Sustainable palm oil - our progress
To achieve our goal to eliminate deforestation from our supply chains and reach 100% physically certified sustainable palm oil by 2019, we need to ensure our own purchases are fully traceable and certified sustainable as committed in our Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Policy (PDF | 97KB). We first launched our policy in 2013 and refreshed it in 2016 with stronger commitments to human rights, smallholder inclusion and traceability implementation.
Being open and transparent about the progress we make as a company and ultimately as an industry is key to a more sustainable business model for palm oil production and trade.
Time-bound implementation plan
Our commitment and progress to date
We have put in place a time-bound implementation plan to achieve our goal of only sourcing physically certified sustainable palm oil by 2019. We regularly publish our progress towards achieving our sustainable palm oil sourcing targets.
|Total physically certified
Actuals - %
Actuals - absolute volumes
|288,000 metric tonnes
||577,000 metric tonnes*
*For our core volumes in 2016, we achieved 41% or 573,000 tonnes. Core volumes exclude derivatives of palm fatty acid distillates (which are by-products of the refining process), tail ingredients and materials processed by third-party manufacturers
What is physically certified?
Physically certified palm oil is sustainable palm oil certified through either the RSPO Mass Balance or Segregated certification standards or an equivalent standard that is independently verified by a third party. These options contribute to the protection of forests and enhance the livelihoods of farmers and local communities on the ground. For more information about certification and the RSPO see www.rspo.org.
Increasing visibility of our supply chain
Unilever is working toward greater visibility of the mills where our palm oil is processed – we currently have visibility of approximately 1,300 mills. Mill locations are an important indicator of where palm fruit is processed and therefore tell us more about where palm plantations are located.
Unilever has partnered with the World Resources Institute (WRI) on the PALM Risk Tool which helps us better understand the potential risks related to the location of the mills where our palm oil originates. This helps us assess where action on the ground is needed to ensure we stop deforestation and encourage sustainable agricultural practices.
The initial results from the PALM Risk Tool pilot in 2016 are a first indication of areas that may pose a deforestation risk. We are working with WRI and Daemeter on a more detailed analysis of the identified mills – this work includes research on forest cover, peat lands and fires.