Ask Pepsi to Stop Using Unsustainable Palm Oil

What we CAN do to Tackle Climate Change 

Guest post by Harriet Shugarman, Executive Director at


The news lately on climate change has been overwhelming.

From the April Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports, to the May US National Climate Assessment; many of us feel like sticking our heads “in the sand” when it comes to tackling climate change. But, we must show our children and prove to ourselves that, as these reports state, there is hope for a better tomorrow if we begin by taking action today.

So, on May 20th, 2014, you and your family can join thousands of families around the world, as we take one day, and create thousands and thousands of actions around ONE ask:

PepsiCo, Join our Global Day of Action to Stop Using Harmful Palm Oil.

How does this fight climate change?

Well, with the help of The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) on May 20th we are demanding that PepsiCo stop using Conflict Palm Oil in it’s snack food brands and start helping us tackle and create solutions that WILL fight huge problems like climate change and deforestation. Join us as we show our children how powerful they can be and how solutions to seemingly overwhelming global problems can be positive, fun and sometimes frankly pretty simple, when we tackle them together.

There are four easy steps to follow:

1. Check out our Day of Action Toolkit and come up with a vision for your photo action.

2. Add the details of your photo action to the event map.

3. Once you get your image, upload it to RAN’s Smug Mug Gallery and post it to Pepsi’s Facebook Wall with this message: #PepsiCo, the power to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is #InYourPalm.

4. Send Pepsi an email asking them to stop using harmful palm oil.

Here is a little more context.

Many items we purchase everyday may have a direct impact on and are actually drivers of climate change. These items are hiding in plain sight in the snack food aisle of our local grocery store — and probably, very likely in our shopping cart.When we eat food that comes out of a bag, a box or a tray, we are probably eating palm oil.

What is “conflict” palm oil and where is it found?

Palm oil makes chocolate firmer, potato chips crunchier and peanut butter creamier. But the way companies are growing it has a terrible price — decimating the homes of the world’s last remaining orangutans, and at the same time destroying forests that are everybody’s last hope for a stable climate.

Conflict palm oil is produced through the unsustainable logging and burning of rainforests to make way for massive palm oil plantations.

Instead of our world’s rainforests acting as “sinks” to store carbon, this massive deforestation is actually releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere both from burning trees and from burning the peat lands these forests grow on; a greenhouse gas double whammy!

Carbon dioxide is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in the world and a huge driver of human created climate change. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s two largest sources of conflict palm oil. In Indonesia alone, deforestation accounts for eighty percent of their CO2 emissions, making it the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States…. Who new?

So, grab the kids in your life and watch and listen as Ashley Schaeffer, a new mom, and RAN Palm Oil Campaigner, shows us how we can convince some of the biggest companies in the world, the Snack Food 20, to join us and do the right thing. By changing where they source their palm oil these global companies can stop the production of Conflict Palm Oil which will help save important rainforests, slow down climate change and also protect the homes of some of the world’s last remaining orangutans.

Other companies lead on sourcing better palm oil, Pepsi lags behind

These companies know that we are watching what they do, carefully. In fact several of the major Snack Food 20 companies, including Mars, Kellogg, General Mills, Unilever and Nestle have recently responded to consumer outrage by announcing new commitments and the strengthening of their palm oil purchasing policies or sourcing practices. PepsiCo however, remains a key laggard to this ask.

Call a family meeting today, and come up with your own family plan for the Global Day of Action.

These actions can be big or small, in parks, on college campuses, at home, or at even at Pepsi branded locations around the world. The beauty of the day of action is that each of our actions will be unique, but they’ll have two things in common: they will include #InYourPalm in some way, shape or form and will connect people around the globe who are united in a goal to end rainforest destruction caused by the production of Conflict Palm Oil.

We can and must let brands that we use know that earning our dollars means earning our trust, and if they aren’t “all in” on climate change solutions, we won’t be supporting them or buying their products. In the same way that you can show your kids when you vote that you are supporting candidates that care about the climate and care about creating a sustainable future for them, we can also use our purchasing power to support companies that care about our planet too.

Helping the planet and creating a sustainable future really is, “In Your Palm.”

Send an email to Pepsi today!

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2 Responses to Ask Pepsi to Stop Using Unsustainable Palm Oil

  1. Jenny B May 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Drawing on my hand sounds fun! ;-)

    • Lindsay Dahl May 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      I know clever, right?!

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