As more and more people become increasingly eco friendly, businesses and organizations are also taking the necessary steps to become more conscious of the impact of their businesses on the environment.
Famous cereal producer Kellogg Co. recently announced that it would only buy palm oil from companies that do not destroy tropical rainforests to produce it. Palm oil is an additive commonly added to processed foods, and Kellogg uses a small amount of palm oil in some of its most popular products including Pop-Tarts, cookies, and waffles.
Over the past several years, environmental groups have worked to push those in the food industry to stop using palm oil that comes from plantations that destroy rainforests, particularly in Southeast Asian nations. These rainforests are home to some of the world’s exotic endangered species, and these animals become displaced and head toward extinction when their rainforests are destroyed.
Palm oil is a multibillion industry, and the product itself is used in nearly half of all packaged foods. The process of palm oil cultivation has led to the deforestation of nearly 30,000 square miles of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia, so it is no surprise why environmental groups are making a strong effort to encourage food industry businesses to be more conscientious about from where some its products are coming.
Under its new policy, Kellogg requires everyone involved in the supply chain including suppliers, planters, and processors to trace their palm oil to plantations that have been verified as being in compliance with the law and protection of the environment.
Kellogg’s initiative is a step in the right direction toward further protection of the environment. Human activity has led to the destruction of many of the earth’s natural resources, and although the rainforest species are the ones suffering now, humans will be the ones to suffer in the future. The supply of the earth’s natural resources is not infinite, so everyone must do their part in order to conserve and preserve where they can. Many applaud Kellogg’s decision and hope that it will prove to be a positive influence on others in the industry.
Starbucks is another powerful brand that has made a vow to sustainability and to preserving the environment while also protecting human rights. In its mission statement, Starbucks explains its commitment to conservation and reducing its environmental footprint. Starbucks places a high value on leaving communities in better conditions than they found them, and the organization refuses to work with areas that do not protect the rights of their workers.
Kellogg and Starbucks take their social responsibility very seriously, and it should set a precedent for other food industry organizations. The little that individuals do to help the environment is beneficial, but it is also important that environmental protection continue at the corporate level.