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Greenpeace Accuses Procter & Gamble Over Indonesian Forest Destruction

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In this photograph taken on April 10, 2013, an Indonesian forest ranger feeds an endangered Sumatran orangutan with a baby in the forest of Bukit Lawang, part of the vast Leuser National Park, its rainforests occupying areas of the two provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. Alarm is growing at a plan that would open up new swathes of forest on Sumatra island to mining, palm oil and paper companies, which could put orangutans and other critically endangered species at even greater risk. AFP Photo / Romeo Gacad
In this photograph taken on April 10, 2013, an Indonesian forest ranger feeds an endangered Sumatran orangutan with a baby in the forest of Bukit Lawang, part of the vast Leuser National Park, its rainforests occupying areas of the two provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh located in Indonesia’s Sumatra island. Alarm is growing at a plan that would open up new swathes of forest on Sumatra island to mining, palm oil and paper companies, which could put orangutans and other critically endangered species at even greater risk. AFP Photo / Romeo Gacad

CENTRAL KALIMANTAN, February 26, 2014 – Environmental group Greenpeace on Wednesday accused US consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble of responsibility for the destruction of Indonesian rainforests and the habitat of endangered orangutans and tigers.

In an extensive new report, Greenpeace said the company was using Indonesian palm oil from suppliers with links to the destruction of ancient rainforest, haze-inducing forest fires and an orangutan “graveyard”.

The company uses Indonesian palm oil in its popular household products, including Head & Shoulders and Pantene shampoos and Gillette shaving gel.

“The maker of Head & Shoulders needs to stop bringing rainforest destruction into our showers. It must clean up its act and guarantee its customers that these products are forest-friendly,” said Greenpeace’s Indonesian forest campaign head Bustar Maitar.

Procter & Gamble were not immediately available for comment. The company’s website says it is “committed to growing our business responsibly” and has introduced sustainability scorecards for suppliers.

P&G is the latest company to be targeted by Greenpeace as the campaign group seeks to embarrass major firms it accuses of sourcing Indonesian palm oil and paper from suppliers that cause environmental destruction.

An AFP photographer accompanied by Greenpeace saw rampant forest destruction in the concessions of the company’s suppliers on the Indonesian part of Borneo island.

Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, has lost half its trees to logging and mining in recent decades but still has vast tracts of untouched forest.

The report urged P&G to join other leading companies which have committed to implementing a no-deforestation policy.

Greenpeace’s campaigns have caused several global companies, including Unilever, Nestle and L’Oreal, to commit to zero deforestation, though some plan to implement their policies in coming years.

Many palm oil and paper companies, such as Asia Pulp & Paper, have made such commitments after losing major clients because of Greenpeace’s campaigns.

In its report, Greenpeace linked a Malaysian palm oil supplier to Procter & Gamble with forest fires on Indonesia’s island of Sumatra in June last year.

The blazes cloaked Singapore and Malaysia with a choking haze in the region’s worst pollution for a decade.

The report also accused the same supplier of destroying deep peatland forests, which are dense in carbon stocks, have some of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, and are prime habitat for critically endangered Sumatran orangutans and tigers.

The report said that on the island of Borneo a “graveyard” of orangutans, including a buried skull, had been found in November partly within the concession area of a supplier to Procter & Gamble.

Indonesia has some of the world’s most significant tracts of tropical rainforest and rarest species, but illegal logging and poor law enforcement means deforestation is rampant in the country.

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