Kellogg Co. announced a global commitment to work with palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable. To do so, Kellogg is working through its supply chain — from suppliers to processors to growers — to ensure that palm oil it uses is sourced from plantations that uphold the company's commitment to protect forests and peat lands, as well as human and community rights.
Although a very small user of palm oil, Kellogg has directly engaged with global palm oil suppliers and stakeholders since it began responsibly sourcing palm oil in 2009. In 2012, Kellogg began using mass balance palm oil in Europe, and in 2014 the company was able to shift its U.S. palm oil use to mass balance supply. All of the palm oil Kellogg has used since 2011 has been sourced through a combination of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified segregated supply, RSPO mass balance mixed-source supply, and the purchase of GreenPalm certificates.
"As a socially responsible company, traceable, transparent sourcing of palm oil is important to us, and we are collaborating with our suppliers to make sure the palm oil we use is not associated with deforestation, climate change or the violation of human rights," said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg Co. chief sustainability officer, in a prepared statement.
To achieve its goals, Kellogg will require all global palm oil suppliers to trace palm oil to plantations that are independently verified as legally compliant; adherent to the company's principles for protecting forests, peat lands, and communities; and compliant with all RSPO principles and criteria. Suppliers must comply with the requirement by Dec. 31, 2015, or be working to close any gaps identified in their action plans.
"By partnering closely with our suppliers to meet these expectations, we will work together to address the important topic of deforestation," Holdorf said. "Every year we make significant progress against this important priority, and as we seek to further advance these goals, we will continue to report annually on our progress."
The commitment is garnering support from external stakeholders such as Green Century Capital Management, an environmentally responsible investment advisory firm that provides eco-conscientious people opportunities to invest in ways that encourage environmentally responsible corporate behavior. Green Century is a long-term Kellogg Co. shareholder, and worked closely with them in updating this commitment.
"Green Century is excited to support Kellogg on this important palm oil journey, which will ensure the company's core values are upheld throughout the supply chain and create long-term value for both shareholders and the environment," said Lucia von Reusner, shareholder advocate, Green Century Capital Management. "Kellogg Company's commitment to directly engage its suppliers positions them as a leader in developing sustainable palm oil."