Sodexo, (No. 6 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) world leader in Quality of Life Services, has received a top ranking of nine out of nine from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on its Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, a ranking that assesses the progress of companies on the commitments and actions necessary to be a responsible user of palm oil.
Sodexo's score is a reflection of the company's undertaking to actionably improve its practices regarding sourcing sustainable palm oil and in raising awareness internally, within the supplier community, its sourcing teams and with clients and customers about the importance of sourcing certified sustainably produced palm oil.
Neil Barrett, Sodexo Group SVP Sustainable Development said: "The need for sustainable practices in the palm oil industry has become increasingly urgent, especially considering the devastation in Indonesia this past year due to toxic haze that has been linked to palm oil and paper production.
"Raising environmental standards across the entire global supply chain is both an economic and ethical responsibility. At Sodexo, we select and source products that support the development of a sustainable palm oil industry and work with suppliers and producers that share the same level of commitment to conducting business responsibly."
Recognizing the role that palm oil production plays in supporting millions of livelihoods, Sodexo has committed to actively support the development of a sustainable palm oil industry by increasing its use of certified sustainable palm oil. Its plan includes selecting products that support the development of a sustainable palm oil industry in all the countries where it operates and working with suppliers to source sustainable palm oil in the products that the company buys from them wherever possible.
Where Sodexo is not able to source sustainable palm oil, it purchases GreenPalm certificates to reward palm producers for working in a sustainable and responsible way. The company seeks to reduce its recourse to Greenpalm certificates every year by increasing its sourcing of physical certified sustainable palm oil.
The increase in demand has driven the development and expansion of new plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries as well as Africa and Latin America. This expansion leads to the conversion of tropical forests to and for the cultivation of oil palms with considerable social and environmental impacts, including: the displacement of local populations, human rights abuses and conflicts over land rights, the generation of significant carbon emissions and the destruction of habitats of a large number of endangered species.
As part of its Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo has defined and achieved an ambitious roadmap to achieve its commitment:
- In 2011 Sodexo became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and defined a time-bound strategy for sustainable palm oil in conjunction with the WWF
- In 2012 Sodexo became a member of GreenPalm
- Sodexo developed and continues to deploy a Sustainable Palm Oil toolkit to raise awareness internally and with suppliers on the importance of sustainable palm oil
- Each year, Sodexo carries out a full survey of the palm oil volumes purchased through the company's sourcing of margarine and frying oil
- Since 2012, the company has been purchasing GreenPalm certificates to cover the purchase of non-certified sustainable palm oil