Starbucks, Whole Foods and carbon pollution


10% of all carbon pollution comes from tropical deforestation, largely driven by palm oil production. We can stop it by pressuring corporations to use palm oil that doesn’t burn up forests—but only with your help.

Give now to fight global warming and protect tropical forests.


From French fries to face wash, everyday products are filled with palm oil, a lot of it produced by destroying tropical forests.

UCS members have helped convince some of the world’s largest users of palm oil—corporations you’d recognize in an instant—to buy from sources that don’t rely on destroying tropical forests.

But some companies are lagging behind—even a few that may surprise you: companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods. Based on our research, they’re not doing as well as McDonald’s or Subway.

We’ve made too much progress on deforestation to stop now. Will you help us turn up the heat on more corporations, and support the next phase of our campaign?

Make a tax-deductible gift to the Union of Concerned Scientists today.

Companies that make a show of corporate responsibility should be leading on palm oil, not lagging behind. Yet Starbucks has stopped at half-measures—relying on a palm oil certification system that still allows for forest clearance rather than pledging to eliminate deforestation entirely and only promising to use deforestation-free palm oil in its company-owned stores.1 Whole Foods promised to switch to deforestation-free palm oil three years ago, but hasn’t hit its targets.2

We’ve always known that science alone wouldn’t convince every major company to do the right thing on palm oil. That’s why, beyond meeting directly with executives to show them how deforestation-free palm oil won’t hurt their bottom lines, we’ve sent more than 750,000 letters to CEOs demanding action. So far, more than a dozen companies have answered our call—most recently, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell).

If these fast food giants can commit to deforestation-free palm oil, there’s no excuse for companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods to hold out.

We have to turn up the pressure on companies dragging their feet on palm oil deforestation. Please, support our campaign with an urgent gift now.

You shouldn’t have to wonder if your Whole Foods groceries or Starbucks snack could be contributing to massive deforestation that’s decimating wildlife and releasing tons of global warming pollution.

Yet Whole Foods and Starbucks haven’t taken reasonable steps to make sure that their products don’t contribute to the wide-scale loss of tropical forests… to the plight of threatened wildlife like Sumatran orangutans and tigers… or to fires that have released hundreds of years’ worth of stored-up carbon into the air, burning for weeks or even months.3

Our efforts on palm oil are having a lasting impact on our planet. But it takes resources to organize hundreds of thousands of consumer activists and pressure global corporations to do the right thing. That’s why your gift today is so important.

Help fight global warming and environmental devastation by powering one of the most effective campaigns being run today.

I hope you’ll be a part of this truly historic effort. Thanks for your support.

Ken Kimmell Sincerely,
Ken Kimmell
Ken Kimmell
Union of Concerned Scientists




1., page 83
2.  Ibid
3., page 2