Can companies achieve zero deforestation in their supply chains by 2020?

A new research report released today from the Global Canopy Programme highlights the urgent need to create sustainable agricultural commodity markets as a practical solution to halting the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests.

The report entitled Achieving Zero (Net) Deforestation Commitments: What it means and how to get there” charts how to realise corporate ‘Zero Deforestation Pledges’[1] and widen global support for them. It examines the deforestation commitments that have been made by hundreds of corporates, the challenges that exist in delivering on these commitments and offers practical recommendations as to how the transition to ‘deforestation free’ global supply chains can be accelerated.

The report finds that, whilst many companies have some kind of policy on deforestation, just 7% have signed up to zero or zero-net deforestation pledges across their supply chains and relatively few investors have any deforestation policies at all.

Jeff Seabright, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever says “Businesses globally have a huge opportunity to help avert climate catastrophe by partnering with governments and civil society to drive transformational change. Working together to end unsustainable deforestation from supply chains has the potential to be a game changer, and makes good business sense by building more resilient and equitable supply chains.”

Andrew Mitchell, CEO, Global Canopy Programme says “While companies must act, they cannot do so in isolation. Other influential stakeholders including financial institutions and Governments should play a role in creating the right market conditions that will enable a transition to a world where the production of forest risk commodities in a sustainable way, becomes the norm and not the exception.”

In order to accelerate the implementation of Zero (Net) Deforestation commitments and the creation of sustainable agricultural commodity markets, the main report findings are as follows:

To download a copy of the full report visit http://www.globalcanopy.org/materials/achieving-zero-net-deforestation-commitments

“Today’s price signal is wrong and the fundamental rules of the game need to be changed to get it right.” Andrew Mitchell said, “Bank credit, taxation, subsidies, tariffs and regulation need to favour commodities traded that are not destroying irreplaceable natural capital like rainforests, and penalise those that are. That way business case for change will become an irresistible force to which the market will respond globally. This remains the great opportunity over the next decade. Until then, conservation can do little better than King Canute holding back the tide. ”

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Global Canopy Programme

Rachel Mountain, Head of Communications, Global Canopy Programme r.mountain@globalcanopy.org, +44 (0)1865 724 333

About the Global Canopy Programme

The Global Canopy Programme (GCP) is a tropical forest think-tank and international NGO, working to demonstrate the scientific, political and business case for safeguarding forests as natural capital that underpins water, food, energy, health and climate security for all. www.globalcanopy.org

[1]Zero net deforestation does not completely exclude deforestation but allows offsetting as opposed to gross zero deforestation which is the exclusion of all forest conversion.

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