Another issue impacting deforestation is the rapid expansion in the production of palm oil, driven by an increase in global demand for the ingredient for use in a variety of industries. Development of new palm oil plantations has resulted in the destruction and conversion of large areas of tropical forests and peatlands, especially in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, the source of 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, where the indigenous forests and peat lands are vital to the ecosystem.
Though more than 80 percent of palm oil is used in food, it is also one of the natural oils used in cosmetics and personal care products.
Palm oil is produced from the fruit flesh of palm trees which grow in tropical regions. It is the most efficient source of oil per hectare of cultivated land by a significant margin, followed by coconut, which produces less than half as much oil per hectare. Palm oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world in terms of production, with approximately 46 million tons per year, and palm kernel oil, derived from the palm fruit kernel, is an additional 5 million tons per year.
In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainable palm oil production, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through credible global sustainability standards developed through involvement of all stakeholders.
Although Avon is not a significant user of palm oil, the company recognizes the threat palm oil production poses and is committed to playing a leadership role and driving influence within its sphere. In March 2011, Avon adopted the Avon Palm Oil Promise, which outlines the company's guidelines for purchasing sustainably sourced palm oil.
The goals are to:
Avon joined the RSPO to help continue the development, implementation and verification of credible global standards for sustainable palm oil. Through the Palm Oil Promise, Avon supports the production of sustainable palm oil through the GreenPalm program, which means that for every estimated ton of palm oil derivative we use in the production of our products, we have paid a voluntary premium to a palm oil producer which is operating within the RSPO strict guidelines for social and environmental responsibility.
In 2012, Avon supported the production of 16,200 metric tons of sustainable palm oil production through the GreenPalm program.
At Avon Products, Inc. we believe business is responsible for "contributing to the well-being of society and the environments in which it operates," as stated in our founding principles of 1886, and also for taking a leadership role where it can have positive influence on environmental and social issues relevant to its stakeholders.
Avon has worked internally to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, including the issues of energy consumption, water, waste, recycling, greenhouse gas emissions and paper use, along with a commitment to green building design. Externally, the Healthy Forests, Beautiful World program empowers and mobilizes a "green army" to help end deforestation through fundraising and education, following the successful model of the company's leadership in the causes of breast cancer and domestic violence.
The issue of palm oil provides an opportunity for Avon to make a difference. Palm oil production has come under criticism for destroying rain forests and peatland across Southeast Asia, leading to habitat destruction and high carbon emissions. Although more than 80 percent of palm oil is used for food products, it is also one of many natural oils used in personal care products. While Avon is not a significant user of palm oil, the company has made the commitment to take a leadership position by purchasing GreenPalm certificates, which means that for every estimated ton of palm oil derivative we use in the production of our products, we have paid a voluntary premium to a palm oil producer which is operating within the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) strict guidelines for social and environmental responsibility. This will help drive demand for sustainable palm oil, increase the supply for sustainable palm oil, and help maintain biodiversity and habitat for endangered species.
GreenPalm is a certificate trading program that is designed to tackle the environmental and social problems created by the production of palm oil. Exclusively endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), GreenPalm works on the principle that the best way to encourage people to work in a sustainable and responsible way is to reward them for doing so. In support of this commitment, Avon has joined the RSPO (http://rspo.org/) to help continue the development, implementation and verification of credible global standards for sustainable palm oil.
In line with our commitment to raising awareness and driving positive environmental and social change, Avon has developed the Palm Oil Promise, which comprises corporate guidelines for purchasing sustainably sourced palm oil.
The Avon Palm Oil Promise ensures that:
For more information visit http://www.avoncompany.com/corporatecitizenship/