Palm Oil Scorecard 2015: Fries, Face Wash, Forests

2014 was a year of progress—so why are so many of America's biggest brands still using palm oil that contributes to deforestation and peatland destruction?

See the scores: Fast food | Store brands | Packaged foods | Personal care

See company updates


Palm oil is a globally traded commodity used in a wide array of common consumer products, from shampoo to cookies. And much of this palm oil is produced in ways that involve the destruction of tropical forests and peatlands, adding to global warming emissions and reducing habitat for many already threatened species.

The good news is that palm oil can be produced without deforestation—and many companies have begun to make public commitments to use deforestation-free palm oil in their products.

The bad news is that too many companies are lagging behind, with weak commitments or none at all. UCS is asking consumers to tell these companies that deforestation is an unacceptable ingredient in their products.

In 2014 UCS released the first edition of our Palm Oil Scorecard. The scorecard evaluated 30 companies that produce major brands across the packaged food, fast food, and personal care product sectors for their commitments to use deforestation-free palm oil.

For 2015 we've produced a new edition of the scorecard, recalculating each company's score to account for their progress (or lack thereof) during 2014. We've also added a new sector to the mix, scoring the store brands of 10 retail stores (including supermarket, pharmacy, and discount stores) for the first time.


The scores

Below are this year's scores, followed by last year's for comparison (the new store-brand category has only 2015 scores). Watch the "Updates" column for news on updated company policies. You can sort the table by clicking on column headers.

    Strong commitment       Some commitment       Little commitment       No commitment

 

Fast Foods
Company Example Brands 2015 Score
2014 Score
Updates
Baskin Robbins, Dunkin' Donuts 70.0 00.0  
Subway   38.0 38.0  
McDonald's   24.4 21.1  April 21, 2015
Burger King   10.0 00.0  
Starbucks   10.0 00.0  
Dairy Queen   00.0 0  
Domino’s   00.0 00.0  
CKE Restaurants Carl's Jr/Green Burrito, Hardees/Red Burrito 00.0 00.0  
Wendy's   00.0 00.0 June 25, 2015
Yum Brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell 00.0 00.0 April 2, 2015

 

Store Brands
Company Example Brands 2015 Score
 Updates
O Organic, Safeway Select 72.1 85.5  
Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market 30.0    
Equate, Great Value 28.8    
Simple Truth, Private Selection 23.0    
CVS/Pharmacy, Gold Emblem 00.0    
Nice!, Good & Delish, Well at Walgreens 00.0    
Archer Farms, Market Pantry 00.0    
Kirkland Signature 00.0    
Clover Valley, DG Body 00.0    
Sassy + Chic, Landmark Confections 00.0    

 

Packaged Foods
Company Example Brands 2015 Score
2014 Score
Updates
Nestlé Toll House, Power Bar 90.5 85.5  
Danimals 89.2 51.5  
Kellogg's Pop Tarts, Nutri-Grain 88.5 52.8  
Unilever Ben & Jerry's, Popsicle, Slimfast 88.4 83.5  
ConAgra Act II Popcorn, Marie Callender's 84.1 35.5  
Pepsico Quaker 80.7 33.7  
General Mills Pillsbury, Nature Valley 77.8 42.6  
H.J. Heinz Ore-Ida, SmartOnes 42.9 37.1  
Mondelez Oreo, Ritz, Nutter Butter 36.8 68.6  
Kraft Cool Whip, JELL-O 10.0 00.0  

 

Personal Care
Company Example Brands 2015 Score
2014 Score
Updates
Colgate-Palmolive Softsoap, Irish Spring 88.0 35.0  
Henkel Dial, Right Guard 86.3 40.0  
L'Oreal The Body Shop, Kiehl's 80.0 80.0  
Procter & Gamble Cover Girl, Old Spice 84.2 16.2  
Reckitt Benckiser Veet, Clearasil 72.3 68.3  
Kao Jergens, Curél 54.8 34.0  
Beiersdorf Nivea, Aquaphor 51.3 37.3  
Estée Lauder Clinique, Bumble and bumble 28.3 0  
Avon   20.0 15.0 July 27, 2015
Clorox Burt's Bees 00.0 00.0  

 

Company Updates

July 27, 2015 Avon updated its commitment.
Company announcement | UCS statement
June 25, 2015 Wendy's updated its commitment.
Company sustainability page | UCS statement | Lael Goodman's blog post
April 21, 2015 McDonald's updated its commitment.
Company announcement | UCS statement | Ken Kimmell's blog post
April 2, 2015 Yum! Brands updated its commitment.
Company announcement | UCS statement | Lael Goodman’s blog post