Insights

One Hundred Institutional Investors Call on Palm Oil Certification Group to Uphold Human Rights Standards

On March 12, Domini and Green Century Capital Management sent a letter to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) concerning human rights violations in RSPO members’ palm oil production. The letter was co-signed by 100 institutional investors from around the world representing $3.2 trillion in assets under management.

The investor letter calls on the RSPO to implement a more transparent and responsive complaints mechanism to properly uphold the credibility of its certification system to assure investors, companies and other stakeholders that the RSPO will not certify conflict palm oil.

The RSPO is the leading industry certification system which aims to certify the sustainable production of palm oil. Its more than 3,000 members, representing “all links along the palm oil supply chain”, have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO. These companies, and their investors and consumers, rely on RSPO certification to offer assurances that palm oil, which is used in products ranging from soaps to cosmetics to food, is produced without impacting forests or the rights of workers and local communities.

The investor letter expresses our deep concerns that the RSPO is inadequately dealing with complaints pertaining to violations of its standards. Over the past two years, high-profile media stories and NGO reports have exposed serious labor rights violations within the operations of RSPO member companies, such as forced and bonded labor, child labor and systemic gender discrimination.

Our letter highlights a formal complaint filed in October 2016 by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), and Indonesian labor advocacy organization OPPUK against Indofood Sukses Makmur (“Indofood”)’s palm oil subsidiaries PT PP London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk and its parent company PT Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk. The complaint, which alleges serious labor abuses and legal violations, is the first formally filed with the RSPO to focus on labor rights abuses. A recent report published by RAN, ILRF and OPPUK claims that these abuses are continuing today.

In 2014, Domini helped convince PepsiCo to adopt its first policy addressing deforestation, including a policy on palm oil. Pepsi maintains a joint-venture relationship with Indofood for production and distribution of its products in Indonesia. In January, Pepsi announced the suspension of palm oil purchases from IndoAgri (the parent company of the two entities that are the subject of the complaint) within its joint venture, pending further investigation. We have been in dialogue with the company over the past year about its palm oil sourcing practices and, in particular, its ongoing business relationship with Indofood.

We are hopeful that our letter will prompt immediate action by the RSPO to act on this pending complaint and to move towards a more responsive and transparent grievance mechanism.

Read the Investor letter to the RSPO


An investment in the Domini Impact Equity Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured. The Domini Impact Equity Fund is subject to market, sector concentration, style and foreign investing risks. Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, social and economic instability, differing security regulations and accounting standards limited public information possible changes in taxation, and periods of illiquidity. You may lose money.

As of December 31, 2017, PepsiCo represented 2.92% of the Domini Impact Equity Fund’s portfolio. Indofood Sukses Makmur, PT PP London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk, PT Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk and IndoAgri were not held by any of the Domini Funds.

This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be considered investment advice with respect to any of the holdings listed. The composition of each Fund’s portfolio is subject to change. View the most current list of the Domini Impact Equity FundDomini Impact International Equity Fund and Domini Impact Bond Fund's holdings.

The Domini Funds maintain portfolio holdings disclosure policies that govern the timing and circumstances of disclosure to shareholders and third parties of information regarding the portfolio investments held by the Funds.

The social and environmental standards applied to the Domini Funds are subject to change without notice. Domini Impact Investments LLC and DSIL Investment Services LLC are not affiliated with Green Century Capital Management.

Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-762-6814, or at www.domini.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.

The Fund is distributed by DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD). Domini Impact Investments LLC (Domini) is the Fund’s investment manager. The Fund is sub-advised by Wellington Management Company LLP. DSILD and Domini are not otherwise affiliated with Wellington Management Company LLP. 4/18


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Before investing, consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. View or order a prospectus. Read it carefully.

The Domini Funds are distributed by DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD), Member FINRA. Domini Impact Investments LLC (Domini) is the Funds’ investment manager. The Funds are subadvised by Wellington Management Company LLP. DSILD and Domini are not affiliated with Wellington Management Company LLP.

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