Tack on Burger King to the growing list of companies who are cutting ties with Sinar Mas, a major palm oil producer that has been accused by Greenpeace of destroying millions of acres of Indonesian rainforest and peatlands. Burger King joins Nestle, Kraft, and Unilever in ditching the company, which recently tried to varnish its reputation with a questionable self-commissioned environmental audit.
Sinar Mas's audit may have actually hurt the company--according to Greenpeace, it confirms that the company has been illegally clearing peat and operating without proper permits. And Sinar Mas's damning self-audit is partially behind Burger King's decision. The fast food giant explains in a recent announcement:
As part of our BK® Positive Steps corporate responsibility program, Burger King Corp. is committed to sourcing our products from sustainable suppliers. After completing a thorough review of the independent verification report conducted by Control Union Certification (CUC) and BSI Group, we believe the report has raised valid concerns about some of the sustainability practices of Sinar Mas' palm oil production and its impact on the rainforest. These practices are inconsistent with our corporate responsibility commitments.
All 176 Burger King restaurants that rely on Sinar Mas palm oil will transition to a new supplier. That's not a huge loss for a global company like Sinar Mas, but it probably won't take long for other fast food chains to follow suit. After all, no company wants to be the target of a Greenpeace campaign.