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- Setting a focused goal – There are four key commodities where the CGF with the help of WWF decided it could make the biggest difference – palm oil, soy, paper/pulp and beef. Focus has allowed us to make substantial improvements on key parts of the deforestation issue, but not spread us too thinly in trying to tackle every supply chain and raw material. Setting a target date for delivering change (2020) has provided momentum for our work.
- Defining best practice – For example working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to set a common procurement standard. But also crucially not being a passive by-stander in the RSPO’s evolution, but rather positively and actively engaging with it to help toughen its standards, improve traceability and thus build its credibility.
- Engaging Suppliers – A strong, consistent message from palm oil users (CGF members) to palm oil producers and refiners has encouraged some of the world’s largest commodity companies to rethink their whole approach to forest management. APP, Wilmar, Golden Agri and others may not have changed their approach in the face of a lone business voice asking for change. But with companies as diverse as Unilever, P&G, Mars, Mondelez, Walmart, Sainsburys and Marks and Spencer lining up together to call for change, they recognised they had to adapt to marketplace pressure. Today 90% of globally traded palm oil now has some form of ‘no deforestation’ commitment associated with it.
- Creating new partnerships – Even with standards set and suppliers engaged, the forest journey is not an easy one. It needs action at a landscape level, beyond specific supply chains and forest concessions. The CGF helped create the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) to bring Governments together with business and civil society to tackle deforestation. The TFA is helping govenments put in place the funding, policy and enforcement capacity to deliver real change. It helped inspire the formation of the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) which is seeking to ensure that producers committed to tackling deforestation are rewarded economically in preference to those who are not. And the CGF was a key player in the New York Declaration on Forests that has set the bold macro goal of cutting natural forest loss globally by half by 2020 and striving to end it by 2030.
- Sharing best practice – It’s easy to get caught up in the world of UN declarations and miss the granular work in the procurement ‘trenches’ where real change has to happen in thousands and thousands of different consumer products and factories. We’ve created practical networks where best practice can be developed, shared and refined.