Climate Action

Estée Lauder announces sustainable palm oil project

US cosmetics giant the Estée Lauder Companies has announced a project to support Indonesian farmers and the sustainable production of palm oil.

  • 28 May 2019
  • Poppy Bootman

US cosmetics giant the Estée Lauder Companies has announced a project to support Indonesian farmers and the sustainable production of palm oil.

The Estée Lauder Companies are working alongside BASF, Solidaridad and RSPO on a three-year project to support Indonesian famers by offering education and technical support on implementing sustainable palm oil practises.

Roberto Magana, the Estée Lauder Companies’ Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, expressed the Project’s aims “to develop long-lasting, trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers” and with those who make the “commitment to operating responsibly and ethically across all facets of business”.

85% of palm oil is sourced from Indonesia and Malaysia, and requires large amounts of space, causing the large scale destruction of rainforests. The destruction contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and reduces uptake of CO2 and oxygen supply. In Indonesia, palm oil has been responsible for 40% of deforestation from the agricultural sector.

The corporate acknowledged 40% of palm oil consumed globally across industries is sourced from farms such as those being supported by the Project.

“Project Lampung’s goal is to strengthen the ability of 1,000 smallholder farmers (i.e. farmers who own or cultivate farms that are less than 2.0 hectares of land) in the Lampung Province of Indonesia to produce sustainable palm oil that minimises environmental impacts and contributes to improved incomes and livelihoods by the end of 2021”.

The Project endeavours to provide greater sustainable practises through farmer training and more effective communication between farms and mills to increase harvest yields and allow local farmers to have the ability to sell collectively. For the region, Project Lampung expects to strengthen the economies of local farms through the sustainable sourcing of palm oil without deforestation.

Within the scheme, farmers will be taught practises to improve yields, reduce the use of chemicals and water, and prevent soil degradation. After training, farmers will have access to long-term technical support and tools.

The Estée Lauder Companies includes multiple major cosmetic brands of MAC, Clinique, TooFaced, Smashbox and Bobbi Brown.

The company hopes the scheme will benefit the wider business industry and motivate others involved in the production of palm oil to take greater sustainable actions.

Read more about Project Lampung here.

Photo: Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR