Greenpeace demands rainforest protection at the Australian headquarters of Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo

Press release - 18 April, 2016
Sydney, 18 April 2016 - Greenpeace Australia Pacific activists this morning are visiting the Australian headquarters of global companies, PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson to demand urgent action to break the link between palm oil and deforestation in Indonesia.

Holding a banner saying “Forests not Fires: End Deforestation!” the activists are delivering a global petition with 30,000 signatures demanding companies take urgent steps to ensure deforestation-free supply chains.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Forest Campaigner, Jess Panegyres said:

“There are companies with products on sale all across Australia that are not doing enough to protect the beautiful Indonesian rainforests, and today 30,000  Australians are demanding better.”

Greenpeace recently investigated 14 global consumer goods companies who have pledged ‘no deforestation’ policies. PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson were identified as failing to keep the ‘no deforestation’ promises they made to their customers.

“Palm oil is used in so many products and can be grown responsibly without destroying rainforests, harming local communities or endangering orangutans – but companies such as PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson continue to let their customers down.

“People should be able to brush their teeth or have a snack without pushing orangutans closer to extinction,” said Ms Panegyres.

On Friday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced a temporary ban on new palm oil and mining developments.

“The pledge to ban new palm oil and mining developments is welcome and necessary.

“However Greenpeace calculates there are 10 million of hectares of forests currently facing clearance in existing oil palm, pulp and mining concessions.

“The president must take measures to permanently protect forests and peatlands wherever they are - and companies who use palm oil must support this by ensuring there is no deforestation in their supply chains,” said Ms Panegyres.

The situation is critical for Indonesia’s forests. The country has lost 31 million hectares of forest since 1990, and the palm oil industry is a leading cause of deforestation in Indonesia. 

Decades of deforestation was a root cause of the fires that devastated Indonesia last year.

To date, 30,000 Australians – and over 450,000 people around the world - have signed the petition to the global CEOs of PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson and companies that use palm oil to take immediate action to prevent another fires crisis.

A recent Greenpeace investigation found that only a few companies were making significant headway towards ensuring that there is no deforestation in their palm oil supply chains, and most are moving far too slowly. While there are very different degrees of progress, none of the companies can yet guarantee that their supply of palm oil is not linked to deforestation.