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Transcript of UNILEVER
Global private governance known as 'roundtable' (Blowfield,2013; Schouten and Glasbergen,2009)
Multi-stakeholder approach implemented where only businesses and NGOs can make decisions (RSPO,2014;Nikoloyuk et al,2009)
unites stakeholders from the seven sectors of the palm oil industry (RSPO factsheet)
partnership initiative. (unilever.com )
RSPO is an initiative of NGOs working in corporation with businesses. (Schouten and Glasbergen, 2009)
According to the RSPO, palm production is only considered sustainable if it meets certain requirements ( RSPO.org)
Business Facts & Figures
Unilever joined this CSR initiative on sustainable palm oil in response to the criticisms it received for using it
Importance of CSR
The role of NGOs in increasing awarness.
The History of Unilever's RSPO
London meeting (2002) - the start of the idea.
The concept is known as a roundtable that "is a private arrangement with the aim to improve the sustainability of a specific global commodity chain. It is a multi-stakeholder platform where only private parties (business and NGOs) have decision-making power. Governmental agencies as well as scientists can only step in as observing members and advisors" (Glasbergen and Schouten, 2011)
The Impact of NGOs
The stakeholder groups
• Have the purchasing powers
• Concern on the products
• Interested in the price of the products
increasing pressure of businesses to be socially responsible (Arts,2002)
growing role and influence of NGOs in businesses (Calleguri et al,2013)
seen as the "watchdogs of globalization" (Bendall, 2000)
increase customer awareness of problems within organizations though campaigns. (Jansen,2013)
concerned with deforestation and loss of orangutans (Koh and Wilcove, 2009)
Greenpeace criticism of the CSR initiative (Greenpeace,2008)
• Community Groups
• Trade Unions
How the CSR initiative works
BE439 BUSINESS ETHICS - GROUP PRESENTATION
Unilever’s participation in the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
NGOs supporting RSPO
WWF- World Wildlife Fund
Rainforest Action Network
Friends of Earth International
Arts, B (2002) “ Green alliances of business and NGOs. New Styles of self-regulation or ‘dead-end roads’~? Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. Vol 9, Issue 1, pp 26-36
AWF Borneo & Sumatra Project (2012) Borney & Sumatra [online], available: http://www.awfborneoproject.wordpress.com
Bendell (2000) Terms for endearment, business, NGOs and sustainable development. Greenleaf Publishing, UK
Blowfield (2013) Business and Sustainability, Oxford University Press
Callguri et al (2013) “ Win-Win-Win: The Influence of Company-Sponsored Volunteerism Programs on Employees, NGOs. And Business Units”, Vol 66, Issue 4, pp 825-860
Esty, D and Simons, P (2011) The Green to Gold Business Playbook. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons
Glasbergen, P. and Schouten, G. (2011) Creating legitimacy in global private governance: The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Ecological Economics, Volume 70, Issue 11, pp. 1891-1899
Greepeace.com [online], available: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/dirty-palm-oil/blog/48308/
Greenpeace.(2008). “United Plantations certified despite gross violations of RSPO standards.” Greenpeace Nederland
Hower, M(2013) Unilever Pledges 100% Traceable Palm Oil by End of 2014[online], available: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/food_systems/mike-hower/unilever-promises-100-palm-oil-will-be-traceable-known-source
Jansen, R (2013) Second Generation Biofuels and Biomass. Germany: Wiley Publishing
Koh,L and Wilcove, D (2009) “ Oil Palm: disinformation enables deforestation” Trends in Ecology and Evoltion, Vol 24, pp 67-68
Laurence et al (2010) “ Improving the Performance of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for Nature Conservation” Conservation Biology, Vol 24, Issue 2, pp 377-381
Lee, J. (2013) Unilever Steps Up Its Ethical Origins Program for Certified Palm Oil [online], available: http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/11/unilever-steps-goal-source-palm-oil-certified-ethical-origins/
Nikoloyuk, J and Burns, T and Man, R (2009) The promise and limitations of partnered governance: the case of sustainable palm oil. Corporate governance, Vol 10, Issue 1, pp 59-72
Pye, O (2000) “ An analysis of transnational environmental campaigning around pakm oil. Presentation at ISEAS Workshop on the Oil Palm Controversy in Transnational Perspective.” Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
