Transforming how we do business
As some of the world’s largest multinational consumer goods brands and retailers, we believe that we need to lead by example and ensure we are taking measures to become the forest positive businesses our planet needs. As forest positive businesses, protecting forests is at the heart of how we members operate. Our Coalition members are committed to implementing business models that help forest ecosystems and communities thrive. In doing so, they help ensure the long-term success of their companies, the sustained health of our planet, and the wellbeing and livelihoods of the millions of people who live in and depend on forest environments.
To achieve this vision, we are adopting and implementing five commitments and are encouraging our supply chain partners to do the same to drive wide-scale, accelerated progress towards forest positive. Known as the Coalition’s Forest Positive Approach, the five basic areas of action are for businesses to have:
We encourage all businesses, both in the Coalition and beyond, to adopt the Forest Positive Approach and contribute to the wider transformation of the consumer goods industry away from deforestation and towards sustainability.
Learn more about each commitment, our relevant actions, and download supporting technical resources to help your business implement the Forest Positive Approach below.
As a Coalition, our primary objective is to work together to promote and adopt the sustainable procurement of commodities in four key sectors in which we can best leverage our collective influence and avoid duplicating existing efforts. These commodities are palm oil, soy, paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging, and beef, including cattle-derived products.
For us as Coalition members, and for any forest positive business, the foundation of any commitment to achieve a forest positive future is based on an individual commitment that a business’ own commodity supply must be forest positive. Having a public commitment to deforestation and conversion-free across one’s entire commodity business including a public time-bound action plan with clear milestones is therefore the first key step of the Forest Positive Approach.
Our Commodity Roadmaps and their implementation Guidance offer rich technical detail to guide businesses in ensuring their own supply of commodities is forest positive (see Element 1 of the Commodity Roadmaps) and recommend businesses ultimately publicly disclose important information such as policy commitments to DCF and forest positive and traceability and certification information.
The transformation of supply chains to forest positive across the entire sector can only be achieved if upstream suppliers also implement forest positive commitments across their entire business, thereby creating the scale and momentum needed.
Coalition members are therefore engaging with suppliers and traders to help them implement forest positive business practices that are in line with the Coalition’s mission. Importantly, members seek to ensure that not only the products they source from their suppliers are forest positive, but that all of the products the suppliers create are forest positive as well.
The Coalition recommends businesses take several actions to engage their suppliers (see Element 2 of the Commodity Roadmaps) and ultimately publicly disclose important information such as supplier lists and the performance of relevant suppliers with whom businesses are engaging about the Forest Positive Approach.
The Coalition has also released Guidance to aid upstream supply chain actors in their efforts to become forest positive businesses:
Businesses are also invited to use the Guidance to inform their engagement with their palm oil suppliers (starting with own brand manufacturers), large soy suppliers and traders, and meatpackers in Brazil, and to also measure and assess their performance. Additional resources for Coalition member companies about how to engage their upstream supply chain partners are available here.
While businesses take action to reduce and prevent deforestation and conversion risks, they also need mechanisms in place to identify and respond to any grievances or non-compliances.
For deforestation and conversion, the rapid development of remote monitoring technology means almost real-time information on deforestation is widely available. However, alerts on their own are only a first step in addressing real and potential risks: in order to inform action, they need to be linked to data on ownership or responsibility for the land being cleared, and verification that deforestation is real and potentially linked to commodity production. Several service providers and NGOs are now providing this type of information to Coalition members, but there is considerable variation and an initial action of the Coalition is to work on consistency.
The Coalition has therefore developed a deforestation monitoring and response framework (MRF), initially focused on the palm oil sector, for businesses to use in an aligned fashion.
As consumer goods companies, we all rely on our planet to provide the key commodities that make up the foundation of our businesses. We also rely on the millions of people employed throughout our supply chains, particularly those who live and work in the forests we cherish. Therefore, we believe that for our industry to become truly forest positive, we not only have to transform how we source our commodities, but also ensure the wider environments beyond our supply chains can thrive.
