Thriving Forests - Environmental Defense Fund Supply Chain Solutions Center

Thriving Forests

Thriving Forests are vital for a thriving planet.

Forests are a critical component of a healthy planet. Slowing deforestation and restoring damaged forests could deliver a quarter or more of the carbon reductions needed by 2030 to avert dangerous climate change. Trees act as a massive carbon sink, provide natural habitat for millions of species of plants and animals, and protect watersheds by preventing erosion and acting as a natural water filtration system. For companies who care about sustainability and climate stability, forest protection must be a top priority.

At the same time, deforestation is a complex problem to solve. For many consumer products companies, deforestation hides deep in the supply chain. Beef, soy, palm oil, and pulp and paper are the major drivers of permanent deforestation globally, accounting for approximately 1.7 gigatons of annual greenhouse gas emissions. These commodities are pervasive of supermarket shelves and have complex supply chains that make understanding and mitigating deforestation very challenging.

The good news is that there are many resources already available to companies to help reduce deforestation. This pillar aims to compile these resources to assist companies in setting and exceeding ambitious deforestation goals.

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Just a handful of commodities — beef, soy, pulp and paper and palm oil — drive the majority of global deforestation. Halting deforestation from just these top four would remove about 1.7 gigatons of greenhouse gases from our atmosphere each year.

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Globally, deforestation hotspots occur in South America, Southeast Asia and Western Africa.

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Assessing Risk

Assessing risk is an important first step in understanding where deforestation might be hiding in your supply chain. By mapping your supply to the major deforestation hotspots, you can better target your efforts to reduce deforestation in meaningful ways.

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Goal Setting

Learn how to set meaningful and ambitious goals to address deforestation.

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Supply Chain Engagement

Engaging with your supply chain to drive improvement is the key to success. Here are resources that can be helpful in implementation.

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Jurisdictional Approaches

Company efforts to clean individual supply chains are important, but when acting alone, they are insufficient to drive the change we need to see at scale. The Jurisdictional Approach aims to connect companies, governments and other stakeholders to work in concert to reduce deforestation across entire landscapes.

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Stakeholder Engagement

You are not in this alone. Look here for partners who are ready to help.

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Measuring & Reporting

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Here are tools that can help you measure progress in your supply chain, as well as account for environmental benefits.

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Financing & Incentives

Solving deforestation will require producers and other stakeholders to see that forests can be worth more alive than dead. Innovative financing mechanisms can work hand-in-glove with corporate efforts to scale change.

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Restoration & Protection

Find resources to help you consider how forest restoration and protection fit into your strategy.

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While voluntary corporate actions to reduce GHG emissions are important, only public policy can deliver the pace and scale of reductions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That’s why policy advocacy is an essential element of corporate sustainability leadership. Companies can make a difference by supporting policies that reduce deforestation, unleash innovation and accelerate the transition to sustainable development.

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Business Case

Consumers and investors are becoming increasingly aware of the implications of deforestation and climate change. Companies with strong deforestation controls can benefit from reduced reputational risk and enhanced customer loyalty.

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Halting deforestation from beef, soy, pulp & paper and palm oil would avoid about 1.7 gigatons of greenhouse gases from our atmosphere each year.

If you buy deforestation-risk commodities, there are many resources available to help you mitigate your risk.

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Main Library

Thriving Forests Resources

Looking for solutions that are uniquely relevant to you and your company? Here you can filter by resource title, date, type. Below (left) you can filter by narrowing categories and sub-categories, as well as where each resource sits on different levels of the sustainability journey.

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Project Gigaton resources: forests

This page provides a collection of resources related to reducing deforestation in your supply chain; it was curated with companies engaged with Walmart's Project Gigaton initiative, but may be helpful to anyone interested in the topic.



Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) Pitchbook

This pitchbook provides a “menu” of on-the-ground programs in Mato Grosso, and makes it simple for companies to connect to the broader Mato Grosso PCI strategy and achieve their own supply chain goals.



The Sustainability Journey

Get your company started on the sustainability journey here! From overviews and introductions to advocating for policy, and everything in between, this is where you should start.



Thriving forests 101: introduction

Zero-deforestation sourcing can also be a critical opportunity for companies aiming to reduce supply risks, mitigate climate impacts and improve their corporate reputation.



Thriving forests 101: get informed

In order to mitigate deforestation in your supply chains, you must first understand the issue and how it impacts your business.



Thriving forests 101: understand the landscape

To mitigate deforestation in your supply chains, there are many stakeholders — both inside and outside of your company — that you may need or want to engage.



Assess impact & risk: forests

One of the first steps of managing deforestation in corporate supply chains is getting a sense of where it is likely occurring.



Set goals & objectives: forests

If your company is new to reducing deforestation, there are many resources to help set an ambitious, scientific goal aligned with your core business.



The Jurisdictional Approach: forests

Jurisdictional Approaches enable companies to collaborate with local governments and other stakeholders to increase productivity and reduce deforestation over an entire region, not just in a single supply chain.



Supply chain engagement resources: forests

Understand the tools and resources that others are currently using to engage their supply chains on deforestation.



The Jurisdictional Approach at a glance

By engaging with governments, civil society, and producers in key sourcing regions, retailers and food product companies can change the landscape of beef and soy production. This infographic gives you a quick understanding of the stakeholders in beef and soy supply chains.



Carbon accounting 101

A guide to corporate carbon accounting, including definitions of scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions, companies that have set scope 3 goals, and initiatives you can turn to for help doing the same.



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