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Unilever Planning On Certifying All Its Palm Oil

Jul 19, 2008
It might be a lofty aim but Unilever has very serious intentions of implementing it. By 2015 Unilever plans on all its palm oil sources certified. The CEO of Unilever Patrick Cescau also was strongly in favor of having a moratorium to prevent rain forest destructions in Indonesia.

Strong voices
As a holistic move to support the brand's strength, the environment as well as protect its consumers Unilever believes that preventing the destruction of palm forests in Indonesia will stand in good stead. This statement from the CEO comes in the wake of the recent Greenpeace report showing Unilever's suppliers destroying peat lands and orangutan habitats. Further, the report also claimed that Unilever had no means to trace its palm oil sources and origins. It also detailed statistics on how Unilever had fallen short of its projected figures on rain forest conservation. Faced by a surge of negative publicity and public outcry Unilever has decided to take stringent steps to ensure none of its suppliers continue to damage these habitats - therefore, the move towards certification. Cescau also added that all its palm oil would be traceable within the year 2012.

A combined effort
In spite of Cescau's move towards certification and traceability Greenpeace does not seem satisfied. It claims that Unilever's efforts will fall flat until and unless buyers show their solidarity. All suppliers must be coerced to stop the destruction of Indonesian palm oil forests. The International forest campaigner for Greenpeace Tim Birch was of the opinion that a moratorium was critical to ensuring that suppliers did not continue to destroy these palm trees. Due to such massive destruction orangutans were becoming extinct and the environment was being pushed into grave danger. Not only are these animals being forced into oblivion but a lot of greenhouse emissions take place as a result of such palm oil manufacturing processes.

The current situation
Unilever is the world's biggest consumer products organization and uses close to 4% of the world's palm oil production. It uses this oil in its variety of cosmetics and food products. On account of acute deforestation Indonesia is presently 3rd in the list of highest carbon emissions. Many peat swamps have been degraded with the result a lot of natural life and animal habitats have been destroyed. These statistics are as per findings by Wetlands International. If this trend continues Unilever might be accountable for innumerable damages to the environment not to mention the extinction of orangutans.
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