Sinar Mas

Pulping the Planet: just like palm oil, paper threatens Indonesia's rainforests too

Posted by jamie — 6 July 2010 at 9:56am - Comments

Like orang-utans, the future of Sumatran tigers is being jeopordised by the relentless destruction of their habitat by paper giant APP

Even though we've had huge success in turning companies like Unilever, Nestlé and Kraft off palm oil produced by Sinar Mas, that only represents one part of the jigsaw and Sinar Mas is still chewing its way through Indonesia's rainforests.

Palm oil is one of two plantation products which are driving deforestation in Indonesia, paper being the other big hitter. Needless to say, Sinar Mas is up to its neck in the paper business as well and we've compiled new evidence in a report called Pulping the Planet which shows exactly how its pulp and paper operations are threatening the forests just as much as its palm oil business is.

HSBC adverts are just greenwash, so why not make your own?

Posted by jamie — 3 June 2010 at 11:08am - Comments

If this man's tree-top home was in the way of profit, do you think HSBC would really stop the bulldozers? 

Update: Thanks to the thousands of emails sent and the videos you made, HSBC have since sold their shares in Sinar Mas.

HSBC's advertising creates a world where this monolithic financial institution truly empathises with the cultural, environmental and deeply symbolic relationships people have with trees and rainforests. It's a make-believe world, of course. The bank's actions speak far louder than the syrupy voiceovers and twee sentiments in their adverts, so just like BP's logo, they're ripe for a makeover. So why not make one of your own?

$4bn fund to protect Indonesia's forests while president announces partial halt to deforestation

Posted by jamie — 27 May 2010 at 3:48pm - Comments

Building dams at a Greenpeace camp in Sumatra. International funds and a moratorium would make this a thing of the past

While our campaign to stop HSBC investing in deforestation continues, events have been quickening at the political end. Money and a moratorium have been promised for Indonesia today, both of which are desperately needed to help safeguard the country's forests from further devastation.

Nestlé: mind the reality gap

Posted by jamie — 15 April 2010 at 6:54pm - Comments

Nestlé's AGM has broken up and, while shareholders feasted on cup-a-soups and instant noodles (I kid you not), I spoke to Ian and Pat, two of our campaigners who spent all afternoon in the meeting.

According to Ian, the moment our banners popped down was perfectly timed. Nestlé's chair, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, was explaining how well the company had performed over the last fiscal year when noises were heard up in the roof and leaflets began raining down, not at all unlike a shower of cash. The shrieks from those of a nervous disposition as the two banners were unfurled only added to the excitement.

Dropping in on Nestlé's AGM

Posted by jamie — 15 April 2010 at 2:43pm - Comments

As well as having Greenpeace people in the audience at Nestlé's AGM, we also had a couple of people in a more elevated position - in the rafters of the Lausanne Capitale Olympique, where a couple of climbers were waiting to drop a banner and a cascade of leaflets. According to Ian who's been texting me from the meeting, "everybody shrieked" when the banner dropped.

Meanwhile, outside our orang-utans were being dragged away by the police. Surely they're 'armless?

Send your message to shareholders at Nestle's AGM

Posted by jamie — 15 April 2010 at 11:39am - Comments

You've emailed, called and sent Easter cards but Nestle have simply not taken enough action to stop buying palm oil and other products from those companies destroying Indonesia's rainforests. So today we're asking you to send messages in to the heart of their annual general meeting in Switzerland where the shareholders will be gathered.

Add your message on Twitter (make sure you include a #nestle tag) or comment in the window below - our campaigners and activists at the AGM are directing shareholders to see your messages on our website.

Nestlé: Indonesian president praises Greenpeace for criticising forest policy

Posted by jamie — 9 April 2010 at 1:54pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers monkey around outside Nestlé's headquarters in Jakarta © Abyan/Greenpeace

It's three weeks since we launched our Nestlé campaign and, thanks to the fantastic support we've received, it's going from strength to strength. Nestlé's Facebook page is still dominated by questions about where the company gets its palm oil from. It seems that every attempt by their admins to change topic is another opportunity to turn the conversation back to deforestation linked to palm oil and other ethically questionable practices. Meanwhile, our our Kit Kat video has sailed past an incredible 1.1m views.

But what's going on in Indonesia? After all, that's where the forests we're trying to protect are located. Well, the work our Indonesian team are doing is somewhat different. Rather than focusing mainly on a large consumer company, they're tackling suppliers directly, and challenging the government of Indonesia about deforestation.

The email updates coming from our colleagues in Jakarta show that we're having an effect in political circles.

Quick response from Nestle, but not much to report

Posted by jamie — 17 March 2010 at 4:57pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

You have to hand it to Nestle - they're quick off the mark when it comes to launching a PR offensive, and with orang-utans hanging around (and sometimes off) their premises around the UK and Europe, they've released a statement saying they're dropping contracts with one of the worst palm oil suppliers, Sinar Mas. However, there's a lot they're not talking about and would probably prefer not to talk about.

Where, for instance, is their commitment to cutting out Sinar Mas completely from their supply chain? They may now be cancelling direct contracts with forest trasher Sinar Mas, but SM palm oil will still end up in Nestle factories. Nestle also buys palm oil from third party suppliers like Cargill, and Sinar Mas palm oil still flows through their pipes. Until Nestle can guarantee that none of its other suppliers are buying from Sinar Mas, we're still on.

And there's no mention of their dealings with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one Sinar Mas' many subsidiaries. Their pulp and paper for instance, which is used in things like packaging, is also grown in areas of destroyed rainforest, and Nestle have been less than forthcoming about their relationship with APP. Categorical denials of any dealings with APP have suddenly today been replaced with a commitment to an investigation of their supply chain.

So, full marks for being quick off the PR block, but very few points for effort. In the meantime, enjoy our own Kit Kat advert and write to Nestle's CEO to demand a better response. And follow the fun we're having on Twitter.

Update: A few of the eagle-eyed among you spotted an error in the above. I’d said there was no mention of the Sinar Mas subsidiary APP in Nestlé's new statement yesterday, but there was - a claim that they are not buying from this company. However, at the same time as sending us this statement, Nestlé told us in private that they are "investigating" links to APP through their supply chain.

So it was right that company has been less than forthcoming about their relations with APP, but amid the excitement of yesterday, I missed the claim on this issue in Nestlé's statement - sorry for that!

Nestlé and palm oil: the chain of destruction

Posted by jamie — 17 March 2010 at 9:01am - Comments

Nestle, the makers of Kit Kat, are using palm oil from areas of destroyed rainforest, despite being aware that one of their suppliers, Sinar Mas, has a track record of appalling environmental and social practices.

The chain of destruction stretches right around the world, from the forests of Indonesia to the shops and supermarkets of Europe. Watch the animation to find out just where the ingredients for your favourite chocolate bars like Kit Kat come from.


Kit Kat: give the orang-utan a break

Posted by jamie — 17 March 2010 at 8:48am - Comments

Email Nestlé's CEO Paul Bulcke to demand they stop using palm oil from trashed rainforests

We all like a break, but the orang-utans of Indonesia don't seem to be able to get one. We have new evidence which shows that Nestlé - the makers of Kit Kat - are using palm oil produced in areas where the orang-utans' rainforests once grew. Even worse, the company doesn't seem to care.

So the Greenpeace orang-utans have been despatched to Nestlé head offices in Croydon to let employees know the environmental crimes their company is implicated in, and begin an international campaign to have Nestlé give us all a break.

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