In September, PepsiCo released an update on its Palm Oil Action Plan launched last October, reporting that about 91% of its direct suppliers are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), accounting for some 96% of its forecasted direct palm oil volume.
PepsiCo also said it increased its use of mass balance physically certified palm oil in 2015 to 8% of its volume, as compared to 5% in 2014.
“We are developing a plan to significantly ramp up the physically certified volume to achieve our goal of 100% by 2020,” it said in its report.
On its goal of mapping supply chains to the mill of origin to ensure traceability by the end of this year, PepsiCo said that as of July 2016, about 72% of the palm oil it is forecasted to use for the year had been traced to the mill.“Over the rest of 2016 and beyond, we will be working to support our suppliers in an effort to achieve 100% traceability and to plan for independent verification.”
PepsiCo has aims to apply its palm oil policy to all its brands and products worldwide.
“Our contracts with suppliers provide a basis to verify compliance with our policies, such as the ability to request on-site audits. However, as joint venture relationships vary, PepsiCo is developing an approach on how to work most effectively with our joint venture partners.”
It cited its snack food joint venture in Indonesia, IFL, as an example, saying that IFL committed that all PepsiCo snack foods would be made with 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2016.
“We are aware of allegations of human and labour rights violations brought against some of the palm oil plantations under the ownership of Indofood, our partner in the IFL joint venture,” PepsiCo said.
“We have had significant engagement with IFL and IndoAgri Resources, the palm oil subsidiary of Indofood, on multiple occasions to review our Palm Oil Action Plan. Since beginning this work, IndoAgri has further developed its policy commitments and program on palm oil.”
PepsiCo has been criticised by NGOs over palm oil sustainability, with the WWF ranking it among the slower moving multinationals on the issue in 2014.
However, Andrew Aulisi, senior director, global environmental policy at PepsiCo, told just-food that the company was now in “full execution mode” on its palm oil commitments.
“It think what we’ve demonstrated over the last year is we got started right away, we made a lot of progress, we put a lot of resources to this and, importantly, we’re reporting against it in a very transparent way.”