The Climate Case
Nature has beaten us to the punch – she’s already developed the perfect mechanism for capturing and storing carbon -- they’re called forests. Unfortunately, we humans are cutting these climate-protecting, life-preserving forests down at a tremendous rate. We destroy between 46,000-58,000 square miles of forest each year – that’s the equivalent of cutting down 48 football fields worth every minute! The Amazon has lost about 17% of its rainforest over the last 50 years, primarily to make way for cattle ranches that provide beef and leather. The other three big commodity culprits are soybeans, palm oil and timber (for pulp and paper). Clearing land to grow and harvest just these four commodities – soy, cattle (beef and leather), palm oil and timber (paper and pulp) accounts for more than half of global deforestation.
The negative impacts of deforestation are two-fold – not only does the burning of forests release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but replacing a diverse, well-established forest with a monocrop like grass, palm, or soy also strips the soil of much of its ability to serve as a crucial carbon sink. So it should come as no surprise that deforestation results in roughly 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
“Right now the world is racing to develop carbon capture technology, but nature has already beaten us to it…Forests are nature’s ready-made solution to capturing and storing carbon.” - Katie McCoy, Head of Forests, CDP
Businesses who commit to reversing deforestation can help slow climate change, protect communities and indigenous peoples, restore watersheds and support biodiversity. In addition, companies who commit to removing deforestation from their supply chains may also enjoy lower operating costs and greater stability in their supply chain as well as avoiding potentially damaging negative publicity.
Companies will set targets and begin to work towards assuring that the key commodities in their supply chain like palm, soy, beef, paper and pulp are from deforestation-free sources.
Ideally, your company would set targets consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG goal 15) which call for a halt to deforestation by 2020.
Restoring our forest’s ability to store carbon on a global scale is a critical and cost-effective climate mitigation solution.
Here are some specific steps your company can take to move forward:
- Establish company policies, a timeline and targets for conversion to 100% deforestation-free commodities by 2020 (or sooner if possible).
- Establish a disclosure and reporting plan for removing commodity-driven deforestation from your supply chain within one year.
- Engage with your supply chain to provide support through collaborative efforts, training, or financial assistance, if needed.
- Report your company and supply chain’s approach for verification, transparency and compliance.
Companies committing to removing deforestation from their supply chains will be expected to complete an annual online questionnaire updating the Climate Collaborative on progress made toward the commitment. The questionnaire will be short and should not be burdensome to complete.
Watch this short video to see how Alter Eco fulfills their commitment to reducing deforestation.
Get Support & Get Involved
The Climate Collaborative is here to help you overcome any challenges you run into in the process of removing commodity-driven deforestation from your supply chain by providing critical information, tools and processes. As a collaborative we can address barriers together more effectively, restore forests and transition to a low-carbon economy.
Here are some specific ways we can help:
- We are developing a white paper on issues surrounding removing deforestation from your supply chain. It will include activities and organizations that can help companies remove deforestation from their supply chain. The paper will also identify a comprehensive list of resources, tools, guidelines and service providers to assist businesses in making and fulfilling this commitment. Stay tuned!
- In the future, we plan to develop criteria, guidelines, and checklists of best practices for companies to assess suppliers, provide training and encourage progress. Please share your best practices with us so that we can include your knowledge in our compilation.
- We will facilitate networking, collaborative efforts, and working groups as interest demands. Please let us know your needs and interests.
Our Forests Resources page highlights case studies, videos, tools, and other resources from our partners to help organizations overcome challenges in the process of removing commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chain.
For those needing more tailored support, Sustainable Food Trade Association is available to help.
Amavida Coffee Roasters
Annmarie Skin Care
Avocado Green Brands
Davidson's Organic Tea
Dr Hops Kombucha Beer, LLC
Ethical Bean Coffee
Good Food For Good
Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss
Lundberg Family Farms
Maple Wellness Foods
Nana Joe's Granola
Spinster Sisters, Inc.
Teatulia Organic Teas
The Philosopher's Stoneground
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
W.S. Badger Company
Co+opportunity Market & Deli
Glen's Garden Market
LifeSource Natural Foods
MOM's Organic Market
Oryana Food Cooperative
PCC Community Markets
Pure Fresh & Organic
Rising Tide Co-op
Sentient Bean and Brighter Day
The Food Mill
The Merc Co+op
Wheatsville Food Co-op
Giusto's Specialty Foods
JM Smucker Company
Maple Valley Cooperative
Mountain Rose Herbs
Sustainable Sourcing LLC
Global Family Farms
Brand Geek/ Law Office of Lara Pearson
Buy Pure New Zealand
Change Finance, PBC
Community Planet Foundation
Fucol Group Capital
Hela Bima Rice Project
Legacy Vacation Resorts
Marin Restorative Communications
Metta Earth Institute, Inc.
Nia Impact Capital
Organic & Regenerative Investment Cooperative
ReGen Partners LLC
Soil & More Impacts
Terra Genesis International