Dunkin' Brands Group, owner of breakfast and coffee chain Dunkin' Donuts, recently announced it will revise its procurement processes to implement the strategic sourcing of palm oil. The company will begin sourcing 100 percent sustainable palm oil once it sets a target date for the strategy in its next corporate social responsibility report.
Dunkin' Brands began using palm, soy and cottonseed oil in its products in 2007, when it changed its menu to eliminate all trans fat from its products. However, its palm oil purchasing has been criticized by environmental and sustainability groups, which claim the production process can be detrimental to the environment, contribute to deforestation and the elimination of rainforests and contribute to climate change. The Rainforest Alliance Network estimates this deforestation and degradation account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, making it a priority for some companies to halt the process and implement more sustainable palm oil production techniques.
While the company is taking the initiative to put in place more environmentally friendly palm oil sourcing strategies, Forbes reported the corporation still has not developed a way to purchase more sustainable cups. Dunkin' Brands has voiced its support for finding an eco-friendly cup provider, it has not yet found a more sustainable alternative to its current Styrofoam cups. However, that hasn't stopped supporters from applauding the corporation's move to change its supply chain and commit to some new sustainability measures.
"Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they ear and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely detrimental to the environment," said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. "Shareholder value is enhanced when companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental practices that promote climate change."