Sustainable palm oil - our progress
To achieve our goal of driving transformational change in our palm oil supply chain by eliminating deforestation and increasing our positive social impact, we need to ensure our own purchases are fully traceable and certified sustainable as committed in our Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Policy (PDF | 167KB). 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
||573,000 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.
**For our core volumes for Q1-Q3 2017.
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 towards greater visibility of its supply chain. We do this in two different ways. First of all, we map our suppliers and the mills where our palm oil is processed to be able to proactively identify any issues on the ground and find the best way to address these in partnership with industry, NGO and government stakeholders. Secondly, we have a grievance mechanism in place that enables others to raise any identified issues with Unilever so that we can work together to address these. More information about our grievance mechanism can be found here.
We currently have visibility of approximately 1,400 mills in our extended supply chain, which is shown in the interactive map below. Mill locations are an important indicator of where palm fruit is processed and therefore tell us more about where oil palm plantations are located. A full list can also be found here (PDF | 2MB).