Target: Alan Lafley, Proctor & Gamble, CEO
Goal: Ensure a safe habitat for animals inhabiting the Indonesian rainforest, including the endangered orangutan and the Sumatran tiger
Palm oil production is the single biggest driver of deforestation in Indonesia, and it threatens both the rainforest and the animals living there. The endangered orangutan and the Sumatran tiger are among those being destroyed in the name of profit. Greenpeace recently released their findings of a year-long investigation into Proctor & Gamble’s palm oil suppliers, and they discovered that several of the companies seem to be linked to environmentally destructive practices and the deaths of animals; an orangutan graveyard was discovered near an area owned by a P&G supplier, and a number of orangutans have been killed near Tanjung Putting National Park.
Palm oil is found in more than half of all consumer products, including food, cosmetics, and cleaning items. Palm oil production has increased significantly in recent years, as consumers have demanded all-natural ingredients in lieu of chemicals. According to the Worldwatch Institute, production increased by almost eleven million tons from 2000 to 2009, at a cost of 340,000 hectares of forests. Greenpeace translates this to a loss of land equivalent to 140 Olympic-sized swimming pools every hour. Several P&G suppliers ship palm oil from the Dumai port, located in the Riau province, where hundreds of illegal forest fires were set last year.
According to their own report, only 13 percent of P&G’s palm oil consumption last year measured up to environmental standards they agreed to meet by 2015. P&G products, including Head & Shoulders shampoo and Gillette shaving gel, are a result of rainforest destruction. You can help ensure the continued survival of endangered orangutans, tigers, and other animals inhabiting the rainforest by sending P&G a strong message. Let them know that you will avoid purchasing their products until they are willing to use 100% sustainable palm oil. Demand that P&G join with other big palm oil consumers, such as Kellogg’s, and commit to a no-deforestation policy.
Dear Mr. Lafley,
Proctor & Gamble claims that it is opposed to deforestation, but the company’s actions reflect otherwise. A recent investigation conducted by Greenpeace has linked your palm oil suppliers to illegal activity that is contributing to the deforestation of the Indonesian rainforest.
These practices threaten local wildlife, including the endangered orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. An orangutan graveyard was found adjacent to an area owned by one of your suppliers, and a number of orangutans have been killed near Tanjung Puting National Park. Several of your suppliers ship their product from the Dumai port, located in the Riau province, where hundreds of illegal forest fires were set last year.
P&G has outlined several goals, including 100% sustainably purchased palm and palm kernel oil by 2015 and 100% recycled or third-party certified paper products by 2020. According to your own report, only 13 percent of P&G’s palm oil consumption last year measured up to these environmental standards.
P&G has signed the Consumer Goods Forum commitment to help ensure zero net deforestation by 2020. It is time for you to act. Other palm oil consumers such as Kellogg and L’Oreal, and the world’s biggest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, have committed to no deforestation. P&G needs to do the same.
I urge you to remove palm oil that is linked to destructive forestry practices from your supply chain, and to cancel contracts if your suppliers fail to take action. Until P&G displays a true commitment to a no-deforestation policy, I will purchase products from other retailers that care more for the environment and the welfare of animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: chem7 via Flickr