21/04/2008 (Green Consumer Guide) - Unilever has been accused by Greenpeace today of playing a major role in the destruction of rainforests through its sourcing of palm oil for cosmetics. The environmental campaign group is demonstrating at the corporation’s London HQ, drawing attention to the orang-utan habitat destruction and climate change caused by palm oil plantations in Borneo.
“Unilever, the company behind global brands like Dove, is contributing to one of the greatest environmental crimes happening in the world right now,” said Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven. “By doing nothing to stop its suppliers destroying rainforests and peatlands to grow palm oil, Unilever is helping to kill off the last remaining orang-utans on the planet and massively speeding up climate change.”
Greenpeace’s new report “Burning Up Borneo”, which follows up on a previous damning investigation in November 2007, details the activities of Unilever’s key suppliers and reveals the dramatic environmental effects in the region.
“Unless Unilever cleans up its act then the orang-utan could soon become extinct in the wild, and our chances of avoiding climate disaster could disappear with them,” added Mr. Sauven.
Unilever chairs the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which despite being formed in 2002 has not led to a certified palm oil entering the market as yet. Other leading names involved with the RSPO, including Nestle and Proctor and Gamble, are also accused of direct links with suppliers involved with deforestation.