How Investor Pressure Made a Difference on Palm Oil (Continued)


Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, showing up in products from breakfast cereals and crackers to shampoo and soap, and found in an estimated half of packaged products sold in U.S. grocery stores. But, for decades, palm oil plantations have been created by burning the rich and vibrant rainforests of Southeast Asia, creating recurring haze, carbon pollution, and threats to local communities and endangered species. As a result, the palm oil industry became a target of international activist campaigns, which have exposed companies—and their shareholders—to significant brand and reputational risks, and made the issue increasingly difficult for companies to ignore.

Green Century set out to transform the industry by first pressuring major household brands that use palm oil in their products to adopt sustainable sourcing policies, and then leveraged these agreements to press the major palm oil traders to demand changes from their growers.

  • Starting with Starbucks* in 2012, Green Century successfully moved the company to only purchase certified sustainable palm oil.
  • In the next two years, Green Century secured zero-deforestation palm oil sourcing commitments from Kellogg’s,* ConAgra,* and J.M. Smuckers,* among others.
  • Green Century supported other investors to secure similar agreements from Safeway,* General Mills* and Mondelez.*
  • Read the media coverage of the campaign
  • Read more about the Forest Protection Campaign
Jaguar attribution By Pascal Blachier from Savoie France (Cat)

Jaguar attribution By Pascal Blachier from Savoie France (Cat)