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Largest Palm Oil Producer on the Planet Commits to Sustainable Practices
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Climate Advisors and The Forest Trust recently announced a groundbreaking agreement with Wilmar, an Asian palm oil producer that controls 45% of the palm oil market, and Unilever, the global consumer-products giant. If properly implemented, the new policies adopted by Wilmar will have transformative effects on the Palm oil industry.

The policy outlines the company’s commitment to:

  • eliminate rain forest destruction for agricultural production
  • protect the rights of workers and communities
  • protect “high carbon stock” landscapes, including, peatlands—a crucial carbon sink
  • Ÿprotect high conservation value forests that are habitat for endangered species, including orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants, and rhinos

Wilmar’s new policy applies to its subsidiaries and, crucially, to its third-party suppliers.

“Six months ago, fires from out-of-control deforestation in Indonesia choked Singapore and much of Southeast Asia—fires made possible by a no-questions-asked palm oil sector. This agreement could mark the start of a new ‘Green Revolution’ that provides the deforestation-free agricultural goods global consumers are increasingly demanding,” said Glenn Hurowitz, Managing Director of Climate Advisers, and Executive Director of Catapult. “Wilmar’s partnership with TFT signals that they’re serious about implementation.”

Over 40 institutional investors from the U.S. and Europe, including First Affirmative, recently sent letters to 40 major palm oil producers, financiers, and consumers, including Wilmar and Unilever. The letters, coordinated by Green Century Capital Management call for the development of transparent, traceable, deforestation-free palm oil supply chains.

See here for more details.

 

First Affirmative understands that the ways we save, spend, and invest can dramatically influence both the fabric and consciousness of society. We believe that in addition to the benefits of ownership, investors bear responsibility for the impact our money has in the world. Are you making conscious decisions about the impact of your consumer purchase and investment decisions?

 

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 

Posted: January 30, 2014