Report Highlights Progress and Challenges in Achieving Deforestation-Free Supply Chains

deforest environmental problem. logging of rain forest to clear land for palm oil plantations in southeast asia

(Credit: CDP)

by | May 22, 2024

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New findings from the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) and CDP reveal that while achieving deforestation at an organizational level is possible, it remains elusive for most. Today’s report, Time for Transparency: Deforestation- and Conversion-Free Supply Chains, is based on an extensive examination of hundreds of company disclosures.

The report provides the first clear and quantitative assessment of the extent to which major companies have eliminated deforestation from their supply chains. According to last year’s disclosures through CDP, 64 companies reported having at least one deforestation- and conversion-free commodity supply chain based on high-quality disclosures. These companies reported that 66 agricultural and forestry supply chains were free from deforestation or conversion to other ecosystems with a breakdown including timber, palm oil, soy, cattle products, cocoa, coffee, and rubber.

Leah Samberg, Lead Scientist, AFi stated, “Companies must eliminate deforestation and conversion from their supply chains to meet near-term climate and nature targets, as well as to comply with emerging laws like the EU Deforestation Regulation. These new data demonstrate that companies need to invest in effective monitoring and control systems to address deforestation and conversion associated with their operations and suppliers, however few are doing so.”

Despite some progress, significant hurdles remain. Of the 881 companies that shared information on at least one commodity supply chain, covering 1,498 commodity-specific disclosures across seven high-risk commodities, only about half (445) reported on their progress towards deforestation- and conversion-free supply chains. Moreover, just 186 companies provided clear and reliable information to back their claims. Common issues included over-reliance on certification programs and risk assessments that fall short of ensuring deforestation-free commodities, along with missing details about company activities, products, regions, or suppliers.

The report strongly encourages companies involved in producing or sourcing agricultural or forestry commodities to publicly commit to achieving deforestation- and conversion-free supply chains. It’s essential that they consider the impacts on all natural ecosystems, not just forests, and establish robust monitoring and control systems to tackle deforestation and conversion associated with their operations and suppliers. Transparent public policies, firm commitments, and active engagement with suppliers are critical to support disclosure and speed up the shift to responsible production and trade.

 

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