Institutions with power to end deforestation

The first ever global ranking of the 500 institutions that control “forest risk” commodities – and therefore have the power to end deforestation by 2020 – has recently been completed.

The research and rankings were carried out by the Global Canopy Programme, a tropical forest think tank consisting of 37 scientific institutions from 19 countries around the world. The organisation drew on more than 40,000 data points from public and private sources in order to assess and rank the institutions that control the complex global supply chains. The top 500 consists of 250 corporations, 150 investors and lenders, 50 countries and regions and 50 other influential powerbrokers.

Forest risk commodities are raw materials whose production causes significant deforestation and land change use, such as soya, palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp and paper. Such commodities are used in over 50% of the packaged products you find in supermarkets.

This infographic demonstrates the hypothetical relationships between countries, companies and commodities, and how complex supply chains can be just to make something as simple as a burger and fries. (Exporting and importing countries were chosen for illustrative purposes and do not necessarily reflect specific trends or trade relationships.)
Credit: Global Canopy Programme

“We are currently all part of a global deforestation economy. Deforestation is in our chocolate and our toothpaste, our animal feed and our textbooks, our buildings and our furniture, our investments and our pensions,” says Mario Rautner, the Global Canopy Programme’s Driver of Deforestation Programme Manager.

“Our goal with the Forest 500 is to provide precise and actionable information to measure the progress of society to achieve zero deforestation. Together, these 500 countries, companies and investors have the power to clean up global supply chains and virtually put an end to tropical deforestation.”

The team was inspired to conduct this research after the UN Climate Summit last year, where the New York Declaration on Forests was signed by world leaders. The declaration supported a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it altogether by 2030.

To see the full list of rankings and find out more, visit the Forest 500 website.

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