Today started as a regular day. My son woke up at 5am, at 7am I got a coffee, walked to the subway and after a 40-minute commute I arrived at the office.
But this ain’t no regular day.
This is the day Procter & Gamble (P&G), the maker of products such as Head & Shoulders, will have to stop ignoring the voice of the more than 185,000 people from around the world who are demanding it stops sourcing palm oil linked to forest destruction. As we revealed last week in a year-long investigation, P&G must come clean and stop making us a part of their forest destruction scandal.
Just as I opened my computer I found out that P&G, in a very sneaky move, started to delete comments placed by our supporters on the social media pages. Let me make this clear. P&G went from ignoring people’s demands to trying to hide them from the world. Busted!
After this poor start, I’m curious to see what they will do about this video we released this morning, highlighting the hypocrisy of a company that claims to support Moms, while making orphans. Orangutan orphans. Check it out here:
But while videos, posts and other social media materials are a great way of communicating our demands to the company, we need to make sure they get to the top decision makers, the big shots, who hold the power to change P&G’s policies and guarantee it’s supply chain is free from forest destruction,
And that’s exactly what a group of activists are doing.
As I write, Greenpeace activists are hanging two banners at P&G’s global headquarters in Cincinnati, in the US. One of them went further and is floating from a zipline that connects both buildings. The messages: “Stop putting tiger’s survival on the line” and “Head & Shoulders, wipes out dandruff and rainforests”.
Now let’s see if they can erase that one.
The bottom line of all this is simple. Instead of ignoring the demands from thousands of people and trying to hide the facts, P&G needs to seriously address the issue. It will only do that when it adopts and implements a No Deforestation policy that goes beyond their commitment to buying palm oil that, while certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as sustainable, is still linked to the destruction of forests, including orangutan and tiger habitat.
If other companies like Nestlé, Unilever, L’Oréal and Ferrero can move beyond the RSPO and commit to No Deforestation, then so can P&G.
Joao Talocchi is a forest campaigner at Greenpeace USA
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