During a conference call on Thursday, Lucia von Reusner, a member of mutual fund provider Green Century Capital Management, asked Kellogg CEO John Bryant what the company planned to do about allegations that its partner, Wilmar International, is actively destroying rain forests.
Kellogg gets its supply of palm oil from Wilmar. Palm oil is obtained by farming it from rain forests, which environmental activists believe is destroying the rain forest, reports Bloomberg.
Bryant defended Kellogg by saying that it buys palm oil from a sustainable source, and that if it can’t it purchases the green certificates to cover it. Green certificates are purchased by companies to show that they support sustainable palm oil production, reports Bloomberg.
A petition presented to Kellogg by U.S. activist group SumOfUs states that “The rainforests of Indonesia are an ecological treasure. They’re home to critically endangered species like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger, and they also store more carbon than the entire world emits in nine years. Now snack and cereal giant Kellogg’s has made a huge deal with a company that’s wiping these forests off the map.”
Iris Chan, a spokeswoman for Wilmar, told Bloomberg that “Wilmar is committed to developing and cultivating its plantations in a responsible and sustainable manner that looks into safeguarding the intrinsic value of the ecosystem, including endangered fauna like the orangutans and Sumatran tigers.”