Rainforest advocates scaled the Pepsi Cola sign at the foot of the East River in Queens Monday morning and draped a banner in protest of the company's use of palm oil.
Members of the Rainforest Action Network scaled the sign in Gantry Plaza State Park and unfurled a white banner that stated "Cut conflict palm oil" in large red letters. The banner was placed on the bottom of the historic billboard.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, palm oil is the world's most popular vegetable oil, found in a host of foods and household products and harvested from forests in Asia, Africa and South America.
The activist group claims PepsiCo's use of palm oil in its snack products begets rain forest deforestation and human rights abuses.
"Pepsi has known for over three years about major environmental and human rights violations in its palm oil supply chain, but the company has fallen short and continues to drag its feet instead of taking the kind of decisive action needed to address this urgent problem," Robin Averbeck, senior campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement.
PepsiCo said in a sttement that it has "strong publiccommitments and efforts around the responsible sourcing of palm oil and the protection of labor and human rights throughout our supply chain."
In 2015, the company claimed it had moved to source all of its palm oil from resources certified by the "Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil."
"Palm oil is currently the most widely-used vegetable oil globally and has greatly contributed to the economic growth of many developing countries. However, the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations has also resulted in challenges," PepsiCo said in the 2015 statement.