Retailers sit at the top of the palm oil pyramid – and have huge influence over what manufacturers do. As well as competing on price, retailers should compete on sustainability.
Their customers are concerned about unsustainable palm oil, but the responses from retailers are polarized:
While 22 of the retail companies we scored are buying 100% certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), almost as many are buying none at all.
Many retailers have really put the effort into changing themselves and the industry, setting tough targets and delivering on them.
Scoring maximum points are Ahold, Axfood, Boots, Carrefour, Casino, Coles, Colruyt Group, Coop (Sweden), Coop (Switzerland), Delhaize Group, E.Leclerc, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, Migros, Morrisons, REMA 1000, Sainsbury’s, Seiyu, S Group, Super U, The Co-operative (UK), Waitrose, Walmart and Woolworths.
If they can do it so can their competitors!
Many retailers have still not taken even the first and simplest step of joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). And some Roundtable on Responsible Palm Oil (RSPO) member retailers haven’t set a target to use 100% CSPO – even through the easily available book and claim system.
Jerónimo Martins Poland,
Piotr i Pawel,
Seven & i Holdings,
Whole Foods Market and
Żabka did not respond to our request for information.
None of the above used any CSPO in 2015 – and CO.OP Japan, Costco, Dansk Supermarked and Target didn’t tell us whether they had or not.
Costco, Safeway and Target and are RSPO members but did not set themselves the challenge to use only CSPO by 2015.
30 of the 48 retailers scored set themselves the target of using only CSPO by 2015 – and most of them either completely made this target or bought enough CSPO to cover more than 95% of their palm oil usage.
Only one fell some way short of their own target – Casino. Three others did not give us enough information to judge whether they failed or not — Dansk Supermarked, Kroger and Superunie.