Yesterday, S. C. Johnson, a well known company that produces household cleaning supplies as well as other consumer chemicals announced, that by the year 2015 they will exclusively rely on sustainably harvested palm oil. They plan on doing so, by only purchasing form certified sources.
This is certainly good news and shows, that large companies realize the importance of the palm-oil issue. At the same time one could look at these news in a more cynical manner: many ventures of this size have allocated a specific amount of resources to environmental concerns. It is part of the public image they want to portrait in order to be in good standing with their customers.
Either way, it is good for our planet and the people that are negatively affected by deforestation. And for us everyday consumers, we can learn from what chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, Fisk Johnson stated: “While SC Johnson's use of palm oil-based ingredients is relatively small, as a family company we believe responsibility is critical at every level. Being a smaller purchaser doesn't let us off the hook.”
In the same way we have to realize our responsibility as individuals. Just because we are not literally cutting down trees, we are still consumers of a product that results in the destruction of precious rainforest. We wish we were “off the hook” - but we are not. Let's do the same thing and check what we buy for the "green palm" logo: