Palm oil commitments
Palm oil commitments
The palm oil industry has a significant potential impact on biodiversity, deforestation, the respect for human rights and the protection of local and indigenous communities throughout the world. Clorox takes seriously our commitment to the responsible sourcing of palm oil ingredients and to enhancing our own practices and those of the consumer packaged goods industry. To further our pursuit of industry change, in 2020 we enhanced our commitments to better address deforestation and peatland protection, business ethics and human rights and traceability.
Clorox’s global purchases of palm oil ingredients are 99% palm derivatives. The amount and source fluctuate from year to year based on our business needs. This total reflects the low volume of ingredients containing palm oil, palm oil derivatives or palm kernel oil derivatives that are sourced by Clorox from various suppliers. The palm derivatives we purchase contain derivatives of refined palm oil, made from the fruit, and palm kernel oil, made from the kernel or the pit of the palm fruit. These palm derivatives can be present in very small percentages as sub-components of surfactants, fatty alcohols, emulsifiers or fragrances in some of our bio-based and conventional cleaning products, food flavorings and fragrances or natural-origin personal care products.
We purchase raw materials that contain palm oil to manufacture some of our cleaning products, food flavorings, fragrances and natural personal care products. While we source less than 0.003% of the global palm supply produced globally each year, we recognize our role in driving transparency and transformation throughout the industry. We are committed to the responsible sourcing of palm oil through engagement with our suppliers, industry peers and NGOs. Through this engagement, we hope to strengthen collaboration with our business partners on the promotion of traceable and sustainable supply chains.
In 2020, we enhanced our 2015 commitments in alignment with industry developments to better address forest and peatland protection; human rights,; and business ethics, traceability and monitoring of risk in our value chain. These commitments give us the ability to track our progress toward responsibly sourced palm oil and will evolve over time as the industry changes.
Progress toward our goals can be found below and in the most recent Sustainability Accounting Standards Board report in our integrated annual report.
Our goal for palm oil sourcing
Our goal for palm oil sourcing
At Clorox, we aspire to be leaders in social and environmental sustainability. In conjunction with our IGNITE strategy’s environmental, social and governance goals, our palm oil commitments are designed to drive respect for human and labor rights, local communities, and biodiversity throughout the palm oil supply chain.
Clorox is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a nonprofit organization that unites stakeholders from the palm oil industry. We are committed to supporting RSPO standards and to the transformation of practices in communities that produce and supply palm oil globally. As of 2021, 29% of our palm oil ingredients that we purchased have been certified through RSPO supply chains. In 2022, we will continue to engage internally and externally with suppliers and stakeholders to increase our purchase of RSPO-certified palm oil derivatives.
Additionally, we work with Earthworm Foundation to support our sourcing commitment for palm oil, which focuses on traceability, supplier engagement and investment in transformation. In 2021, Clorox joined Action for Sustainable Derivatives to further expand multistakeholder engagement collaborations in the palm derivatives sector and our on-the-ground project implementation activities in Indonesia. Clorox’s partnerships with Earthworm Foundation and Action for Sustainable Derivatives are centered around the belief that the most effective way to influence progress in the supply chain is through collaboration.
Through these partnerships, Clorox aligns our commitments with industry standards and determines time-bound actions and targets to meet our goal. These commitments apply to all palm oil ingredients we purchase globally.
- Source only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil for palm oil and its derivatives through RSPO physical supply chains by 2025, and report on our progress through our RSPO Annual Communication of Progress and other public disclosures.
- Ensure suppliers sourcing palm oil and palm kernel oil in our supply chain have public sustainable palm oil commitments aligned with the RSPO Principles and Criteria, including what is commonly referred to as NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation).
- No deforestation and no development of high conservation value or high carbon stock areas.
- No development on peat lands.
- Protect human rights including respect for the rights of indigenous and local communities to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent to operations on lands to which they hold legal, communal or customary rights.
- Maintain a public grievance process and response procedures for cases of noncompliance.
- Continue to hold suppliers accountable to the principles outlined in our Business Partner Code of Conduct, including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries of operation, and respect for human rights throughout the value chain.
- Continue mapping, tracing and/or monitoring the supply chain of our palm ingredient suppliers and ensure adherence to Clorox and their own sourcing commitments and practices.
