Dunkin’ to no longer run on dirty palm oil, DiNapoli says

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America runs on Dunkin’, the slogan goes. Dunkin’, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, will no longer run on dirty palm oil.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, which owns Dunkin’ Donuts, the massive doughnut and coffee chain, has agreed to use palm oil made from sustainable sources in all of their products, DiNapoli announced Thursday. The company will set a target date for completing the switch in a report it will issue in the second quarter of this year.

The issue, according to DiNapoli’s office, is palm oil made from unsustainable resources leds to rainforest degradation. The product — a type of vegetable oil — is used in 50 percent of consumer products, according to the Rainforest Action Network.

Why is DiNapoli involved in Dunkin’s affairs? The state’s main pension fund owns 300 shares of the company, according to its asset listing, and DiNapoli had filed a shareholder resolution requesting the switch. (UPDATE: The pension fund has upped its stake considerably since the linked report, with 51,400 shares worth $1.9 million, according to the comptroller’s office.)

“Dunkin’ Brands should be commended for taking the necessary steps to use only sustainably harvested palm oil in its products,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they eat and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely detrimental to the environment.”

(AP file photo)

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