100% of Palm Oil bought will be traceable to known sources by end 2014
London/ Rotterdam/ Medan - Unilever today announced a significant move in its journey to accelerate market transformation towards sustainable palm oil, announcing that by the end of 2014, all of the palm oil Unilever buys globally will be traceable to known sources.
Marc Engel, Chief Procurement Officer: "Market transformation can only happen if everyone involved takes responsibility and is held accountable for driving a sustainability agenda. Our progress has been made possible by the commitment and efforts of a number of our strategic suppliers. We will continue to engage with our suppliers, NGOs, governments, RSPO, end users and other industry stakeholders to develop collaborative solutions to halt deforestation, protect peat land, and to drive positive economic and social impact for people and local communities."
Richard Holland, Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative said: "Unilever’s 2014 commitment marks a very promising step on the continuing journey towards real market transformation to sustainable palm oil. Unilever’s role and actions have been instrumental on this journey so far. They helped us establish the RSPO in 2004 and have been closely involved in its development into a credible institution and standard. But as importantly Unilever has also matched its commitment with action on buying RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.
"That is why we ranked Unilever amongst the top scorers in the industry in our Palm Oil Scorecard. But the journey is not over. We will continue to work with Unilever and others through the RSPO to encourage further certification by growers and buying of certified palm oil by manufacturers and retailers. WWF also encourages leading companies in the sector to set the industry benchmarks on important issues like traceability, protection of peat lands, significant GHG reductions and no deforestation. We urge other companies along the palm oil value chain to follow the lead shown by Unilever".
Unilever is one of the world’s major buyers of palm oil for use in products such as margarine, ice cream, soap and shampoo. It purchases around 1.5 million tonnes of Palm Oil and its derivatives annually, which represents about 3% of the world’s total production.
Unilever is committed to driving market transformation towards a more sustainable palm oil sector. The company was a founder member of the RSPO and co-chair the Consumer Goods Forum Steering Group on Sustainability and has led the process which resulted in the creation of the Tropical Forest Alliance, a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving governments with the goal of eliminating deforestation.
Note to the editors:
Unilever’s Sustainable Palm Oil Roadmap:
2008: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be sustainable by 2015
2012: Commitment achieved three years early mainly backed by GreenPalm certificates
2013: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be traceable and certified by 2020
2013: Commitment that all Palm Oil bought will be traceable to known sources by end 2014
2020: All Palm Oil bought to come from traceable and certified sources.
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
+44 (0) 207 822 5252
Safe harbour statement
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are; Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; finding sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and national disasters; the sovereign debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; and failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2011 and the Annual Report and Accounts 2011. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.