Conflict Palm Oil and PepsiCo`s Ethical Dilemma

Conflict Palm Oil and PepsiCo`s Ethical Dilemma
Case Code: CSRS006
Case Length: 19 pages
Period: 2014-2016
Pub Date: 2016
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.600
Organization: PepsiCo.
Industry: Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Countries: US; Global
Themes: Corporate Sustainability, Business Ethics, Supply Chain Management
Conflict Palm Oil and PepsiCo`s Ethical Dilemma
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case is about consumer food giant PepsiCo's ethical dilemma related to conflict palm oil. Palm oil is a key ingredient that goes into the company's snack foods. Over the years, the demand for palm oil had increased sharply as it was one of the cheapest vegetable oils available on the global market with no transfats. The rise in demand was linked to large-scale deforestation across South East Asia. The case explores the impact of Conflict Palm Oil on the environment and how it is tied to deforestation, human rights violations, and climate pollution, adding to global warming emissions and reducing habitat for many already threatened species. PepsiCo has been targeted by a broad number of environmental groups for its continued use of large quantities of Conflict Palm Oil in its snack foods....


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the social, economic and environmental trade-offs involved in production of sustainable palm oil
  • Understand the issue of Conflict Palm Oil and its impact on the environment
  • Analyze the steps taken by PepsiCo to address the issue related to the sourcing of sustainable Palm Oil
  • Analyze the nature of criticism against PepsiCo's palm oil sustainability efforts
  • Understand the challenges faced by PepsiCo going forward in dealing with the issue of palm oil and explore the ways in which it can overcome the challenges



Ethical Dilemma, Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Supply Chain, Ethical Sourcing, Supply Chain Transparency, Supply Chain Risk Mitigation, Supply Chain Mapping, Climate Change, Deforestation, Human Rights as a Management Issue, Businesses as Human Rights Advocates, Business-Government-Society Relationship, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Tension, Stakeholder Engagement

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