Greenpeace reveals P&G’s involvement in Indonesia’s orangutan extinction

International environmentalist organization Greenpeace revealed on Wednesday that Procter & Gamble “contributes” to the clearance of the orangutan habitat in Indonesia as it actively sourcing palm oil from companies involved in widespread forest destruction in the country.

According to results of Greenpeace’s investigation, the current sourcing policies of the firm also expose its supply chain to forest fires and habitat destruction that is pushing the Sumatran tiger to the edge of extinction.

Palm oil is a common ingredient in detergents, shampoos, cosmetics and other household goods that P&G manufactures.

“Procter & Gamble needs to stop bringing rainforest destruction into our showers. It must clean up its act and guarantee its customers that these products are forest-friendly. Procter & Gamble should follow the lead of other palm oil using companies like Unilever, Nestle and L’Oreal, which have already promised to clean up their supply chains,” Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesian forest campaign at Greenpeace International said in a statement.

Greenpeace found that the orangutan habitat was being cleared in plantations linked to P&G’s supply chain. Land used for palm oil cultivation owned by the BW Plantation Group, a company connected to P&G’s supply chain, also correlates with the deaths and burials of orangutans next to the Tanjung Puting National Park.

In other cases, Greenpeace documented ongoing forest clearance within the concessions of two producers known to directly supply P& G.

“We’ve been confronting P&G over the last eight months with how it’s exposing consumers to forest destruction. Instead of taking urgent action, the company has been greenwashing its actions. It’s time P&G commits 100 percent to forest protection and stops making its customers part of the Sumatran tiger’s extinction,” Areeba Hamid, forest campaigner at Greenpeace International said.

Companies without strong policies to cut deforestation from their products are exposed to illegal practices in high-risk areas, like the province of Riau in Sumatra.

In June 2013, over 150 fire hotspots were recorded in the province which is home to several palm oil producers. Many of P&G’ s palm oil suppliers ship from Dumai, the main port of Riau province.

Indonesia’s forests are disappearing at a rate of more than nine Olympic swimming pools each minute, with palm oil being the biggest driver of forest destruction, according to Greenpeace.