- Continue engaging with our suppliers, industry peers, shareholders, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to promote sustainable palm oil supply chains, including collaborations to strengthen certification and verification mechanisms.
- Report annually on our progress against these commitments.
At Clorox, we recognize that our ability to achieve our palm oil commitments depends heavily on the changing practices of the palm industry and the future market availability of the palm derivatives used in our products. We are committed to that change and strive to clearly communicate our expectations to support our suppliers in their effort to source responsibly.
Clorox expects our palm ingredient suppliers and their upstream supply chains to:
- Source only CSPO through RSPO physical supply chains by 2025.
- Incorporate our commitment criteria in their supplier selection process.
- Comply with all RSPO Principles and Criteria.
- Comply with our Business Partner Code of Conduct and our Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing Policy and Supplier Standards.
Clorox will always seek to support our suppliers first and leverage our business to drive change within the supply chain; however, in the event of non-compliant conduct, we may, at our sole discretion, require the business partner to implement remedial measures specified by Clorox within a defined time period or impose consequences up to and including termination of the business relationship and any related contracts.
Business ethics and human rights
Clorox holds direct suppliers of palm ingredients accountable to the following business practices listed in our Business Partner Code of Conduct. We also meet with priority suppliers further upstream, and expect all direct and indirect suppliers to meet or exceed our standards:
- Comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries of operation.
- Prohibit child labor, forced and/or bonded labor.
- Compensate workers in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations—including those pertaining to minimum wage, overtime, maximum hours, benefits and leave.
- Prohibit discrimination, harassment and inhumane treatment in employment or occupation.
- Create safe working conditions and a healthy work environment for all workers.
- Respect workers’ rights to freedom of association and to collective bargaining.
- Prevent and prohibit corruption, including extortion and bribery.
- Use ethical recruitment practices, in which recruitment processes are documented and transparent, and costs charged to the workers are transparent, justified and legal.
- Identify and implement efforts to reduce environmental footprints, adopt safe work procedures and require appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent chemical exposure, and, where possible, eliminate worker exposure to harmful chemical, biological and physical agents.
Clorox continues to establish and maintain traceability of our palm supply chains to first refiner and mill level. This visibility is critical in ensuring our palm commitments are effectively communicated and practiced throughout the supply chain. We focus on engaging our high-volume, priority suppliers (90% of our 2022 purchases) and have improved our traceability success by aligning with these suppliers and our NGO partners. Our traceability work supports the effort to educate about and promote supply chain transparency and sustainability.
Below are the percentages by year of our priority supplier volume traced to first refiner and mill:
In 2021, Clorox worked with Earthworm Foundation to utilize our traceability results and conduct a supplier and regional risk analysis. This allows us to identify opportunities where we can support our suppliers on specific transformation activities and allows us to ensure transparent NDPE policies.
On the ground investment: The Aceh Landscape Program
Since 2016, Clorox has supported Earthworm Foundation’s Aceh Landscape Program, which advances long-term, community-level sustainability transformation in the Indonesian region of Aceh Tamiang, Sumatra. The program:
- Strengthens NDPE policies and practices by commercial actors.
- Improves the livelihood prospects of communities.
- Builds capacity of local government to conduct spatial planning and district development processes that are inclusive and data-driven.
Between 2016 and 2019, the program contributed to a 60% reduction in deforestation and diversified the livelihoods of more than 2,000 households in communities where we source our ingredients. It also provided support to strengthen local leadership and entrepreneurship of women and youth. Additionally, we provided technical support for palm oil replanting in Indonesia, training over 300 people, including 150 high school students and members of a young farmers group.
On the ground investment: The Burt’s Bees Global Supply Chain Investment Program
Since 2019, our Burt’s Bees brand has partnered through its Global Supply Chain Investment Program on a multistakeholder effort, facilitated by BSR, focused on ensuring safety and well-being of workers in palm growing and harvesting in Indonesia. We’ve supported a series of workshops to deepen understanding of labor issues and identified a set of palm oil producers in Indonesia who are committed to collaboration to improve plantation management practices related to working conditions and worker welfare. In 2021, this collaboration was expanded to include suppliers and NGO implementation partners in Malaysia, in addition to those continuing to participate from Indonesia.