Dunkin' commits to sustainable palm oil

by Eric Schroeder
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CANTON, MASS. — Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. has committed to source only 100% sustainable palm oil in the United States by 2016. The company said it will work with its suppliers and its franchisee-owned purchasing cooperative to source palm oil that is 100% fully traceable to the mill by the end of 2015, and to the plantation by the end of 2016, for use in Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. restaurants.

In addition, Dunkin’ Brands said it plans to develop and publish a phased implementation plan, including mapping its international supply chain, by March 1, 2015. The Canton-based company said it worked with several nonprofit organizations to develop its responsible palm oil supply plan, and intends to continue to work with the organizations to help meet the targets.

Dunkin’ Donuts currently uses a blend of palm oil, soy and cottonseed oil for preparing donuts, and has supported a moratorium on palm oil expansion in rainforests and peatlands since 2012.

 “Sourcing even limited amounts of palm oil irresponsibly can contribute to deforestation, loss of natural habitats and other environmental and human rights concerns,” said Christine Riley Miller, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Dunkin’ Brands. “Therefore, Dunkin’ Brands has created clear guidelines for our suppliers, and to ensure independent verification that our principles are being met, so that by 2016 we can meet our targets of sourcing only responsibly-produced palm oil. As part of our overall commitment to being a socially responsible company, Dunkin’ Brands is focused on finding sustainable business solutions that meet the needs of our guests and our franchisees, and that benefit our communities and the planet.”

Dunkin’ Brands said suppliers will be held accountable to several principles in the company’s commitment to source responsible palm oil, including no development of high carbon stock forests and high conservation value areas; no burning in preparation of land or in development; progressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on existing plantations from all sources; no development on peat areas regardless of depth; and respect and no exploitation of people and communities, including support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The company intends to evaluate suppliers’ palm oil policies to ensure they are aligned with the company’s timeline and principles, and require that suppliers who are in serious violation of its policy take immediate action to correct any violations.
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