January 27, 2014
STATEMENT: Investors representing more than $250 billion in assets under management support new steps towards sustainability by Wilmar,¹ world’s biggest palm oil trader
January 30, 2014
When investors speak, companies listen. In response to an initiative by investors from across the globe calling for the development of transparent, traceable, deforestation-free palm oil supply chains, Wilmar – the world’s biggest palm oil trader – has adopted a groundbreaking new forest conservation policy. This “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” policy comes at a critical time when forests and biodiversity around the world are disappearing at an unprecedented rate,² and represents major progress in the reduction of the social and environmental risks associated with commodity production.
Companies like Wilmar that reduce environmental risks may enjoy competitive advantages. The production of palm oil and other major agricultural commodities can be associated with significant negative impacts on the environment and communities, including deforestation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, wildlife extinction, and displacement of local communities. Given the impacts and controversies associated with the palm oil industry, incorporating strong environmental and social risk assessments into the due diligence process can help investors make responsible investment decisions that support sustainable and durable business models.
If fully implemented, Wilmar’s new policy may reduce risks for its investors and sets a new standard for sustainable agricultural commodity production that protects forests, peat, and communities. The undersigned investors encourage other companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable agricultural production and tackling climate change by adopting similar forest policies that pledge to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. Companies that adopt strong environmental and social practices can position themselves as sustainability leaders alongside Wilmar, potentially reducing risk and helping to attract investment capital.
The undersigned investors welcome Wilmar’s policy and early signs of implementation, and continue to closely monitor the company’s progress in meeting its stated goals.
Green Century Capital Management
Progressive Asset Management
Cllr Kieran Quinn
Local Authority Pension Fund Forum
Director – Corporate Governance
Office of the New York State Comptroller
Julie Fox Gorte
SVP for Sustainable Investing
Pax World Management LLC
Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota Coalition for Responsible Investment
Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Certified Ecologist
Sr. Sustainability Analyst
Gwen Farry, BVM
Sisters of Charity, BVM
Jeffery W. Perkins
Friends Fiduciary Corporation
Social Justice Coordinator
SVP, Director, Shareholder Advocacy
Trillium Asset Management, LLC
Judy Byron, OP
Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
Certified Financial Planner™
Principled Investing LLC
Shareholder Advocacy and Corporate Engagement
The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge
Director of Operation and Shareholder Advocacy
Miller/Howard Investments, Inc.
M. Cecile Paulik
Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother International Finance, Inc.
Head of SRI analysis
Director of Social Ministries
Congregation of St. Joseph
Managing Partner, Director of Social Research
Stephen Viederman, Chair
Christopher Reynolds Foundation
Assistant for Social Ministries
MAR, NEN and NYK Provinces of the Society of Jesus
Responsible Sourcing Network
Krull & Company
Racine Dominican SRI Committee
Rev William Antone OMI
Bond & Devick Financial Network
Rozanna Patane Financial Advisor
Ruth Geraets, PBVM
Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM, Aberdeen SD
Sally Ann Brickner
Justice, Peace and Ecology Coordinator
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, 320 County K, Fond du Lac, WI
Susan Ernster, FSPA
VP Community Health
United States Province
Justice and Peace Team
School Sisters of St. Francis
Sustainable Investment – Head of Corporate Engagement
Church of Sweden
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