Unilever, Walmart Announce Initiatives For Forest Sustainability
Unilever has announced that it will participate in a programme that aims to sustainably certify 60,000 hectares of forest in Sabah in Malaysia.
The move is a part of the company’s commitment to achieving a deforestation-free supply chain and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The forest sustainability programme is being led by Forever Sabah, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia, and the PONGO Alliance.
The announcement was made at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where Walmart also announced a similar initiative, that will run concurrently with that of the FMCG giant.
The retailer declared that it is developing a platform to link its suppliers, who are sourcing commodities from regions with deforestation risk, to create and support partnerships.
'Innovative Sourcing Strategies'
Walmart's initiative will form part of Project Gigaton, which was launched in April of last year, which aims to reduce emissions from the company’s value chain by a gigaton by 2030.
Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice-president, and chief sustainability officer of Walmart said, “Walmart commends Unilever on helping implement this model in Sabah and we invite other suppliers to join us in working to reduce deforestation through innovative sourcing strategies like jurisdictional approaches.
"These multi-stakeholder initiatives in critical regions are needed to reduce forest loss and degradation, and improve the health and sustainability of the people who depend on forests."
Unilever's Chief Sustainability Officer, Jeff Seabright said, “At the COP21 climate negotiations, we pledged to support a jurisdictional approach of production and protection.
“This means we are moving our sourcing to areas that have good forest management and work in partnership to reconcile competing, social, economic and environmental objectives. Our ultimate ambition is to help drive a sustainable palm oil industry."
Managing Climate Goals
As part of Project Gigaton, Walmart is collaborating with Conservation International, the Environmental Defence Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund to identify jurisdictions with deforestation risk and connect suppliers with guidance on how to best support these multi-stakeholder efforts.
Carter Roberts, president & CEO of World Wildlife Fund, US, said, "With this partnership, Walmart and Unilever are advancing an innovative new approach to help companies meet their climate goals.
"Decoupling supply chains from deforestation would deliver three important benefits – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, securing essential habitat, and restoring species like orang-utans and elephants that call Sabah their home."
Sabah aims to certify 100% of the state’s palm oil production to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification by 2025.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.