Unilever Announces New Target to Source all Palm Oil from Traceable Sources by 2020

Posted on 07 May 2012
 

Unilever has published a report on the progress it is making towards meeting its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan targets.  The company published its plan in November 2010, and broke new ground by committing to take responsibility for the company’s impacts right across the value chain, from the sourcing of raw materials all the way through to the consumer’s use of the products to cook, clean and wash.

As part of the update, Unilever announced that by the end of 2012 it will reach its target of 100% certified sustainable palm oil, a full three years ahead of schedule. The majority of CSPO will be sourced through the purchase of GreenPalm certificate of which Unilever remains the biggest global buyer to date.

“Many other companies have made similar commitments but have not yet translated this into demand in the market. So at the moment demand is lagging behind supply of CSPO,” says Jan Kees Vis, President RSPO.

For this reason Unilever made the strategic decision to reach its 100% CSPO target early this year to help bridge this gap in the market of CSPO currently available.

Whilst this is strong progress, Unilever has now set a new and ambitious target to achieve 100% traceable certified palm oil supply chains by 2020.

“Increasingly consumers want to know exactly where the palm oil has originated and we have made a start to bring in a segregated supply chain into Unilever’s products. With our new target to source all palm oil from traceable origins we have a big job ahead of us to significantly increase our sourcing of traceable CSPO and our Procurement and Sustainable Sourcing teams are currently developing a Palm Oil Sustainable Sourcing Policy to do just that” says Cherie Tan, Procurement Operations Director Sustainable Sourcing for Renewables and Smallholder Development.

To help achieve this goal, it announced that it is in advanced stages of discussions with the Indonesian government for investing over €100m in a large processing plant for palm oil derivatives in Sumatra. This plant will not only cut back on transport and  save money but it will make it easier to trace the sources of the palm oil used. 

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