Commend Dunkin’ Donuts for Pledging to Obtain Palm Oil from Sustainable Sources

Target: Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts Brands

Goal: Thank Dunkin’ Donuts for its upcoming commitment to help protect Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests by only using sustainable palm oil, and encourage a plan to follow through with this pledge

The production of palm oil is typically a highly destructive process, resulting in the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. In the past two years alone, over 6,000 square miles of rainforest and peatland in the area have been decimated to make way for palm oil plantations, leading to an ever-decreasing habitat for countless native species including Sumatran tigers and orangutans. Furthermore, the massive-scale deforestation has contributed significantly to climate change, both through the loss of carbon sinks and large fires that produce carbon dioxide. The demand for palm oil comes, in large part, from American companies that use the oil in their products, ranging from food to makeup. However, Dunkin’ Donuts is one company that has vowed to stop enabling deforestation by refusing to use palm oil that is not sustainably sourced.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which serves an estimated three million customers per day, intends to reveal a plan to end its support of rainforest-damaging palm oil later this year in its Corporate Social Responsibility report. However, according to Laurel Sutherlin, communications manager at the Rainforest Action Network, while the pledge by Dunkin’ Donuts is “encouraging,” in that it “acknowledges the seriousness of the problem… the problem is very urgent.” She asserts that Dunkin’ Donuts must take action quickly in order to make a difference. Yet, there are some doubts as to the validity of the company’s resolve to become more ecologically friendly. Infamously known for its use of Styrofoam cups, a material that it decidedly non-recyclable, Dunkin’ Donuts has lobbied against Styrofoam bans in the past. It seems that the company’s commitment to sustainability is questionable at times.

However, the fact that Dunkin’ Donuts has taken even preliminary steps toward promoting sustainably sourced palm oil is encouraging. Furthermore, the act sheds increased awareness on the prevalence of palm oil in approximately half the products found in grocery stores in the US, as well as the dire need to protect Southeast Asian rainforests. Thank Dunkin’ Donuts for its pledge to stop using rainforest-damaging palm oil and ask that the company follow through by providing a detailed plan to make this a reality.


Dear Nigel Travis,

As a major American corporation, Dunkin’ Donuts has an ethical responsibility to obtain its resources and materials sustainably to ensure the health of Earth’s wild lands. By pledging to stop using rainforest-damaging palm oil, and instead only using oil from ecologically responsible sources, Dunkin’ Donuts has taken an important first step towards promoting sustainability. The need to protect rainforests in Southeast Asia is dire, and by advocating sustainable ways of producing palm oil, Dunkin’ Donuts has helped to do so.

However, it is imperative that the company follows through with its promise to only use ecologically responsible palm oil, and to implement this plan quickly. Therefore, I ask that Dunkin’ Donuts complete a specific plan to transition to only sustainably-sourced palm oil, and that this be done in a timely manner. In this way, you can not only directly help preserve the world’s vital rainforests, but also indirectly lend assistance by inspiring other companies to follow suit.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anthony92931 via Wikimedia

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One Comment

  1. Christine Stewart says:

    I am still going to do my best to not buy anything with palm oil in it, as long as rain forests are being bulldozed and orangutans are being killed while greedy companies plant their oil palm plantations.

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