**Update 8 May 2015**
Great news! McDonalds has released a new commitment to end deforestation in response to our pressure! But we still need to make sure they get the details right, so add your name to keep up the pressure
There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants, because
their rainforest homes are being destroyed to make room for massive palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia. The palm oil industry's rampage is also fueling climate change—releasing billions of of tons of greenhouse gases every year, and making Indonesia the world's third largest climate polluter.
But due to pressure from people like us, the largest palm oil producers have promised to halt deforestation for one year.
Now we have an opportunity to fundamentally change how major companies like McDonald's source their palm oil—or the tiger, the orangutan, and the elephant will be at risk once again.
McDonald's buys palm oil to make a range of products—from Baked Apple Pie to Spicy Chicken McBites.
If we could get McDonalds to adopt a no-deforestation palm oil policy, it would show the palm oil producers that there's no going back. The palm oil industry would be forced to make its one year separation from deforestation permanent, if it wants to sell to leading consumer brands in the future.
The best part? McDonald's just joined a pledge at a UN Summit to help cut global deforestation rates in half by 2020, so we suspect it's open to the idea of changing its palm oil policy to be tiger-friendly.
But McDonald's has a ways to go still. It currently relies primarily on controversial "RSPO GreenPalm" certificates, which give a few dollars to sustainable producers while allowing McDonald's to buy any palm oil on the marketplace, regardless of its sustainability.
This isn't only about getting McDonald's to clean up its own act,
but also to use its significant influence with suppliers to reform the whole palm oil industry, especially those producers who are linked even more directly to rainforest destruction and human rights abuses.
Together, we've already convinced Kellogg's and other big companies to change their ways, causing a shift in the global palm oil supply chain. Similar organized consumer pressure has dramatically slowed the rate of deforestation in Brazil.
McDonald's can be moved with public pressure too.
Tell McDonald's to seize this opportunity and adopt a deforestation-free palm oil policy.
Photo: © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace