Palm Oil


How to Keep New Year’s (and Deforestation-Free) Resolutions

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

This year, I will be reducing the amount of sugar in my diet. To give myself every advantage, I’m planning ahead. I looked up tips and tricks for keeping New Year’s resolutions. As I began to write down the findings listed on multiple websites, I realized that everything advised for keeping personal resolutions has a corollary in the corporate world for making and following through on strong palm oil and deforestation-free pledges. Read more >

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Who’s Responsible for Palm Oil Deforestation—Small Farmers or Big Companies?

, sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

In recent days, with massive fires in Southeast Asia again creating the dangerous haze that endangers the health and lives of millions, we’ve seen the recurrence of the claim that fires and deforestation are caused by small farmers, not big companies and their plantations. Read more >

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There Would Be No Smoke If There Were No Fires

, UCS Science Network

Right now Indonesian farmers are burning hundreds of thousands of hectares of the oldest rainforests on earth to clear land for plantation crops. The resulting smoke has covered Southeast Asia in a thick haze, affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people. This happens every year, which is incredibly frustrating because the Indonesian government made slash-and-burn agriculture largely illegal in 2001, following the severe regional haze it generated 1997-1998. On paper those laws were strengthened in 2009 and again 2014, but in actuality the 2015-2016 season is likely to be the worst on record.

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4 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Deadly Haze in Southeast Asia this Year

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

Residents in Southeast Asia are currently being subjected to a heavy blanket of smoke and haze spreading across the region. The haze originates in large part from the burning of forests and peat soils in order to prepare land for agriculture, such as palm oil. But reading news reports and even seeing pictures cannot always convey the daily experience in the way that first-hand accounts can. Read more >

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PepsiCo’s New Palm Oil Commitment: Transparency, Trust, and the Company You Keep

, policy analyst, Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative

Since starting our work on palm oil, UCS has taken a position that a company’s zero deforestation commitment needs to cover all of its operations, not just the products it sells or manufactures in the US. US consumers holding a company accountable for its global operations is not a new concept. The successful boycott of Nestlé in the US and Europe, which started in the late 1970’s, was the result of practices by that company in the developing world. Consumers not only want to buy products that don’t harm the planet but also want to buy products from companies they trust. Read more >

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