RSPO Factsheet [online], available: http://www.rspo.org/file/RSPO_factsheet_120705_25july.pdf
RSPO (2014) How we work [online], available: http://www.rspo.org/about/how-we-work
RSPO(2014)[online], Unilever Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Policy, available: http://www.rspo.org/file/acop/unilever/M-GHG-Emissions-Report.pdf
Say No to Palm Oil (2014) Say No to Palm Oil [online], available: www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php
Theguardian.com (2014) available: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/unilever-market-transformation-sustainable-palm-oil
Unilever (2014) ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL [online], available: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014/reducing-environmental-impact/sustainable-sourcing/sustainable-palm-oil/roundtable-on-sustainable-palm-oil/index.aspx
Youtube (2009) Don't Palm Us Off [online], available: youtube.com
Youtube (2014) Market Demands for Sustainability in Oil Palm Shift, How does RSPO Respond? [online], available: youtube.com
Comparing and contrasting
• Unilever is building confidence
• Ethical standard
• Prevent consumer shifting
• Hiding the truth
More than 2 billion people use Unilever's products each day in over 190 countries
More than 174,000 employees work for Unilever
In 2013 Unilever's turnover was €49.8 billion (Unilever.com)
Unilever announced a new goal to purchase 100 % of its palm oil from certified traceable sources by 2020, a target that sets a new bar for major palm oil buyers, which until now had mostly limited commitments to 100 % RSPO-certified palm oil by 2015.
Unilever said the traceability standard
"means it will be able to track all the certified oil it buys back to the plantation on which it was originally grown."
Unilever is one of the world's largest buyers of palm oil.
They purchase 1.5 million tonnes a year for use in their products.
Together, Indonesia and Malaysia
account for over 88% of palm oil exports in 2007.
RSPO is a non profit organization that works with palm oil suppliers and stakeholders to develop and implement global standards for sustainable oil
Before 2008 most of Unilever's suppliers were not RSPO certified and untraceable
Result: Deforestation has increased in Borneo,Malaysia as uncertified suppliers expand into the peat lands and rainforest
Greenhouse gases are the highest globally in Indonesia from deforestation
Natural habitat of orangutans getting destroyed as a result the Borneo orangutans are now endagered
Pressure from groups like Greenpeace
In 2008 Unilever committed to a sustainable palm oil plan
By 2015 buy all palm oil from sustainable sources
By 2020 buy all palm oil from traceable certified sustainable sources
The sustainable palm oil plan is also committed to the RSPO, working with suppliers to stop deforestation and to stop illegal plantations on peat lands
Finally becoming more responsible for the environment more ethical
Good reputation, working with RSPO
Persuade them and help them to move to more sustainable agricultural methods
If not cooperating, fear to break contracts with Unilever
Palm oil suppliers are required to commit to have their operations certified against the RSPO standarts.
Commitment to sustainable certification and with time bound plans in place to fully achieve this.
[Unilever.com(2014), The Independent, Hickman (2009)]
"one of the most successful stakeholder initiatives of all time” (Pye, 2009).
Thank you very much...
...and remember it's your choice!
In a 2007 report, Greenpeace was critical of RSPO-member food companies saying that they are "dependent on suppliers that are actively engaged in deforestation and the conversion of peat lands"
Unilever's cooperation with the suppliers have been affected.
Suppliers limitations & concerns
"Wilmar HR violation and scandal with Unilever reputation and cooperation".
Does your shopping basket contain KitKat, Hovis, Persil or Flora?
...you may be contributing to the devastation of the wildlife-rich forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, where orangutans and other species face extinction as their habitat disappears.
"40% of palm oil suppliers are now members of the RSPO, hoping all of them will eventually join. Members promise not to chainsaw any virgin forest; but they are still allowed to shop down "degraded forest"- Where some trees have been felled- preventing other Trees from re-growing and Animals from returning". (Unilever.com)