In response to a shareholder resolution submitted by Green Century Balanced Fund, Starbucks has agreed to purchase 100% of its palm oil from certified sustainable suppliers by 2015. Starbucks also agreed to become a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.
Green Century announced the news on February 21, 2013 in a release entitled, “Green Century Gets Starbucks* to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Response to Shareholder Concerns.”
According to the release, the expansion of oil palm plantations has taken place unsustainably, by burning down rainforests. This deforestation has endangered local habitats and released significant greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Shareholders needed Starbucks to address the business risks associated with sourcing conventional palm oil and it has delivered. As an environmentally-responsible investment advisory firm, we believe that improving the environmental practices of the companies in which we invest may make them better long-term investments,” stated Leslie Samuelrich, Senior Vice President, Green Century. “As the pace of global warming has accelerated, we are pleased Starbucks has decided to curb the increasingly apparent and threatening impact that global warming has on our lives and planet,” added Samuelrich.
You may read the release on the news page of the Green Century Funds internet site.
On February 25, 2013 a search of the key words “sustainable palm oil” on the Starbucks internet site yielded no results.