Investors call P&G’s change to deforestation pledge a ‘step back’

Procter and Gamble (P&G) has dropped its pledge not to buy wood pulp from degraded forests, in a briefing to investors.

The update – which saw the manufacturer remove wording in an update to its 2021 Forest Commodities Policy about not permitting forest degradation of the rainforest – was reported by Reuters, who heard from some of the manufacturer’s investors, including Green Century Funds, that they felt the move was a “step back”.

P&G told Reuters that they had “simplified the language” to meet new definitions of forest degradation; but environmental organisations and NGOs said that the definition was clear, including its causes like logging.


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It is not the first time P&G have been embroiled in controversy, with the brand previously facing criticism  by NGOs such as the Rainforest Action Network for its role in indigenous rights violations and links to suppliers who carry out deforestation.

In 2020 investors including Blackrock called on the NGO to disclose its treatment of forests, as shareholders expressed concern around its use of forest pulp and palm oil.

Other businesses that have been called out for damaging forests include Cargill, who were called out after a Mighty Earth investigation using satellites earlier this year found that areas of the Amazon had been destroyed to grow feed used for Tesco chickens.

The EU definition of ‘forest degradation’ now includes the conversion of primary forests into plantation forests or the conversion of primary forests into planted forests.

The EU has also adopted a Deforestation Regulation which is due to be applied to the private sector in December 2024. It requires commodities including cattle, meat, leather, soy and palm-oil based products like soaps to be “deforestation-free” in order to be sold on the EU market.

Food and farmingMaterials and packagingNewsSupply Chain

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