(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli and received via electronic mail. The release
was confirmed by the sender.)
DiNAPOLI: DUNKIN DONUTS AGREES TO RUN ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that Dunkin’
Brands Group, owner of Dunkin’ Donuts, has agreed to set a date for
sourcing 100 percent of the palm oil used to make its products from
“Dunkin’ Brands should be commended for taking the necessary steps to use
only sustainably harvested palm oil in its products,” DiNapoli said.
“Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they eat
and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely
detrimental to the environment. Shareholder value is enhanced when
companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental
practices that promote climate change.”
According to the Rainforest Action Network, palm oil is used in over 50
percent of all consumer goods and imports to the U.S. have jumped 485
percent in the last decade. Production of palm oil from unsustainable
sources has been found to accelerate deforestation, destroy rain forests
and promote climate change, all of which present reputational and
operational risk to companies that participate in the process and
substantial risk to shareholder value. It has been estimated that
deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20 percent of
global greenhouse gas emissions.
In exchange for DiNapoli withdrawing a shareholder resolution that asked
the company to address the social and environmental concerns associated
with palm oil production, Dunkin’ Brands Group will:
· Set a target date in its next Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) report, to be published in the second quarter of 2013 for sourcing
100 percent sustainable palm oil or for purchasing GreenPalm certificates
covering 100 percent of sourced palm oil;
·Develop plans in conjunction with its suppliers for independent
verification of suppliers’ compliance with company policy;
·Include a statement in its 2013 CSR report expressing support for
a moratorium on palm oil expansion in rainforests and peatlands; and
·Commit to publicly disclosing company progress on this issue in
future CSR reports.
In 2010, DiNapoli reached an agreement with Sara Lee Corporation to
support palm oil produced in an environmentally and socially responsible
manner by purchasing only from suppliers that are members of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In 2012, DiNapoli reached an
agreement with the J.M. Smucker Company to begin purchasing palm oil from
RSPO certified sources in 2012 and source 100 percent of its direct palm
oil purchases from responsible and certified sustainable sources by 2015.
Additionally in 2012, the Comptroller reached agreements with three
additional companies on ways to address climate risk: CMS Energy agreed to
provide a unified greenhouse gas reduction target to the Fund by mid-2012,
Patriot Coal agreed to prepare a report to address environmental harms,
risks and steps taken to mitigate its mountaintop mining of coal and
Celgene Corporation agreed to annually report on its environmental,
economic and social performance.
In 2013, DiNapoli has filed resolutions with several companies encouraging
them to foster sustainable business practices by addressing climate change
risks. Resolutions with electric power providers Ameren, DTE Energy,
FirstEnergy and SCANA urge the companies to report on actions to increase
energy efficiency and renewable energy. DTE Energy agreed to the
Comptroller’s request in late February.
In November, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, an international
not-for-profit global organization whose objective is to protect members'
retirement savings from the risks posed by climate change by improving the
level of disclosure and industry best practice, named the New York State
Common Retirement Fund as the top-ranked United States public pension fund
in its first-ever global climate investment index. The index shows how
most of the world’s biggest investors, including pension funds, are
managing climate risk.
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