your supply chain
The 2016 CEO Study published by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact boldly claims that a "staggering 97% of CEO's interviewed believe that sustainability is important to the future success of their business". Despite being reminiscent of the 97% of scientists that agree on climate change, clearly, we are at a point in time where the question around business expansion is not can, but rather how, does a business grow sustainably and where should it focus its efforts?
PepsiCo makes slow progress as it embeds new sustainability strategy
Food and beverage company PepsiCo has made inroads into its new set of sustainability targets, although a year of calibrating on new baselines means that progress will have to accelerate to reach key goals.
Government raises renewable fuel obligation, caps crop-based fuel use
The UK Government has confirmed that it will increase the percentage of petrol and diesel that is sourced from renewables used for vehicle use, while the use of crops in fuel production will also be capped.
Shareholder demands driving commitments on deforestation, report finds
Shareholder resolutions are an increasingly viable way to drive company action on deforestation, with more than half of proposals to address risks leading to business commitments from the likes of Kraft, DuPont and Mondelez, according to new analysis.
Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé accused of complicity in illegal rainforest destruction
Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé have been accused of complicity in the destruction of Sumatra's last tract of rainforest shared by elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and tigers together in one ecosystem.
Biofuels needed but some more polluting than fossil fuels, report warns
Biofuel use needs to increase to help fight climate change as liquid fuels will be needed by aircraft and ships for many decades to come, finds a new report requested by the UK government.
Unilever suspends sourcing from Indonesian palm oil supplier amid deforestation allegations
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has suspended sourcing from an Indonesian-based palm oil supplier which was found to be in breach of policy on deforestation and peatland clearance.
McDonald's and L'Oréal join CDP's zero-deforestation supply chain agenda
Fast-food giant McDonald's, global cosmetics firm L'Oréal and healthcare specialists Johnson & Johnson are among the first eight major companies that have agreed to disclose key supplier information to CDP to manage deforestation risks.
IOI commits to 'best-practice' peatland and deforestation plans
One of the world's biggest palm oil suppliers has committed to address deforestation and exploitation in its supply chain, which had caused major brands to cancel contracts with the firm.
HSBC revamps deforestation policy after Greenpeace investigation
HSBC has launched a new zero-deforestation policy following a Greenpeace investigation which linked the banking corporation to organisations that have been destroying Indonesia's rainforests.
Major banks failing to align climate strategies to Paris Agreement targets
Despite more than 70% of banks introducing environmental and carbon footprint stress, many are failing to align business and investment strategies in keeping with the 2C pathway scenario established through the Paris Agreement.
Soy and deforestation: the easiest step to take is also the most impactful
If we reflect on the prominent environmental issues of 2016, those that received widespread media coverage: the Paris Agreement, renewable energy, palm oil, fracking and air pollution, amongst others, would undoubtedly spring to mind. Few headlines seemed to touch on the deforestation sweeping across South America to give way to an expanding soy industry and its relationship to meat and dairy.
Diesel vehicles burnt almost half of Europe's palm oil in 2015
The share of Europe's imported palm oil being used up by diesel cars and trucks has reached an all-time-high, despite further evidence of its harmful environmental effects, according to a new report from an independent industry forecasting group.
Leaked biofuel plan set to increase European transport emissions
A leaked draft of the European Commission's (EC) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has revealed that a promised phase-out of food-based biodiesels will not be met, with new proposals set to increase European transport emissions by 219 million tonnes by 2030.
Palm oil sector agrees on unified 'no deforestation' approach
A host of multinational organisations including Unilever, Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) have agreed upon a single, unified definition of "no deforestation" for the palm oil industry.
Britain's retailers 'leading the way' on sustainable palm oil
Marks and Spencer (M&S), Associated British Foods (ABF) and Reckitt Benckiser (RB) are among a cluster of British-owned retailers, manufacturers and foodservice businesses that are "leading the way" on sustainable palm oil sourcing, while others appear to have fallen short of their commitments.
Korean palm oil firm accused of illegal forest burning in Indonesia
A Korean palm oil company has been dropped by buyers after footage emerged that allegedly shows the illegal burning of vast tracts of tropical forest on lands it holds concessions for in Indonesia.
Unilever refuses to reinstate IOI contracts until 'tangible progress' is shown
Consumer goods giant Unilever has announced that it will not reinstate the Malaysian palm oil supplier group IOI as a contractor until "tangible progress" is made evident of the groups desire to implement a new ethical sustainability action plan.
RSPO re-certifies IOI Group after initial suspension
Palm oil giant IOI has had its sustainability credentials re-certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) following its suspension by the certification body earlier in the year.
New transparency toolkit puts emphasis on investors to combat deforestation
A new online tool has been launched today (26 July) to highlight which global mutual funds and investment portfolios contain links associated to deforestation and palm oil holdings.
Could this new mapping toolkit solve the palm oil transparency challenge?
With rising transparency issues leading to supplier contracts being scrapped and green groups piling on the pressure to tackle the situation, a new World Resources Institute (WRI)-backed initiative could finally allow companies to gauge deforestation risks by evaluating satellite surveillance of global palm oil mills.
Biodieselgate? British industry leads EU on elimination of palm oil biofuels, says REA
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has revealed that UK importation and consumption of palm oil-based biodiesel for use as a feedstock for vehicles still stands at 'zero' for 2015/16, in light of new data which shows that cars and trucks were responsible for almost half of all of the palm oil used across Europe in 2014.
Beyond the Perfect Storm: The Corporate Sustainability Challenge
Transforming the world to sustainability requires organisational leadership, skilled professionals and a desire for change. Concerns that were once viewed as distant and risks that were uncertain are now increasingly having an impact on businesses, economic prosperity and communities, health and wellbeing. Climate change, population growth, threats to nature, resource concerns, and global development pressures all combine to herald a ‘perfect storm’.
Top palm oil producer sues green group over deforestation allegations
One of the world's largest palm oil producers is suing the green body that suspended its sustainability certification last month because of allegations it had deforested Indonesian rainforests.
Palm oil giant sets 'fully traceable' supply chain goal for 2020
The world's second largest palm oil plantation company has told edie it wants to achieve "greater awareness of the production practices in the supply chain" as it sets itself an ambitious goal of 100% traceability to plantation by 2020.
UN and Google forge 'eye-in-the-sky' forest mapping partnership
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has turned to tech giant Google to implement a high-resolution satellite-based data mapping system which could usher in an "unprecedented level of environmental literacy" for the forestry sector.
Palm oil giant to address 'serious issues' of alleged illegal sourcing
The world's second largest palm oil plantation company has revealed that it is engaging with individual supplier mills which have allegedly been using 'tainted and illegal' palm oil sources, in an attempt to clarify revelations uncovered in a recent report.
Unilever cancels palm oil sourcing contracts over deforestation concerns
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has cancelled its contracts with a Malaysian-based palm oil producer and trader which has been suspended over deforestation and community conflict issues.