Submitted by The Consumer Goods Forum
By Didier Bergeret, Director of Sustainability, and Debora Dias, Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability, The Consumer Goods Forum
To create a forest positive future for climate, people, and nature, businesses must take action quickly and at scale to address deforestation, forest degradation, and conversion risks in their supply chains. As our planet continues to lose millions of hectares of forests per year thanks to human activity – notably through the production of commodities such as palm oil, soy, wood pulp and fibre, and beef – there is no time to waste. The rich biodiversity of our planet, the temperature of our climate, and the wellbeing and livelihoods of the 1.6 billion people who live and work in forests depend on it.
Our Forest Positive Coalition of Action is the most ambitious collective of consumer goods companies taking action against commodity-driven deforestation and conversion, and Coalition members are striving to become forest positive businesses by implementing a five-step strategy to responsible sourcing. Known as our Forest Positive Approach, it requires businesses to have:
We developed this approach in consultation with key stakeholders from our industry and civil society, and through our Commodity Roadmaps and guidance for companies and their suppliers, we are helping drive forest positive transformation throughout the value chain. For our members, being forest positive businesses means protecting forests is at the heart of how they operate. Our Coalition is committed to implementing business models that help forest ecosystems and communities thrive, all the while ensuring the long-term success of its member companies.
However, we know that as a whole, our industry still has ways to go on the forest positive journey: as the recent results of Global Canopy’s annual Forest 500 rankings illustrate, many companies and the financial institutions that support them are still behind in taking action around deforestation. The report assesses 350 companies – including 18 of our Coalition members – and is a key resource to understand industry progress against deforestation. Global Canopy is also one of our Coalition’s key stakeholders who provides critical input on our strategies and actions, including our Forest Positive Approach.
This year, the report highlighted several key areas where companies still need to take action, and notably, these areas are strongly aligned with our Forest Positive Approach. We are pleased that our strategy aligns with the expectations of civil society, and we strongly agree with many of the report’s calls to action. For example:
With half of our Coalition member companies ranking in the top 50 companies assessed by Forest 500 and our agreement with many of the reports takeaways, it is clear that our Coalition’s forest positive strategy is aligned with the expectations of civil society for how businesses can take action around deforestation and conversion risks in their supply chains.
It is also clear that both in our Coalition and beyond, our industry must continue to keep working towards forest positive by taking action and, critically, sharing reports on progress and impact transparently. Membership to our Coalition is open to any consumer goods brand or retailer looking to lead industry efforts against deforestation and conversion, though our strategic and technical resources are all open source and available for all. We also collaborate and engage with more than 200 external organisations including supply chain partners and civil society members. In line with Forest 500, we call for everyone – businesses, governments, investors, and civil society alike – to ramp up individual and collective efforts to help us reach forest positive. Our forests, people, and climate – and our businesses – depend on it.
The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
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