As a manufacturer in the cosmetics industry Beiersdorf does not directly procure palm or palm kernel oil for the production of cosmetics and also does not produce any materials processed from this oil. However, Beiersdorf uses – as is essential in the production of cosmetic products – ingredients like emulsifiers and tensides (fatty alcohols, fatty acids and glycerides). These ingredients are usually produced with mineral and plant oils; some are, for example, coconut oil, canola oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Beiersdorf also procures bar soap in which one ingredient is used which contains processed palm kernel oil.
For many years, Beiersdorf has been working in close collaboration with its suppliers to create more transparency in the supply chain – in order to make the path of the raw material traceable all the way from the mill to its derivatives and to support the building and expansion of sustainable palm and palm kernel oil industry. All our operations have to comply with our Code of Conduct for suppliers which defines the social and environmental standards to be met.
We want to support the building and expansion of sustainable palm and palm kernel oil industry, which does not contribute to any rainforest deforestration of ecologically important primary or secondary forests, including “High Carbon Stock” (HSC) forests, High Conservation Value areas (HCV) or peat land. If they are grown sustainably, palms can be ecologically efficient oil plants, which require a minimum of plantation land for a maximum output – compared to other plants.
Beiersdorf has made considerable progress towards changing to sustainable palm kernel oil only using ingredients from proven sustainable sources (Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel Oil). By 2020, Beiersdorf intends to switch the respective ingredients to segregated or at least mass balanced palm (kernel) oil and corresponding derivatives. Until the changeover is complete, Beiersdorf will purchase certificates on the GreenPalm trading platform. In 2014, 100 percent of the palm oil and palm kernel oil contained in the raw materials of our products was covered by certificates. Since then we continue the transition to the mass balance system and procure more and more individual raw materials / derivatives on a mass balance basis.
In addition to participating in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the company is active in the newly formed Forum für nachhaltiges Palmöl (the German Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil) and is also an advocate for the further development of the existing certification criteria, the most important points of which are:
- A ban of plantations on peatlands or other carbon-rich land
- A ban on the use of severely hazardous pesticides (Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, WHO 1a and 1b as well as paraquat)
- The application of strict reduction targets for greenhouse gases
- A guarantee that, when certified palm oil mills purchase non-certified raw goods (fresh fruit bunches), these are obtained exclusively from legal cultivation
Information about current measures on the path to sustainable palm oil can be found here:
RSPO – ACOP Progress Report
WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard 2013
The different ways of certified palm or palm kernel oil from the plantation to the product:
Book and Claim refers to online trade with certificates. For one ton of palm or palm kernel oil, a virtual certificate is purchased. Only in the following three models is certified oil also physically present in the end product, though only in the cases of “segregated” and “identity preserved” does a strict separation of the certified goods occur. This makes it possible to ensure that additional requirements can be observed on site. In book and claim certificate trade just as in mass-balanced palm oil, no physical traceability is possible.
Mass-Balanced means the controlled mixing of certified and conventional palm and palm kernel oil.
Segregated means the complete separation of certified from conventional oil. Only products from certified plantations are mixed together in an oil mill.
Identity Preserved means the strict physical separation of certified palm or palm kernel oil from different plantations. The products are not mixed in the oil mill but can be traced back to the plantation.
Here you can learn more about the selection and the handling of raw materials at Beiersdorf.