Dunkin’ Runs on Forest Conservation: Dunkin’ Donuts Announces Sweet New Palm Oil Commitment

Doughnut lovers, rejoice! Just a few short months after we published our Deforestation Doughnuts report the industry just got a heck of a lot sweeter.

Dunkin’ Donuts just announced a new palm oil commitment, and we’re very happy to report that it’s quite good. Like Kellogg and Wilmar, and many other brand name companies before them, Dunkin’s new policy calls for no deforestation, no peat development, and no exploitation of workers or forest peoples.

In the months leading up to this announcement, Forest Heroes activists in Boston and around the country encouraged Dunkin’ to be a Forest Hero, including by attending its corporate shareholders meeting in Quincy, MA last May.

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“Everyone knows America runs on Dunkin’, and now Dunkin’ is running on forest conservation,” said Deborah Lapidus, Forest Heroes Campaign Director. “We hope that other doughnut companies like Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons follow Dunkin’s lead and take this opportunity to become Forest Heroes.” 

One caveat that we’ll be closely tracking is how the commitment applies to Dunkin’s supply chain for stores outside of the U.S. While all of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins stores in the US will be sourcing 100% responsible palm oil by the end of 2016, the international timeline won’t be determined until March 2015 after Dunkin’ has mapped its international supply chain. We’ll be urging Dunkin’ to review its international supply chain as quickly as possible and implement an equally strong commitment abroad, as well as to expand its commitment to include coffee, sugar, and other commodities.

But, for now, it’s time to celebrate this huge news from Dunkin’ Donuts.

And now that Dunkin’ is showing the industry how easy it is to commit to responsible, deforestation-free doughnuts, it makes Krispy Kreme’s lack of standards look all the worse.

If you’d like to send Dunkin’ Donuts a thank you note (and give Krispy Kreme a nudge) on Twitter, click on the sample Tweet below:

Thanks @DunkinDonuts for choosing deforestation-free #palmoil. Your turn, @KrispyKreme http://ctt.ec/MbREu+

And if you haven’t already, sign this petition to Krispy Kreme, urging the company to follow Dunkin’s lead and make responsible palm oil a priority.

The full Forest Heroes press release is below. 

DUNKIN’ RUNS AHEAD

Consumer, Forest Advocates Praise Dunkin’ Donuts Zero-Deforestation Commitment for Palm Oil; All Eyes (and Mouths) Turn to Krispy Kreme

BOSTON, MA – Forest advocates and doughnut lovers celebrated a major victory today as Dunkin’ Brands announced a commitment to source 100% responsible, deforestation-free palm oil.

The move follows months of action by the Forest Heroes campaign, consumers and investors that have urged the company to stop frying its doughnuts in oil sourced from cleared rainforests. As the largest doughnut franchise in North America, Dunkin’ becomes the latest in a line of food and consumer product brands that pledge to clean up their supply chains in order to protect the world’s most critical forests and endangered species.

“Everyone knows America runs on Dunkin’, and now Dunkin’ is running on forest conservation,” said Deborah Lapidus, Forest Heroes Campaign Director. “We hope that other doughnut companies like Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons follow Dunkin’s lead and take this opportunity to become Forest Heroes.” 

More and more consumers, investors, and suppliers around the world have shown that zero deforestation palm oil is possible – and in fact, more and more it is what consumers and investors expect.

“For Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons, it’s time to make doughnuts that are delicious but not destructive,” said Kaytee Riek, Campaign and Training Director at SumOfUs. “It’s not so sweet to be left behind.”

Palm oil is a $50 billion a year commodity found in thousands of snack foods and other consumer products, but its most visible use in North America is in doughnuts.  Commercial doughnut companies like Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and Tim Hortons fry their doughnuts directly in palm oil, which is often the second ingredient listed after flour. Palm oil plantations have driven widespread destruction of tropical rainforests – pushing wildlife like Sumatran tigers and orangutans to the edge of extinction, exploiting local communities and workers, and adding enormous climate pollution to the atmosphere.

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In the months leading up to this announcement, Forest Heroes activists in Boston and around the country encouraged Dunkin’ to be a Forest Hero, including by attending its corporate shareholders meeting in Quincy, MA last May. In June, Forest Heroes released a new analysis, Deforestation Doughnuts, that mapped the doughnut industry’s use of palm oil.  Forest Heroes also partnered with the online campaign organization SumofUs.org and the Union of Concerned Scientists, among other civil society groups, on the campaign. Of the three major doughnut companies analyzed in the report, Dunkin’ is the first to adopt responsible sourcing for its palm oil.

The new commitment announced today requires suppliers to adhere to the following principles:

  • No Deforestation: Suppliers must protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and ultra-high-carbon peatland of any depth.
  • No Exploitation: Suppliers are required to protect human and worker rights, and obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from communities for all development on their lands.
  • Traceability: Dunkin’ is working with suppliers to trace all of its palm oil back to plantation sources.

For its U.S. supply chain, Dunkin’ set a compliance deadline of the end of 2016. The company has stores in over 55 countries and is rapidly expanding internationally, and committed to announcing a timeline for its international supply by March 2015.

“Dunkin’ Donuts has taken a major step toward being a Forest Hero,” said Lapidus. “Now, it must immediately start working with suppliers on implementation, and quickly adopt a compliance timeline for its international business. And, as an enormous buyer of coffee and sugar, it should expand its policy to cover all of the forest commodities in its products.”

Today, over 60 percent of the global palm oil trade is covered by zero deforestation policies. Dunkin’ joins a growing number of consumer brands that have adopted responsible palm oil sourcing commitments, including Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Mars, General Mills, ConAgra, Johnson & Johnson, and many others.

“Dunkin’s action today is helping drive the global momentum towards a second green revolution in which food is produced without threatening forests,” said Lapidus.

On September 16, 2014
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