Dunkin Donuts will start using only sustainably produced palm oil products in response to a hostile shareholder resolution from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Parent company Dunkin Brands will announce a target date for using only 100 percent sustainable palm oil sometime in Q2 when it publishes its Corporate Social Responsibility report, according to a statement from DiNapoli's office.
New York's state pension fund owns $1.9 million in Dunkin' shares.
Palm oil is used in over 50 percent of all consumer goods and imports to the U.S. have jumped 485 percent in the last decade, according to the Rainforest Action Network.
Unsustainable palm oil manufacturing is associated with deforestation, animal habitat destruction and climate change. It has been estimated that deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Dunkin’ Brands should be commended for taking the necessary steps to use only sustainably harvested palm oil in its products,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they eat and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely detrimental to the environment. Shareholder value is enhanced when companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental practices that promote climate change.”
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