New Global Ratings Agency Ranks the 500 Institutions with the Power to End Deforestation

Forest 500
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The Global Canopy Programme’s ‘Forest 500’, identifies, ranks, and tracks the governments, companies and financial institutions worldwide that together could virtually eradicate tropical deforestation. 

This first ever comprehensive ranking of the powerbrokers that control the global supply chains that drive tropical deforestation finds that only a small number of actors worldwide have comprehensive policies in place to protect tropical forests and that, at the current rate, the goal of zero deforestation by 2020 will not be met.

Based on a rigorous methodology, and drawing on over 40,000 data points from public and private sources, the Global Canopy Programme has identified, assessed and ranked 250 companies, with total annual revenues in excess of US $4.5 trillion; 150 investors and lenders; 50 countries and regions; and 50 other influential actors in this space. Together, these 500 control the complex global supply chains of key ‘forest risk commodities’ such as soya, palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp and paper that have an annual trade value of more than US $ 100 billion and that are consumed around the world every day; found in over 50% of packaged products sold in supermarkets.

Assessed against dozens of policy indicators, only seven of the Forest 500 scored the maximum number of points - companies Groupe Danone, Kao Corp., Nestle S. A., Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser Group, Unilever and banking and financial services giant HSBC. At the other end of the scale, 30 companies, many based in Asia and the Middle East, and numerous investors scored zero points. Countries received a range of scores, with Latin American nations scoring high in forested regions and the Netherlands and Germany coming top amongst countries that import forest risk commodities.

At the UN Climate Summit last year, prominent representatives from business, governments, indigenous communities and civil society, signed the landmark New York Declaration on Forests. It spells out ambitious commitments to cut natural deforestation in half and remove it from agricultural supply chains by 2020 and end it altogether by 2030. A similar pledge to achieve net zero deforestation by 2020 has been made by the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global association of companies and service providers, including major manufacturers and retailers. 

To help inform, enable and track progress towards this urgent goal, the forest 500 ranking and analysis will be repeated annually until 2020. 

To see the Forest 500 platform and read more about the results including the analysis of the groups please visit forest500.org or follow @Forest500