Deforestation accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Every minute, tropical rainforest of the size of 50 football fields is destroyed. Whilst the causes of deforestation are complex, it is generally acknowledged that the biggest drivers are the cultivation of soya and oil palm, logging for the production of paper and board and the rearing of cattle. All of these commodities are major ingredients in the supply chains of most consumer goods companies. Our member companies drive the demand for these commodities and have an opportunity to ensure that the sourcing of these ingredients does not contribute to deforestation.
Therefore, in 2010, our Board approved a resolution to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. We aim to achieve this through the responsible sourcing of these key commodities - soy, palm oil, paper and pulp and beef - so that the sourcing of these key commodities will not deplete tropical rainforests. It’s a big ask, and there is much to be done, but through working collectively in partnership with governments and NGOs, the creation of key documents, important stakeholder meetings and through webinars and other materials, change is taking place.
In order to drive implementation of our Deforestation Resolution, we have created a number of working groups, each with a focus on a specific commodity, to help come up with resources and recommendations as well as to organise workshops and webinars. In March 2013, the Activation Toolkit was published - a document designed as a "how-to" to address deforestation amongst other things. A series of sustainable sourcing guidelines for Paper&Pulp, Palm Oil and Soy have also been published and a number of webinars held on these topics among others.
We are active in multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as being a founding partner of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 and in 2013 helping launch the Soft Commodities Compact with the Banking Environment Initiative. At a more local level, we also engage in important regional outreach for our commodities of focus.