Illegal forest clearance and RSPO greenwash: case studies of Sinar Mas

Publication date: 
11 December, 2009

RSPO greenwash - report coverIndonesian conglomerate, the Sinar Mas group, has extensive interests in both the palm oil and pulp and paper sectors.

This dossier provides evidence that, through its palm oil companies, Sinar Mas is engaging in widespread illegal deforestation and peatland clearance in Indonesia, practices which release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and help Indonesia win the title of the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after China and the US.

As well as breaking Indonesian law Sinar Mas has been ignoring key principles of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) highlighting how membership of the RSPO alone is not sufficient proof of a company’s environmental credentials.

Major brands including Nestle, Kraft, and McDonalds continue to buy Sinar Mas palm oil. Other companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Mars, by purchasing palm oil through traders such as Cargill, can't yet confirm that they have suspended all purchases from Sinar Mas. Cargill remains one of Sinar Mas's largest customers.

In December 2009 Unilever, the world’s largest palm oil user, announced the suspension of its contracts with Sinar Mas in light of the evidence presented in this report. Find out more here.

Updated 21st January 2010

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