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Palm Oil Action Australia | September 27, 2022

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Greenpeace applauds former foe IOI Group over new palm oil commitments

  • On August 18, 2017
Greenpeace applauds former foe IOI Group over new palm oil commitments
Madeleine Cuff 02 May 2017
3-4 minutes

A palm oil mill in Kuala Lumpur | Credit: Marufish

The palm oil company has begun to take ‘meaningful action’ to eliminate forest destruction and human rights abuses in its supply chain, say environmental campaigners

One year since palm oil giant IOI Group was dropped by a number of major brands and suspended from an influential industry group over its failure to adequately tackle deforestation, it is being applauded by Greenpeace for its efforts to address the issue.

In April 2016 the company was suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) after it was found to be clearing peatlands in Indonesia. The revelation led to major brands cutting ties with IOI, including Mars, Unilever, and Nestlé.
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But Greenpeace now acknowledges the company is making a tangible effort to improve its operations.

Since January IOI Group has been proactively monitoring its suppliers to ensure they are not destroying rainforests or peatlands, and has promised to change its practices to better protect its plantation workers.

And late last week IOI Group announced a new set of commitments to address deforestation and exploitation throughout its supply chain, including a promise to submit to third-party verification of its progress in a year’s time.

“IOI has come a long way in the past twelve months, and has now started taking meaningful action to eliminate forest destruction and human rights abuses from its supply chain,” Kiki Taufik, global head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian Forests Campaign, said in a statement. “Greenpeace will be watching closely to make sure IOI follows through. There is still a lot of work to be done to clean up the palm oil industry and we expect other traders to respond with action plans of their own.”

IOI Group regained its membership of the RSPO last summer, but a number of major former customers are said to be monitoring its progress before committing to a new supply contract.

Greenpeace last week advised any companies considering taking on IOI Group as a supplier to stipulate in the contracts the need for continuing progress with its Sustainable Palm Oil Policy, in addition to the new commitments made last week.

“IOI stands firmly committed to the implementation of its sustainability policies and believes that its progress in key areas – combined with these new commitments and measures – sends a strong signal to stakeholders around its desire for continued improvement,” IOI Group’s chief executive Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor said in a statement.

“The company will continue to engage stakeholders in its sustainability journey and looks forward to playing a leading role in ensuring sustainable global palm oil supply chains,” he promised.

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