New industry standards in palm oil production, along with consumer demand, are finally getting the attention of America’s biggest brands. Well…at least a minority of them.

The majority of the 30 companies, deemed “America’s Biggest Brands” and scored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, have not yet taken a stance on their palm oil supply chain. There needs to be proactive company policies to fight the destruction of rain forests, endangered species, and human rights. Without transparency and traceability in where each company sources their palm oil, companies could well be responsible for climate change and deforestation.


The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Palm Oil Scorecard ranked the top 10 biggest brands in three categories: Packaged Food, Personal Care, and Fast Food Companies. Out of the 10 packaged food companies, Kraft appears to have no commitment to sustainable palm oil, including no action taken for transparency, traceability, or deforestation-free palm oil.

Out of the 10 personal care companies scored, Estée Lauder and Clorox, both appear to have taken no action whatsoever.

And lastly, out of the 10 fast food companies ranked, 8 of the 10 do not have any commitments to establishing a deforestation-free palm oil source any time soon. These culprits include Burger King, Domino’s, and (sadly) even Starbucks.

The good news is that there are some companies, albeit few, who are making a difference. These include Nestlé, Unilever, L’Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser, and Mondelēz who are fully committed to changing where their palm oil is sourced.


So, although the majority of America’s biggest brands have not changed their palm oil habits, the minority of companies that are making a difference brings us hope. Remember, as consumers, we are big influencers in the way these companies run. Vote with your dollar and shop consciously.

How You Can Help

  • Buy products from companies who choose sustainable palm oil OR not buy any products with palm oil at all.
  • Boycott companies that do not have any commitments to finding a deforestation-free palm oil source.
  • Read up on Donuts, Deodorants, and Deforestation, the full report on scoring America’s Biggest Brands.
  • Send a message to these Big Brands here.
  • To learn more about the effects of palm oil, read 10 Scary Facts About the Palm Oil Industry.
  • Spread and share this newfound knowledge!

Image Source: Adam Jones/Flickr