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(WORLDWIDE) CDP REPORT: The year 2020 was supposed to be when the world solved the problem of falling forests. Instead, deforestation hit a 12-year high #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.24: We had 10 years to implement these commitments,” said Sareh Forouzesh, CDP’s associate director for forests. “We have not seen the progress we need.”

These companies’ deforestation promises went up in flames: ‘Deforestation was supposed to end in 2020. Instead, it hit a 12-year high’ Hundreds of big companies pledged to stop deforestation by 2020, but only four truly followed through, according to a new report out Monday from CDP, a nonprofit that tracks corporate commitments.

Global Forests Report 2020

Guidance & questionnairesContact

The collective effort to end deforestation: A pathway for companies to raise their ambition 

Companies are realising the need to act on deforestation. Despite COVID-19, 2020 saw a 27% increase in companies disclosing on how they are managing deforestation and 93% of companies we analyzed are taking at least one industry-accepted action to safeguard forests. However, our latest report shows that this action is too slow and ambition is too low – it sets out a clear pathway for companies to follow and how they can measure their progress along it.

93%

of companies

have taken at least one industry-accepted measure to safeguard forests.

27%

increase

in the number of companies disclosing compared to 2019

1%

of companies

are taking ‘best practice’ action

Every year since 2015 10 million hectares of forests have been lost, which poses a threat to business, increases the risk of future pandemics and dangerous climate change.

Companies reported US$53.1 billion in risks from deforestation, with the total cost of response estimated at US$6.6 billion. This shows that action on deforestation is not only essential, but it also makes business sense.

Companies reported US$53.1 billion in risks from deforestation, with the total cost of response estimated at US$6.6 billion

While an increase in disclosure and company action is a step in the right direction, it is clear that not enough is being done.

Only four companies are identified as ‘best practice’ by CDP for taking nearly all relevant leadership actions: Essity, L’Oréal, Mars and Tetra Pak. This demonstrates the clear need for companies to step up action to end deforestation.

The business world is finally waking up to deforestation, but progress is too slow and ambition too low

Our report highlights the need for increased action by companies in the seven key commodities that drive the most agricultural deforestation globally: Timber products, palm oil, soy, cattle products, rubber, cocoa and coffee. It identifies 15 key performance indicators (KPIs) that companies should take to address deforestation.

The KPIs include metrics like board level oversight, setting a robust public policy on zero-deforestation, ambitious targets, a robust system to control, monitor and verify compliance with related policies and engaging suppliers on sustainable production methods.

See how companies are performing overall, and how companies perform on each commodities by using the dropdown menu.

Leading companies are forging a path to protect forests which their supply chains and other businesses can follow

Companies are beginning to take action to address deforestation in their supply chains. 81 companies showed a mature or best practice approach to tackling deforestation for at least one commodity – with action being strongest among companies producing or using palm oil.

Here are just some examples of companies taking action on deforestation

Empresas CMPC uses green bonds to match new financing opportunities and grow its investor base with its policies and 2030 environmental goals. The proceeds are used to finance or refinance new and existing projects with social and environmental benefits.

Read their case study in our report (PDF)

AMAGGI engages with its suppliers, uses certification schemes, ensures compliance through an improved monitoring system and participates in multi-stakeholder initiatives focused on the risk of deforestation linked to soybeans.

Read their case study in our report (PDF)

Mars has adopted measures across nearly all KPIs for palm oil, demonstrating an ambitious and holistic approach towards tackling deforestation in its supply chain.

Read their case study in our report (PDF)

Marfrig undertook a risk analysis of the impacts that climate change could have on pasture productivity and as a result on their cattle production. To mitigate these risks, they promote best practice and areworking to restore riparian forests in the local watershed in Tangará da Serra (Mato Grosso, Brazil).

Read their case study in our report (PDF)

Disclosure drives action 

Transparency on deforestation and forest-related risks is higher than ever and it is vital that this continues to accelerate. 687 companies disclosed through CDP on how they are managing deforestation – a 27% increase from 2019 – despite the challenges of COVID-19.

515 Investors with over US$106 trillion in assets and 19 purchasing companies requested companies to disclose on their management of deforestation through CDP in 2020.

Taking action on forest-related risks is essential for climate action and it makes business sense. It can stimulate economic development and create jobs, contributing to a green economic recovery from COVID-19 in the short term – while also building long-term resilience.

The solutions are here – together, we can reach our goal of a forest-positive future.

Back in 2010, the collection of CEOs who make up the Consumer Goods Forum signed a pledge to eliminate deforestation throughout their supply chains by 2020. As the years passed, the initiative gained momentum and hundreds more companies signed up. And in 2014, more businesses doubled down with the New York Declaration on Forests. Some of the corporate giants who promised they were going to make big changes — like Cargill, McDonald’s, and Walmart — could have made a real difference. These are companies with the market power to force change worldwide. But they didn’t even hit their own targets.

Forests provide habitat for endangered species like orangutans, and they also keep the human habitat — Earth — livable. When forests burn they transform from carbon filters, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, to plumes of greenhouse gases. The best evidence from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that the world must be growing more trees than it cuts down by 2030 to have a chance of keeping the Earth below 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) of warming.

“We know what to do,” Forouzesh said. “There is no more excuse for inaction.” 

Four companies succeeded in backing up their words with deeds, according to the report: toilet-paper company Essity, the cosmetics giant L’Oréal, the chocolate titan Mars, and food packager Tetra Pak. These companies did a lot of work, but none of it was rocket science. They set up “no-deforestation” certification schemes, and told their suppliers that they needed to make sure they were not tearing down forests to produce cocoa and paper.

The majority of companies failed because they didn’t commit the time and money necessary to accomplish the monumental task. Corporations could have simply dropped any supplier that refused to comply, but they’ve mostly avoided that strategy. That’s because as long as some corporations aren’t committed to cutting deforestation, suppliers could just shift to less responsible buyers. “This isn’t about a few bad apples, we need to move entire sectors,” Forouzesh said. “If these companies engage with their suppliers, they can bring them along. If they exclude them, then their influence over that supplier ends.”

Most of the companies that have made pledges have at least started opening up their sourcing data, so activists and investors can measure what progress they’ve made, CDP found.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.24: 2021:

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