Supply chains are coming under increasing scrutiny. Was the beef in your burger sourced from the Amazon, where forest is being cleared to make way for cattle ranches? Was the pork in your sausage fed with soy imported from plantations which are destroying Paraguay’s rich wildlife? Some consumers are starting to ask these questions. And the answers matter.
Investors are increasingly pushing some of the world’s biggest companies to commit to reducing their impact on the rainforest, according to new analysis of shareholder resolutions. And many of these resolutions are successful, with more than half (52%) of shareholder requests to address ‘deforestation risk’ in supply chains followed by a company commitment.
Soy supply chains in Brazil and Paraguay have been mapped at an unprecedented scale in a new version of the pioneering Trase platform, which lays bare the deforestation and other risks associated with the production of these commodities, as well as opportunities for sustainable investment. The new release of the platform will be unveiled on the sidelines of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 General Assembly on 20 March in Brasilia.
Many retailers are at risk of stocking products sourced from cattle raised on recently deforested tropical forest lands. However, some retailers have relatively greater exposure to this problem – as well as greater power to address it.
COP21 has seen rich countries and global financial institutions promise a raft of investments for reforestation and sustainable agriculture in developing countries. The UK, Germany, and Norway pledged $5 billion in total over a 5-year period to support initiatives in countries that can prove their commitment to sustainable agendas. Colombia has announced that it will work alongside the the same 3 donor countries in a $300 million project to reduce deforestation.
As dignitaries negotiate at COP21, forests remain in crisis. Forests provide livelihoods for over a billion people, regulate the water table, and sequester carbon. However, agricultural corporations continue to convert forest to farmland at an unsustainable rate, damaging global water systems and causing over 10% of carbon emissions. Fires have raged in Indonesia since July.
United Nations Headquarters, New York City