Did you recently go grocery shopping? Chances are, the items that you bought may be a PepsiCo product. (Not sure? Check out this U.S. brands list.) The snack food giant uses “conflict palm oil” in many of their products, meaning that the PepsiCo snack you have just bought might be fueling the wipe out of Indonesia’s forests and endangered species, such as the orangutan. That PepsiCo snack may also have displaced an indigenous population from their home and may have contributed to tons of carbon emissions into our already devastated atmosphere.
Now, PepsiCo is in the spotlight. What will the company do about its “conflict palm oil?” The company is one of the largest snack food companies in the world, with products appearing in stores within North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. With a huge global presence, PepsiCo does not have any truly sustainable palm oil sourcing in progress. Hence, consumers just don’t know if their products contain deforestation palm oil.
And since the company is so large, it uses “more than 450,000 metric tons of palm oil annually,” according to a Rainforest Action Network (RAN) press release.
That’s over 496 U.S. tons, equal to the weight of about 66,133 male African elephants! Boy, with all that palm oil coming from a nontransparent source (or sources), it’s no wonder organizations like RAN are calling them out.
“At PepsiCo, we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve achieved towards reaching our environmental sustainability goals. This #EarthDay we invite you to make a goal of your own,” writes the company on its Facebook page.
Funny, the company’s still using “conflict palm oil.” Maybe they should reevaluate their goals.
As part of the Rainforest Action Network’s Conflict Palm Oil campaign, RAN, along with the Union of Concerned Scientists; the consumer watchdog group, SumOfUs.org; and a part of the Years of Living Dangerously project, are singling out PepsiCo — a company that has been working deceptively in the shadows of other companies, such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) for too long.
Thousands of concerned consumers are emailing, tweeting, and Facebooking PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, to respond to the question: “Deforestation from palm oil is a leading driver of climate change. How can you ensure your customers that your supply chains do not contribute to this ongoing problem?”
How will PepsiCo respond? We’ll have to wait and see. But, if the company knows what’s good for them, they’d take a page from P&G and turn over to responsible palm oil sourcing before it’s too late.
Image Source: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr