Unilever responds to the RSPO decision to lift suspension of the IOI Group

30 August 2017

Palm oil plantation

Following the update on the positive progress IOI has made on sustainability, Unilever has now resumed sourcing palm oil from this supplier.

We are pleased to see the progress IOI has made so far, in particular, on third party suppliers, independent verifications, and increased transparency.

We will continue to closely monitor progress to ensure improvements continue. We strongly believe that it is only through close collaboration among all stakeholders that we can continue to drive change in the industry and make sustainable palm oil commonplace.

15 August 2016

On 5 August, 2016 the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced it will lift the suspension of RSPO certification for the entire IOI Group effective from 8 August. Unilever recognises that IOI has made a good start with the remedial action plan to resolve the Ketapang complaint case.

While we acknowledge the action taken by the RSPO, we do not intend to resume sourcing palm oil products from IOI until we see tangible progress and on-the-ground implementation of their declared action plan. We reiterate that we expect the highest standards from all of our suppliers and only source from suppliers who demonstrate strict adherence to the Unilever Sustainable Palm Oil Policy (PDF | 167KB).

We will keep the dialogue with IOI open to encourage positive action and adoption of sustainable practices. As always, we continue to work closely with our suppliers, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders to drive change in the industry and make sustainable palm oil commonplace. We are strongly convinced that we can make this happen through constructive dialogue and close cooperation among all stakeholders.

24 June 2016

Following the suspension of IOI from the RSPO, Unilever now has successfully moved 90% of its volume of palm oil products previously sourced from IOI to alternate suppliers of traceable and certified sustainable palm oil.

We are actively looking for solutions for the remaining 10% of our palm volume with IOI as we want to ensure we are able to fully maintain the level of traceable and certified sustainable palm oil used in our products. Due to the complexity of some of our palm oil products it is challenging to find suitable sustainable alternatives – we are working hard to find a solution and will provide regular updates on our progress.

We remain hopeful that IOI will address the allegations and does its utmost to improve its practices to realign with RSPO’s Principles & Criteria – as one of the largest suppliers of palm oil worldwide IOI plays a key role in contributing to an industry wide move to sustainable palm oil.

31 March 2016

Unilever reacts to palm oil supplier’s suspension from RSPO

Following the suspension of the RSPO certification of the IOI Group, Unilever has issued the following statement:

Unilever takes the allegations against IOI and its suspension from the RSPO extremely seriously. We expect the highest standards from all of our suppliers and strict adherence to the Unilever Sustainable Palm Oil Policy (PDF | 167KB).

This suspension puts IOI in breach of our policy. In line with our grievance procedure, we are now in the process of disengaging with the supplier and have set a time bound plan to do this over the next three months.

In parallel, we are reaching out to IOI and to relevant NGOs and stakeholders to work together to determine a way forward for IOI to address and remediate the proven complaints and to demonstrate its commitment to fundamentally and transparently change the way it drives sustainable palm oil development to meet the highest social and environmental standards. We believe that this is a critical step in leading industry transformation.

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