24 April 2012: Unilever published a report on the progress it is making towards meeting its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan targets.
As part of the update, Unilever announced that by the end of 2012 it will reach its target of 100% certified sustainable palm oil covered by Green Palm Certificates, a full three years ahead of schedule. Whilst this is strong progress, the company recognises that the Green Palm Scheme is only a step along the road towards sustainable palm oil, not the end game. Although it will be even more difficult to achieve, Unilever has now set a new target of purchasing all its palm oil from traceable sources by 2020. This means it will be able to track all the certified oil it buys back to the plantation on which it was originally grown.
See the full press release on Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan Progress Report
22 November 2011: Unilever scores eight our of nine in second Palm Oil Buyer's Scorecard
Unilever scored eight out of nine in the second WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard which assesses the palm oil buying practices of 132 European, Australian and Japanese companies.
Unilever is the largest user of palm oil in the 2011 scorecard and the only company using over 100 000 tonnes of palm oil a year of which more than 50% is purchased from certified sustainable sources. Unilever was acknowledged for its ambitious commitment to purchase all its palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015, despite substantial logistical and cost challenges.
11 October 2010: Palm Oil Milestone Reached
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) last week reached a major milestone in its on-going efforts to halt deforestation and bring sustainable palm oil to market. It certified the one millionth hectare of plantations – totalling an area roughly equivalent in size to Jamaica.
This brings the volume of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil close to five million tonnes, around 10% of the world’s total production.
"Passing the one million hectares mark is a crucial milestone for the growers.” said Adam Harrison, Senior Policy Officer for WWF. “But sadly, half of all sustainable palm oil they produce is still not being bought, meaning there’s a lot of work to be done by retailers and manufacturers to match the efforts of those growers.”
Unilever is on track to meet its 2015 commitment to cover all of its palm oil requirements from RSPO certified sources.
7 April 2010: Unilever's Europe-wide palm oil covered sustainably
Unilever today announced that it has secured enough GreenPalm certificates of sustainable palm oil to cover the requirements of its European and Australasian business.
Read the full press release - Unilever’s Europe-wide palm oil covered sustainably
11 December 2009: Unilever takes stance against deforestation
Unilever announced that it had decided to suspend all future purchases of palm oil from the Indonesian company PT SMART, part of the Sinar Mas group, until such time as they can provide verifiable proof that none of their plantations is contributing to the destruction of 'high conservation value' forests and expanding onto peat lands.
Read the full press release - Unilever takes stance against deforestation.
4 December 2009: Unilever publishes Aidenvironment verification report checking validity of Greenpeace's 'Burning Up Borneo' report
In April 2008, Greenpeace issued a report entitled 'How Unilever Palm Oil Suppliers are Burning Up Borneo'. This report claimed that suppliers of palm oil to Unilever were responsible for "fuelling climate change and helping drive orang-utans to the brink of extinction". The suppliers were accused of being involved in unacceptable practices such as clearing of peat lands and orang-utan habitats, while not having the required legal permits.
In order to assess the veracity of the Greenpeace report we commissioned an independent study to check their substance and to screen suppliers against RSPO criteria. We asked Eric Wakker of Aidenvironment to lead this effort.
See download for more information.
For Eric Wakker's full report see Working with suppliers.
14 November 2008: Unilever buys first batch of certified sustainable palm oil
Unilever has secured palm oil from the first-ever batch to be officially certified as 'sustainable'.
At a celebration in Rotterdam on 11 November, Unilever joined other partners of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to accept the first delivery of certified sustainable palm oil.
See download for more information.
19 June 2008: Unilever Côte d'Ivoire set to dispose of palm oil interests & increase stake in regional soap business
Read the press release on our disposal of palm oil interests in Côte d'Ivoire.
1 May 2008: Unilever commits to certified sustainable palm oil
Read the full press release.