Forest 500

Forest 500

Drawing of a businessman signing papers

The Forest 500: tracking progress towards a deforestation-free global economy

  • Objectively identifying the top 500 'powerbrokers' for stopping tropical deforestation
  • Assessing and ranking deforestation policies to reveal leaders and laggards
  • Analysing progress towards 2020 goals using detailed data (40,000+ data points)
  • Providing targeted guidance to improve policies and performance

The Forest 500 are the 500 most important companies, financial institutions and jurisdictions worldwide when it comes to addressing global tropical deforestation driven by the production and trade of major forest risk commodities (specifically palm oil; soya; timber, pulp and paper; and beef and leather).

Every two years, these ‘powerbrokers’ are selected, objectively, through the Global Canopy Programme’s Forest 500 project, based on their exposure to forest risk commodity supply chains and their potential to transform relevant markets in the race towards a deforestation-free global economy.

The list is published on, allowing the actors themselves and other interested stakeholders to understand the reasons for their selection, and integrate them as priorities into their own decision-making and endeavours to address deforestation.

Clear focal points for action are revealed, furthermore, by the annual assessment and ranking of these powerbrokers’ policies on deforestation. These highlight shortcomings and gaps in the policies of some, while drawing attention to strengths in the policies of others, which can be used as guidance for those needing to improve. The Global Canopy Programme collaborates closely with other initiatives to ensure that this assessment of deforestation policies supports and guides effective implementation.

In addition to the ranking of the 500 powerbrokers, assessment data are also used to provide helpful insights on specific sectors, supply chains, geographies, and industry groups. For example, an analysis* published on 7 June 2016 revealed that among Forest 500 companies, members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) have more and stronger deforestation policies across and within forest risk commodity supply chains than non-members, although a significant number of members still lag behind. It also showed that far greater action is needed both among members and non-members within their soya and cattle product supply chains in particular.

As one of the first initiatives to assess financial sector commitments, the Forest 500 project aims to increase awareness of deforestation risk in this sector, enabling financial institutions to design their own deforestation policies and verify that companies in their portfolios also have strong policies in place.

The Forest 500 include 250 companies, 150 investors and lenders, 50 jurisdictions, and 50 other powerbrokers such as industry groups and trading blocs.

To find out who they are, and to view their scores and other insights, please visit


* The report on CGF members’ progress is available at