Palm Oil’s used in a variety of products and industries, from energy and food to beauty and haircare; including in Head & Shoulders. But news of its versatility and benefits have led to a rapid increase in demand. And it’s a growth that comes with challenges. Keep reading for more on what challenges it presents and what we’re doing to ensure ethical guidelines are met and palm oil’s sustainably sourced.
Why is palm oil a challenging ingredient?
Palm oil is an important and versatile vegetable oil; it’s used as a raw material for both food and non-food industries. Palm is a highly productive crop, meaning it requires much less land than alternatives, and can contribute to economic development and poverty alleviation in regions where it’s produced.
These positive attributes have driven a significant increase in the global demand for palm oil and the rapid expansion of palm plantations which has presented its own challenges. In some regions of the world, that rapid expansion of palm oil production has threatened environmentally sensitive areas of tropical forests and peatlands. This, in some incidents, has resulted in the infringement of workers’ rights and the rights of indigenous people.
Does Head & Shoulders use palm oil in its products?
P&G, Head & Shoulders’ parent company, uses relatively little palm oil, but we do use a by-product of palm oil production called palm kernel oil (PKO). Our combined use of palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives of each represents less than 1% of worldwide production.
While our overall use is small, we have established a robust approach to ensuring the responsible sourcing of palm products. This includes a three-pillar program: Supplier Management, Smallholder Program and Industry Influence.
Read more about our Palm Oil Policy.
What we are doing to tackle issues surrounding palm oil
At P&G, Head & Shoulders’ parent company, we’re committed to the responsible sourcing of palm that does not contribute to deforestation and respects the rights of workers and indigenous peoples. We’re members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and support their standards to drive responsible palm practices across the industry. In addition, we have established a robust approach to ensuring the responsible sourcing of palm derived materials which includes supplier management, improving lives of smallholders and industry influence.
- Supplier Management – We’re working with our suppliers to achieve our no deforestation commitments by 2020.
- Industry Influence – We’re working with the industry in various groups to influence positive change.
- Smallholder Program – We partner with multiple stakeholders to help improve the practices and livelihoods of the smallholders in our supply chain.