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Surge in Zero Deforestation Commitments

In the past several years, there has been a surge in zero deforestation commitments. In 2010, the board of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network of more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and associations, approved a board resolution, pledging to mobilize resources to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.29 The CGF aims to achieve this through the responsible sourcing of key agricultural commodities, including beef. In support of this commitment, the CGF joined with others to create the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA), which brings together industry, national governments and civil society groups in the largest public-private initiative of its type, to address deforestation and the sourcing of beef and other key commodities.

Forest-Risk Commodity Commitments, by Announcement Year, Annual and Cumulative36
Note: Based on 307 tracked commitments made by 243 unique companies and sub-brands.
Adapted from Supply Change: Corporations, Commodities, and Commitments that Count.
Source: Supply-Change.org

In 2014, governments, multi-national companies, and civil society groups came together at the United Nations Climate Summit to sign the New York Declaration on Forests, a pledge to support public and private sector goals aimed at eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities, including beef. A few of the key targets include:30

  • Cut the rate of global deforestation in half by 2020 and strive to end forest loss by 2030.
  • Restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2020 and 200 million hectares by 2030.
  • Strengthen forest governance and transparency
  • Reward countries and jurisdictions that, by taking action, reduce forest emissions—particularly through public policy and private sector sourcing.

Achieving these (and other) target outcomes could reduce emissions by 4.5—8.8 billion tons per year by 2030.

In addition, a myriad of retailers and manufacturers have individually stepped up, to make commitments to zero deforestation, including prominent global brands such as Mars,31 Colgate-Palmolive,32 Walmart,33 Nestle,34 Tesco,35 and many more. There are now more than 580 commitments to deforestation-free supply chains across the “big four” commodities (palm oil, pulp & paper, cattle, and soy). Commitments to zero deforestation production are helping support positive solution-oriented improvements throughout commodity value chains. The implementation of these commitments will drive on-the-ground transformation and help ensure that beef, leather, and tallow can continue to be produced in the Brazilian Amazon without jeopardizing tropical forests.

For real-time news, data, and analysis that catalogues company commitments to zero deforestation, please visit Supply-Change, a web-based platform developed by Forest Trends.

For an assessment of deforestation commitments made by some of the world’s most influential companies, please visit the Forest 500.

29. Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). Board Resolution on Deforestation..
30. United Nations Climate Summit, New York Declaration on Forests..
31. Mars, Incorporated Deforestation Policy. March, 2014..
32. Colgate-Palmolive, Our policy on No Deforestation. March, 2014..
33. Walmart Unveils Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals. October, 2010..
34. Nestle, Eliminating Deforestation..
35. Tesco, Trading Responsibly, Beef UK Position Statement. August, 2014..
36. Adapted from, Supply Change: Corporations, Commodities, and Commitments that Count. Forest Trends. March, 2015..