100+ days since historic P&G shareholder vote — and still no news on boreal, tropical forest destruction

January 28, 2021

Company continues to fail to address concerns over how deforestation and forest degradation hurts communities and forests

CINCINNATI, OHIO — It’s been more than 100 days since Procter & Gamble’s shareholders told the company to do something about the forest sourcing impacts in its supply chains, but a coalition of environmental advocacy groups are raising the alarm over the fact that the company continues to do almost nothing to address massive forest impacts causing deforestation and forest degradation in the boreal forest of Canada and tropical forests of Indonesia and Malaysia.

This 100-day milestone comes just days after BlackRock CEO Larry Fink published his annual letter doubling down on his strategy to integrate climate risks into the investment business. BlackRock is one of P&G’s largest shareholders, and voted “yes” on P&G’s shareholder proposal on forests late last year.

Environmental organizations Stand.earth, NRDC, Friends of the Earth US, Rainforest Action Network, and Environment America, who have spent years raising the alarm about P&G’s practices, remain concerned that P&G is failing to take sufficient steps to mitigate its environmental and climate risks, and have shared their concerns with P&G’s leadership in a letter to CEO David Taylor. 

“Procter & Gamble’s shareholders, including some of the world’s largest asset managers, delivered a clear rebuke of business as usual. And yet, the company continues the same practices that led to the stunning vote: making tissue products from critical primary forests and sourcing palm oil tied to land rights violations and other human rights abuses,” said Tyson Miller, Forest Campaigns Director at Stand.earth.

According to NRDC research, the cost of P&G’s inaction is high. In just the three months since the shareholder meeting, mills that make pulp for P&G’s tissue products in Ontario, Canada have sourced wood that weighs roughly the equivalent of 100,000+ passenger vehicles. These same mills sourced from an area the equivalent of harvesting approximately 50 football fields of land every single day during this period. Through this sourcing, P&G is one of the players driving intact forest loss in Canada — lagging just behind Brazil. 

After the shareholder vote in October 2020, these groups have made it clear what would be necessary to mitigate the company’s risk across its supply chains. To date, the company has not confirmed any commitments to implement the measures identified as necessary initial actions.

Instead, P&G continues to rely heavily on third-party certified action, which means P&G will continue to make its tissue products entirely from trees (not recycled or agricultural fibers); to make its tissue products from clearcut caribou habitat; and to source from companies that do not respect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

“Every day of inaction from P&G means more forest destruction, more human rights violations, more habitat loss, and ultimately, more financial risk. Now is the time for P&G to lead,” said Miller.

Read more in this January 28 blog by NRDC: The high cost of P&G’s inaction.


Media contacts: 

Virginia Cleaveland, Communications Manager, media@stand.earth, +1 510 858 9902 (Pacific Time)
Tyson Miller, Forest Campaigns Director, tyson@stand.earth, +1 828 279 2343 (Eastern Time)