Seattle, WA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/27/2013 --Palm Oil Consumers Action today launched its micro stock watch of American companies that use palm oil in their products.
Citing an increasing number of investment companies that are showing concern over the unsustainability issues behind palm oil cultivation, the group introduced the stock watch to better inform investors of the current policies of the companies listed in their stock watch.
US mainstays including Kelloggs, Starbucks and Avon Products are included in their list of companies.
“Smart investors are starting to realise that negative repercussions could come from consumers when they find out that companies in their portfolios may be using products that could cause global warming and wildlife extinctions” said POCA spokeswoman LeAnn Fox.
“We track the companies’ progress on creating policies around their use of palm oil and rather than going to investment houses and updating them on developments and issues as we have been doing, we thought this micro stock watch would work better for everyone” she added.
Using their own symbols to match recommendations, POCA shows an orangutan for companies that they suggest as a “Buy”, a Sumatran rhino as a “ Hold” and a forest elephant as a “Sell”.
Starbucks coffee(sbux),which the group recently engaged in a social media campaign, is shown as a “Buy” for its sustainability policies while Kellogg’s( K ) is rated as a “Sell” for its lack of commitment to using sustainable palm oil for its American products. Others including General Mills( gis ) Dunkin Donuts( dnkn ) and Kraft ( krft ) are rated as “Hold” as the companies have issued public statements on using sustainable palm oil but have yet to issue official policies.
Canadian coffee house Tim Horton’s ( thi ) which uses palm oil in its donuts but makes no mention of palm oil in its sustainability reports rated a “Sell” by POCA
Palm oil which is grown predominantly in Malaysia and Indonesia has been identified as a major contributor to green house gases which could be the cause of severe weather that has been hitting the US in recent years. This accusation has led the only certification body, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil ( RSPO ) to adopt a green house gas emissions into its criteria in 2013.
RSPO certification has been criticised for being too generous and POCA which was invited to a globally attended debate recently, roundly criticised the RSPO and challenged it to earn its sustainable label.
“ To use a tired cliché” continued LeAnn Fox “ We are fast running out of natural resources. Companies that are working sustainably should be rewarded with more investments from investors who are concerned about the future and not just tomorrow’s returns on their investments.”