Dunkin Donuts this week announced that it will begin incorporating 100-percent sustainable palm oil. The announcement was made by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

DiNapoli said the switch is important because many foods and cosmetics use palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are detrimental to the environment.

"Dunkin' Brands should be commended for taking the necessary steps to use only sustainably harvested palm oil in its products," DiNapoli said. "Shareholder value is enhanced when companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental practices that promote climate change."

According to the Rainforest Action Network, palm oil is used in more than 50-percent of all consumer goods and imports to the U.S. — a jump of 485 percent in the past decade. According to RAN, production of palm oil from unsustainable sources has been found to accelerate deforestation, destroy rain forests and promote climate change.

In exchange for DiNapoli withdrawing a shareholder resolution that asked the company to address the social and environmental concerns associated with palm oil production, Dunkin' Brands Group will:

  • Set a target date in its next corporate social responsibility report, to be published in Q2 2013, for sourcing 100-percent sustainable palm oil or for purchasing GreenPalm certificates covering 100-percent of sourced palm oil;
  • Develop plans in conjunction with its suppliers for independent verification of suppliers' compliance with company policy;
  • Include a statement in its 2013 CSR report expressing support for a moratorium on palm oil expansion in rainforests and peatlands; and
  • Commit to publicly disclosing company progress on this issue in future CSR reports.

Read more about sustainability news.

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