Earlier this year, EU Parliament issued an historic vote to protect the world’s forests and the Indigenous Peoples living there.  The Deforestation Free Law, which requires companies to demonstrate that goods are not connected to deforestation in order to place them on the EU market passed the EU parliament in a landslide 453 to 57.

Perhaps one of the reasons it passed so resoundingly was that MEPs listened to the citizens: research by Yougov and Globescan repeatedly show that more than 8 in 10 European voters support a strong and ambitious EU anti-deforestation law

The research makes a clear case for action by the consumer goods sector as well.  According to the analysis:

  • Deforestation is the biggest environmental issue of concern across most EU countries, with 8 in 10 Europeans saying they are worried about the destruction and degradation of the world’s forests. 
  • Europeans expect companies to take the lead in protecting forests but believe that businesses are currently performing the worst in preventing deforestation.
  • A strong majority of Europeans think businesses should not sell products which are harmful to the world’s forests, yet they find it difficult to understand which products are deforestation-free. They therefore believe it is the government’s role to ban products that have a negative impact on forests.
  • A vast majority of Europeans are willing to act and move away from businesses which they believe contribute to deforestation. More than 7 in 10 Europeans are ready to move away from businesses if they find out that a brand or a retailer sells or manufactures products/ingredients which contribute to deforestation, either by buying less of or by no longer buying their products. 

It is clear that the public is calling out for businesses to take a leadership role. The Parliament’s law now needs to be reconciled with parallel versions from the EU Council and Commission in trilogue. Sustainable companies have much to gain and little to lose by supporting Parliament’s legislation.

The Meridian Institute invites you to stand with the citizens of Europe and work with the European Union towards this historic step towards achieving deforestation and degradation-free supply chains. 

Please visit https://tinyurl.com/deforestation-free to request more information.