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.

PZ Cussons, which owns brands such as Carex and Imperial Leather, has set new commitments to reduce its plastic use by a quarter, ensure that any plastic it does use is 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable and source 30% of its plastic packaging from recycled materials by 2025.

The company’s “Plastic Promise” will also build on internal plastic use, with PZ Cussons removing all single-use plastics from its offices and improving recycling infrastructure at its Manchester headquarters.

“Our Plastic Promise builds on the significant work we have already undertaken to reduce plastic in our products. Through light-weighting bottles and introducing refills, over recent years we have reduced plastic in our business by hundreds of tonnes across Europe and Asia Pacific,” PZ Cussons’ corporate services director, Sam Plant, said.

“We are now redoubling our efforts to reduce our use of plastic by identifying more projects to optimise structural and material design to eliminate unnecessary packaging materials, as well as looking at more innovative ways of delivering our products without relying on plastic.”

Since 2011, the company has reduced overall waste levels by 16%.

PZ palm oil

The company has also published a new action plan detailing how it will deliver on a “Palm Oil Promise” to source 100% of its palm oil from producers that have their entire operations independently verified to No Deforestation / No Peat / No Exploitation (NDPE) standards by 2020.

The plan consists of 12 goals to deliver the desired change, focusing on governance, traceability, transparency and supply chain transformation. While PZ Cussons uses less than 0.001% of the world’s supply of palm oil, it wants to help rebuild the industry and has therefore built on commitments it originally made in 2014.

“Of course, we recognise that we are not able to meet these commitments alone, that’s why we are working closely with our direct suppliers, our joint venture partners and with NGOs,” Plant added.

“Our starting point is to shift our sourcing towards suppliers that can demonstrate that they have credible systems to monitor the producers in their supply chains to ensure they are fully compliant with NDPE standards throughout their operations.”

PZ Cussons has also claimed it will not switch to alternatives such as soy or vegetable oil, citing the amount of land needed – that could otherwise be used for food crops – required to create enough supply.

However, it is believed that the vast majority of corporates will miss 2020 targets related to deforestation, according to reports.

In fact, research from CDP warns that the business community is risking up to $941bn on commodities linked to deforestation.

Matt Mace

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