Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by Annie Baldwin
Nutella may seem like an innocent chocolate hazelnut spread, but is this beloved treat harming the planet?
Nutella contains palm oil, which contributes to deforestation, climate change, habitat destruction, and human rights abuses.
In this article, we’ll explore whether Nutella is bad for the environment and examine the truth behind this controversial commodity.
Is Nutella Bad for the Environment?
Yes, Nutella is bad for the environment due to the palm oil contained in the spread, which drives deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss.
Ferrero has not done enough to eliminate these issues from their supply chain.
- Nutella contains palm oil sourced from plantations linked to deforestation and habitat destruction.
- Producing palm oil in Nutella generates immense greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.
- Ferrero has made sustainability pledges but still tolerates devastating practices like deforestation in its supply chain.
Nutella Contains Problematic Palm Oil That Harms Rainforests
Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fruit of oil palms, primarily grown in Malaysia and Indonesia.
It is used in all types of products, from shampoo and packaged bread to Nutella.
However, the mass production of palm oil is incredibly controversial due to its disastrous impacts on rainforests, ecosystems, wildlife, and human rights.
Palm oil has directly contributed to rapid deforestation, with oil palm plantations rapidly replacing biodiverse rainforests and harming endangered species like orangutans.
As rainforests are cleared, vital habitat for wildlife is destroyed.
Palm oil plantations also drain carbon-rich peatlands, releasing massive quantities of climate-warming gases.
Overall, the palm oil industry drives large-scale deforestation while accelerating climate change.
Nutella’s Palm Oil Supply Fuels Deforestation and Climate Change
The palm oil used in Nutella comes from plantations notorious for deforestation, habitat destruction, and human rights abuses.
The spread’s palm oil supply fuels the clearing of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia, which drives biodiversity loss.
Ferrero sources its palm oil from plantations that continue to engage in deforestation despite sustainability commitments.
Additionally, producing palm oil in Nutella generates immense greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.
Practices like draining peatlands and burning carbon-rich forests release massive quantities of planet-warming gases.
Indonesia is the world’s fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter largely due to uncontrolled palm oil expansion.
So, every jar of Nutella supports an industry degrading rainforests and worsening climate change.
Ferrero Has Pledged to Improve Palm Oil Sustainability with Mixed Results
Facing public pressure, Ferrero has taken steps to address the environmental impact of Nutella’s palm oil supply chain.
The company joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and pledged to source 100% RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil by 2025.
Ferrero also committed to mapping its supply chain to the plantation level and adopting “No Deforestation” policies.
However, environmental groups like Greenpeace have argued these actions don’t go far enough.
Greenpeace asserts Ferrero is still linked to problematic palm oil suppliers engaging in deforestation and exploitation.
While Ferrero’s public commitments seem positive, activists emphasize that truly transformational change is still needed in the company’s supply chain.
Individual Choices Matter, But Systemic Change Is Needed
Consumers can opt not to purchase Nutella, but this alone will not transform the palm oil industry.
Truly sustainable change requires Ferrero and other major corporations to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses from their supply chains.
Governments also need to pass legislation restricting the import and use of unsustainable palm oil.
While individual choices make a difference, pressuring corporations and policymakers to address the disastrous impacts of conventional palm oil production is vital.
Avoiding products with unsustainable palm oil does help, but systemic change is essential to protect rainforests worldwide.
Is Nutella bad for the environment in 2023?
In 2023, Nutella still contains problematic palm oil that contributes to deforestation, climate change, and environmental destruction.
Despite public pressure, Nutella’s parent company Ferrero continues to source palm oil from plantations linked to unsustainable practices like clearing rainforests and draining peatlands as of 2023.
Though Ferrero joined the RSPO and made sustainability pledges, experts argue their standards are still too weak.
Greenpeace asserts Ferrero tolerates rainforest destruction by failing to cut ties with unethical suppliers.
Nutella also drives major greenhouse gas emissions that worsen climate change.
Though public awareness of “conflict palm oil” has increased, Nutella’s palm oil supply chain remains deeply problematic.
The spread still fuels habitat loss, species extinction, and rising carbon emissions despite growing environmental concerns.
Is Nutella ethically made?
No, Nutella cannot be considered ethically made due to its links to destructive and exploitative palm oil production practices.
The palm oil used in Nutella comes from plantations associated with rainforest destruction, climate change, pollution, and labor abuses.
Ferrero continues to source from mills and growers linked to deforestation despite making sustainability pledges.
Experts argue Ferrero is still complicit in environmental devastation and human rights issues in its supply chain.
Though the company joined the RSPO, it has not met activists’ calls to implement a truly responsible palm oil policy.
Until Ferrero transforms its supply chain to eliminate deforestation and ethical issues, Nutella will not be an ethically made product.
Key Takeaways: Is Nutella Bad for the Environment?
- Nutella contains palm oil, which drives rapid deforestation, and climate change, and threatens biodiversity.
- Ferrero has made some sustainability commitments but still tolerates devastating practices in its supply chain per green groups.
- Consumers can opt for ethical alternatives like Justin’s or homemade hazelnut spreads with no palm oil.
- Individual choices help, but pressuring Ferrero and governments to demand truly sustainable palm oil is critical.
- True change requires ending deforestation and human rights abuses in palm oil supply chains worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Palm Oil Harm Orangutans?
Palm oil production is a leading cause of orangutan habitat destruction. As rainforests are cleared for plantations, orangutans lose their natural homes and face starvation and conflicts with humans.
What Companies Use Sustainable Palm Oil?
Some companies like L’Oréal and Nestlé have made efforts to use certified sustainable palm oil that protects rainforests. However, many experts argue that the RSPO standards are still too weak.
Can We Grow Palm Oil Sustainably?
It is possible to produce palm oil sustainably without deforestation, but currently, only about 20% of global palm oil meets stronger ethical standards. Stricter regulations and enforcement are needed worldwide.
At GreenChiCafe, we are passionate about protecting the environment and wildlife for future generations. Please check out our website for more content on creating a sustainable world.
Annie is a passionate environmental writer and activist. She has been writing about sustainability, conservation, and green living for over 15+ years. Annie is dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues and providing practical tips for living an eco-friendly lifestyle. When she’s not writing, you can find her volunteering with local environmental organizations, teaching workshops on zero waste living, or exploring nature. Feel free to get in touch with Annie: firstname.lastname@example.org