Starbucks has agreed to buy 100% of any palm oil it uses from certified sustainable suppliers by 2015, in response to a shareholder resolution filed by the Green Century Balanced Fund, an environmentally responsible mutual fund.
Green Century filed the resolution because uncertified palm oil producers are responsible for much of the destruction of Indonesian and other rainforests. They raze the forests and turn them into industrial palm plantations, significantly raising greenhouse gas emissions in addition to destroying some of our planet's most fecund and biodiverse forests.
"Shareholders needed Starbucks to address the business risks associated with sourcing conventional palm oil and it has delivered. As an environmentally-responsible investment advisory firm, we believe that improving the environmental practices of the companies in which we invest may make them better long-term investments," says Leslie Samuelrich, Senior Vice President, Green Century.
Starbucks also agreed to join the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, and to work with Green Century on the delivery of the company's commitments.
Other companies that have committed to sustainable palm oil include Unilever, McDonald's, SC Johnson, Avon, Kellogg, Nestle, Procter &Gamble, General Mills, Walmart and Co-Operative Group, the owner of the U.K.'s fifth-largest supermarket chain.
This month, Solazyme announced a deal which will substitute algae oil for palm oil.