Palm oil is an ingredient in thousands of the products we use, from toothpaste to cookies. It’s also a major contributor to habitat destruction. When pristine tropical forests are converted into palm oil plantations, 85% of the species that lived in them—like tigers and orangutans—lose their home.
Some large American companies are now switching to more responsible practices. Pursuing deforestation-free palm oil is a lengthy process that spans the globe to address every link of the supply chain, from plantations in the tropics to factories in North America.
Here’s a look at how one company, General Mills, is doing it:
Since the summer of 2014, more than 5,000 visitors to zoos in Portland, Tacoma, Houston and Philadelphia have thanked General Mills for pursuing deforestation-free palm oil.
Here’s what General Mills had to say:
"We share your concern about deforestation and its negative impact on biodiversity. For this reason, it matters to us that our palm oil purchases do not harm the world’s rainforests.
While General Mills is a relatively small user of palm oil, we are committed to sourcing 100% of our palm oil from responsible and sustainable sources. We are making good progress towards our goal: in 2014, we sourced 83% of our palm oil sustainably.
Thanks again for taking time to voice your support. We appreciate it and believe that together, we can protect and conserve the natural resource upon which we all depend."