Greenpeace attacks P&G over palm oil

By Rosie Baker | 11 March 2014

Greenpeace has waged war on Procter & Gamble over the use of palm oil in its cosmetic brands, turning the FMCG giant's recent 'Thank You, Mum' Winter Olympics campaign against it.

P&G, which owns cosmetic brands including Head & Shoulders, Tide and Olay has been making tear-jerker ads focusing on the relationship between Olympic athletes and their mothers since kicking off its 10-year Olympic sponsorship program at the London 2012 games.

Greenpeace is taking that message and turning it around in a campaign that parallels 'Thank You, Mum' with the plight of orphaned orangutans in Indonesia, as a result of the destruction of rainforests by P&G suppliers.

The activist group claims P&G is resorting to “greenwash” instead of taking steps to clean up its supply chain. 

The Protect Paradise campaign against P&G follows a report published by Greenpeace in late February claiming P&G sources palm oil from companies connected to forest devastation, forest fires and habitat destruction that puts orangutans and Sumatran tigers at risk.

A spokesman from P&G said: “P&G is committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil. As part of our sustainability goals, we have committed to 100% sustainable sourcing of palm oil by 2015, and we are working with our suppliers to ensure we deliver this commitment. 

"We agree that deforestation is a significant issue and take any allegation of impropriety by our suppliers very seriously. We will fully investigate all claims. As a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), we support the RSPO criteria established for sustainable palm oil. In addition, we are part of the working group on sustainable sourcing of palm oil derivatives."

The activist group says other firms including Unilever, Kellogg, L'Oréal, Ferrero and Nestlé have all committed to a 'No Deforestation' policy.

It is asking consumers to sign a petition addressed to P&G CEO AG Lafley asking the firm to stop using “dirty palm oil” in products like Head & Shoulders.

Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi was also on the receiving end. Greenpeace set up a stunt in the London agency's entrance forcing staff to chose to walk through an entrance labelled “protect forests” or one labelled “destroy forests”.

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