Earlier this year, Woolworths released their Corporate Social Responsibility plan. This sets out the goals that Woolworths has committed to achieving by 2020, and includes a goal to eliminate deforestation associated products with ‘high-impact’ commodities like non sustainable palm oil.
The supermarket has announced that the goals contained within the Corporate Social Responsibility plan cover three main areas: encouraging diversity, building trusted relationships, and the environment.
Woolworths is committing across its own branded products to “achieve net zero supply chain deforestation in commodities such as palm oil, timber, pulp and paper, and packaging".
While this doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be zero palm oil in all products sold in Woolworths, it does mean that there will be a serious focus on reducing the impact of non sustainable palm oil.
It also shows that corporations are starting to realise the serious environmental impact of non-sustainable palm oil, and that they are prepared to find more sustainable alternatives.
The Corporate Social Responsibility document also highlights a series of goals focused sustainability, carbon emissions, decreasing its food waste and encouraging diversity, with targets set for women in leadership positions, indigenous graduates and team members, and better cultural diversity.
While it is just a start, these goals are an indication that palm oil and other sustainability issues have been put on the agenda for improvement.
The more large corporations that take on the challenge to improve sustainability of palm oil and other resources, the more positive the impact will be for the planet, its people and wildlife.
Coles supermarkets are a member of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil, and states that it identifies palm oil on all its home brand products that contain it, rather than labelling it as ‘blended vegetable oil’, to allow their customers to make ‘informed purchasing decisions’