As a result, our Coalition launched an ambitious strategy at COP26 for driving transformational, forest positive change in production landscapes, or the areas, ecosystems, and communities where our Coalition’s key commodities are produced and sourced. To do so, we are individually and collectively supporting landscape- and jurisdictional-level initiatives that promote forest positive practices and outcomes at the local level in high-priority areas worldwide, with the ambition of transforming production landscapes in areas equivalent to the size of our collective production-based footprint to forest positive by 2030. As our approach to forest positive is not limited to just focusing on the environment, our strategy is specifically designed to drive good outcomes for nature, people, and the climate.
To drive this engagement, members have identified high-risk and high-priority production origins where their engagement is key. For each respective commodity, information on how to identify these origins is available in the Commodity Roadmaps.
In 2022, Coalition members reported collective investments in dozens of programmes focused on driving forest positive production of palm oil, soy, paper, pulp, and fibre-based packaging (PPP), and beef. Many of these programmes are among the 22 initiatives the Coalition identified as key drivers of forest positive transformation in their respective landscapes based on a set of Ten Principles for Collective Action in Production Landscapes. Notably, the principles require the programmes to drive positive outcomes for all life on earth – people, animals, and nature alike.
The 22 initiatives included in the Coalition’s Learning Portfolio cover important production landscapes for the Coalition’s four key commodities in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The Portfolio was created in 2021 and will be updated regularly.
The Coalition recommends businesses take several actions to identify and engage in high-risk/priority production landscapes (see Elements 3 and 4 of the Commodity Roadmaps) and ultimately publicly disclose important information such as priority landscapes identified and details about the local initiatives they are supporting.
Creating a culture of transparency and accountability has been a clear and immediate priority for our Coalition. We recognise that previous approaches to tackling deforestation lacked specificity and follow-through on setting and meeting concrete goals, sharing actions publicly, and holding each other accountable. We also know we will not be successful in our goal of driving transformative change without being able to truly measure both the scale of the challenge before us and our progress in driving positive impacts. Working towards greater traceability and transparency is essential to understand where deforestation risks do or do not exist in order to take preventative and remediative action. As a result, our Theory of Change is built on a concrete ambition for all members to regularly and publicly report on all of the Commodity Roadmap KPIs for each commodity that is material to their business.
Our approach to developing our KPIs has been largely collaborative with our stakeholder community and is largely aligned with several existing platforms and initiatives including the Accountability Framework, CDP, and Forest 500. A full list of KPIs included in the Commodity Roadmaps is available here.
In September 2021, we issued our first Annual Report, which includes an initial baseline analysis of Coalition members’ progress in advancing on their commitment to reporting publicly against 100% of the KPIs in the Commodity Roadmaps, for commodities material to their businesses.
Our second Annual Report then showed an increase in our collective disclosure rates against the KPIs and also started to include information on our individual performance against these metrics.
Both publications follow our first-ever collective report, “Taking Root: Embarking on the Forest Positive Journey”, which offers a comprehensive look into the Coalition’s Theory of Change.
To follow the Coalition members’ individual and collective progress in publicly reporting against the Roadmap KPIs, visit our KPI Reporting webpage.
Consumer goods retailers and manufacturers play an important role in stopping deforestation, forest degradation, and conversion – but we can’t do it alone. Even if all of our members achieved deforestation-free supply chains for our key commodities, deforestation would still exist due to global demand elsewhere. Everyone – from the private sector, governments, and investors, to NGOs, smallholder farmers and local stakeholders – has a role to play in transforming the larger environment to one that enables, not prevents, forest conservation and preservation.
In addition to taking action in our supply chains and production landscapes, as a Coalition we are using our individual and collective voices to work with government bodies towards shared action as we advocate for and support policies that help change behaviours and outcomes towards forest positive. This member-led work is facilitated by our strategic and technical partner, TFA. We are working to engage both producer- and demand-side governments on the topic of deforestation. Initially, we are engaging the governments of Brazil, Indonesia, the European Union (EU), and China.
We also regularly engage with more than 200 external organisations who provide critical input and feedback on our strategies, and serve as key enablers and implementing partners in advancing the forest positive vision.