Unilever claims it is ahead of schedule on its pledge to source all palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015.
The company sourced more than 35% of palm oil from plantations certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) this year and last week announced a long-term agreement with European supplier Unimills to help it achieve its 100% goal.
Unimills sources segregated certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) through parent company Sime Darby, the world's largest producer of sustainable palm oil.
"We see in Sime Darby a likeminded partner who is as dedicated to operating sustainably and responsibly as we are," said Unilever chief procurement officer Marc Engel. "We are both founding members of the RSPO and we work closely together on our sustainable journey."
Currently, 15 of Sime Darby's 60 plantation 'strategic operating units' have the capacity to produce more than 500,000 tonnes of sustainable crude palm oil a year in total, and the producer intends to have them all certified by the end of 2011.
Earlier this year, Nestlé was attacked in a spoof Kit Kat ad by Greenpeace, which alleged that the company's palm oil was sourced from suppliers that were destroying the rainforests and killing orang-utans. The campaign prompted Nestlé to stop buying from Sinar Mas.
Greenpeace calls off its attack on Nestlé (22 May 2010)
Unilever tops fmcg sustainability table (17 March 2010)