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Turn deforestation pledges into action, urges CDP

Corporate momentum on tackling deforestation is at risk of stalling warns new analysis from CDP, the global non-profit which collates environmental data on behalf of investors.

While seven in 10 companies have commitments to address deforestation, few are translating these into meaningful actions, says CDP.

The report, Realizing zero-deforestation: Transforming supply chains for the future, was launched at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris. The findings suggest there is a widespread understanding of the business case for action, with nearly 90% of companies identifying commercial opportunities from addressing deforestation.

However, without relevant procurement strategies and policies, commitments are not being implemented fast enough. Half (50%) the companies with commitments to source certified soy are yet to get any into their supply chains. For palm oil this is the case for over a quarter (26%) of companies. And while over three quarters (77%) of manufacturers and retailers have standards for sourcing commodities identified as among the largest drivers of deforestation, just over a quarter (26%) provide suppliers with training or workshops on this issue.

CDP’s global forests report 2015 is produced on behalf of 298 investors with US$19 trillion in assets. It analyzes disclosures from 171 of the world’s largest companies – including Cargill, Mars and Unilever – to establish how they are managing four key commodities linked to deforestation: cattle products, palm oil, timber products and soy.

Katie McCoy, head of forests at CDP, commented: “In an era of climate change, protecting our forests is one of the best things we can do to prevent dangerous global warming. Reaching a climate change agreement in Paris is therefore critical for creating a level playing field for companies already striving to address deforestation. While policymakers have their role to play, companies too must enable suppliers to join their efforts to protect forests. The long-term viability of agricultural production, food security and climate action depend on this.”

Global | Deforestation

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