Major Companies Unite for Collective Action on Sustainable Palm Derivatives

Paris, November 4, 2019—Leading global beauty and home and personal care brands, including L’Oréal, Beiersdorf, The Body Shop, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Henkel, as well as oleochemicals firms, including Croda and Zschimmer & Schwarz Italiana, announced today the launch of Action for Sustainable Derivatives (ASD), a cross-industry initiative to spur action for sustainable production and sourcing of palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives.

This new collaboration is based on a recognition that, while companies are increasingly seeking to accelerate compliance with deforestation-free and responsible sourcing principles, individual supply chain dynamics and overlapping comparable approaches have led to significant duplication of efforts in this area.

Spurred by the expertise acquired by L’Oréal and Transitions, who have been working together over the past five years to build a responsible palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives supply chain, ASD is being launched with the objective of sharing this knowledge and the methodologies developed with other industry members. It brings together a broad range of actors to scale up efforts towards compliance with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation principles and to positively transform the palm oil industry.

By harmonizing requirements, standardizing tools and methodologies, and mutualizing transparency, risk monitoring, and evaluation efforts, ASD will create a level playing field for brands and their direct suppliers and will reduce the burden on upstream supply chain players. The initiative will notably result in experimentation of operational solutions to secure a responsible supply chain, including, for instance, supporting sustainable field projects and/or landscape initiatives in an off-take approach.

ASD is a pre-competitive collaboration co-managed and co-facilitated by BSR and Transitions, organizations with extensive experience and expertise in supply chain sustainability and business collaborations. Organizations interested in receiving more information on the initiative and the conditions for participation can contact ASD by writing to

Tara Norton, Managing Director at BSR, said: "BSR is pleased to work in partnership with Transitions to support a leading group of companies as they take action to increase the transparency of the global palm derivatives supply chain, to collectively monitor risks and activities all along the supply chain, and to identify and advance collective action projects to address social and environmental issues in the field. We believe that Action for Sustainable Derivatives (ASD) can make a tangible difference, and we look forward to its development."

Jane Tousco, Head of Sustainable Sourcing at Transitions, said: “Our experience in supporting corporates in implementing their action plans for sustainable sourcing led us to the observation that many organizations in the sector are implementing comparable approaches that are not harmonized despite a similar end goal. Such individual dynamics that create duplication in the market constitute a limiting factor to reach the global NDPE target. ASD represents a wonderful opportunity for derivatives buyers, and more specifically palm, to work in a pre-competitive approach for implementing concrete solutions to overcome the singular complexities of their supply chain and address the issues together.”

Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at L’Oréal, said: “As part of our Sharing Beauty With All sustainability programme, L’Oréal has been working on building a responsible palm oil and palm oil derivatives supply chain for years, in close partnership with its suppliers and with the support of Transitions. To date, we have made significant progress in ensuring compliance of our supply sources, in integrating the fight against deforestation in our suppliers management process, and in supporting independent smallholders. But we want to go further. At L’Oréal, we are convinced that individual initiatives are insufficient: only collective action will help step up the efforts and ensure the sustainable sourcing of palm oil. We are looking very much forward to working with our partners.”

Dorle Bahr, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Beiersdorf, said: “Palm (kernel) oil derivatives are important raw materials in the cosmetics and personal care industry. However, we need to ensure sustainable sourcing of palm-based ingredients. By joining forces with our peers and suppliers in analyzing the palm supply chain, we can accelerate our efforts towards deforestation-free supply chains. Co-founding the Action for Sustainable Derivatives initiative and committing to collaborate on supply chain transparency and transformation is another important cornerstone of Beiersdorf’s Sustainable Palm Roadmap.”

Pins Brown, Head of Ethical & Sustainable Sourcing at The Body Shop, said: “Palm-based derivatives are important ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products because of the diverse functional properties they offer. However, the complexity of the supply chains means that efforts on traceability and sustainability are behind the curve when set against the industry as a whole. The Body Shop has always been dedicated to sustainability and we have been working on traceability in our own palm derivative supply chains, but we believe that by working alongside our peers under ASD we can contribute to helping solve key challenges in the palm derivative sector.”

Chris Sayner, Vice President Customer Alliances, Corporate Sustainability at Croda, said: “The H&PC industry has made enormous progress in supporting sustainable palm, extending positive influence beyond its own supply chains. The ASD is a perfect example of businesses coming together to complete the industry transformation to sustainable palm and partnering to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., said: “The value in a cross-section of players, from prestige beauty companies like The Estée Lauder Companies to nonprofit organizations, coming together across the value-chain is incredibly powerful. Although, compared to other industries, we use relatively low amounts of palm kernel oil (PKO) derivatives, we recognize the importance of investing in sustainable supply chains. We are looking forward to partnering with like-minded brands and suppliers for the good of communities from which palm is sourced as well as the greater visibility of our stakeholders.”

Bertrand Conquéret, Corporate Senior Vice President Global Supply Chain at Henkel, said: “Traceability remains a key challenge in the palm derivatives supply chain today. By joining the ASD we underline our own commitment to end deforestation while at the same time setting industry standards towards our supply base. Enhancing transparency and understanding environmental risks based on a cross-industry collaborative approach will help maximize the overall success towards eliminating deforestation.”


About BSR

BSR™ is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR™ develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Learn more about BSR’s 25 years of leadership in sustainability.

About Transitions

TRANSITIONS is a consultancy agency specialized in building Sustainable Supply Chains for a various range of key commodities. With our long experience working on the palm derivatives supply chain for the cosmetics and oleochemicals sectors, we benefit from a strong understanding of its complexities, a good reputation among its players and external stakeholders, as well as a deep expertise in building sustainable procurement models that will deliver positive impacts in the field. As an independent third-party, we act as facilitators to build dialogue with direct and indirect suppliers, as well as internal and external stakeholders in order to enhance win-win improvement all along the chain.