February 23, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

In 2017, we continue to witness the increased growth and sophistication of corporate commitments to reduce commodity-driven deforestation. Supply Change now tracks a total of 760 commitments and an increasingly elaborate set of implementation metrics and supporting data. This growth complements findings of the newly released 2017 Sustainable Procurement Barometer – a survey of 120 procurement officers in the manufacturing and retailing sectors conducted by Paris-based consultancy EcoVadis. The findings are hopeful and show that a whopping 97% of respondents listed sustainability as one of their top five priorities. What’s more, 76% of respondents reported that improving their brand reputation was a motivating force for making procurement policies, demonstrating that consumer demands encourage downstream companies to make commitments. As the number of commitments and procurement polices continue to snowball, Supply Change has enhanced our ability to analyze the realm of deforestation commitments as a whole; something that has yielded mixed results.

The Good:

Reporting progress provides an opportunity to celebrate success as well as to reflect on lessons learned when aspirations are not met. The latest progress reporting results for Supply Change will be released in next month’s report

The Bad:

The Sustainable Procurement Barometer captures the top 3 challenges to sustainable procurement: (1) a lack of internal resources, (2) difficulty tracking supplier sustainability performance, and (3) concerns around cost. The second challenge is an issue of traceability, where only 15% of respondents could adequately track the sustainability performance of their tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. Aligned with this survey result, Supply Change will be expanding its traceability metrics to highlight more detail about how much of a company’s supply is traceable, and how far back it can be traced.

Learn more about Supply Change’s expanded metrics and dormant commitments in our upcoming 2017 findings report, scheduled for release in March.

 More stories about changing supply chains are summarized below, so keep reading!

-The Supply Change team




Upcoming Events

Supply Change and TFA 2020 launch two new reports on a joint webinar co-hosted with Innovation Forum
15 March 2017

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) and Forest Trends’ Supply Change Initiative invite you to join a webinar discussion with leaders working towards deforestation-free commodity supply chains, co-hosted with Innovation Forum. Featuring the launch of TFA’s and Supply Change’s new reports, speakers will discuss their key findings and examine trends among corporate commitments to reducing deforestation from the "big four" agricultural commodities – palm, timber & pulp, soy, and cattle. Speakers will include representatives from TFA 2020, Supply Change, CDP, and others.

Secure your participation now, by registering here.


General Assembly Tropical Forest Alliance 2020
Brasilia, Brazil, 21 March 2017

Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) invites partners and experts, local communities, businesses, governments, civil society, and international organizations to come together to share best practices in advancing our journey to accomplish deforestation-free supply chains. The meeting will feature six thematic knowledge exchange sessions, hosted in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, United Nations Development Programme, Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), IDH (Dutch Initiative on Sustainable Trade), and The Nature Conservancy and will take place on Tuesday 21 March 8.30 - 19.00 at the Hotel Royal Tulip Brasilia, Brazil.

Secure your participation now, by registering here.  More information about TFA 2020 here.


Innovation Forum: How business can tackle deforestation
Washington D.C., 3-4 April 2017

As a Supporting Partner, Forest Trends’ Supply Change Initiative invites you to join us at an Innovation Forum conference in April. This international multi-stakeholder meeting is designed to provide practical guidance for the implementation of zero deforestation policies. Already confirmed participants include senior representatives from the likes of SC Johnson, Target Corporation, McDonald's, JBS, Sime Darby, Archer Daniels Midland, Waxman Strategies, Permian Global, and many more.

Any contacts of ours are eligible for a 20% discount to attend the event. Please use the coupon code SC20 when registering online here.




Recent News

Sustainable by design

The Norwegian government launched a new public-private partnership fund with major implications for agribusiness and the commodity trade. According to a press release issued by the World Economic Forum the fund’s aim is to safeguard more than 5 million hectares of peatlands and forests. Sparked by a $100M contribution from Norway in January, the fund has since received $25M from Unilever (its first private partner) and hopes to reach $400M by 2020. The broad thrust of the fund is to encourage the intensification of yields where agriculture already exists, as well as to limit its expansion into forested areas. Part of the fund has been earmarked specifically for smallholders whose role in production continues to gain recognition.
Read more from Mongabay


Palm’s Transparency Upgrade

Newly published guidance provides companies with ways to improve reporting on environmental and social impacts from the palm oil that they produce and/or procure. Several green groups and some members from the private sector developed this suite of reporting metrics as a way to improve transparency and accountability around responsible palm oil production. These guidelines include specialized reporting recommendations for producers/processors/traders, manufacturers, and retailers. Metrics cover a wide range of issues including supply chain transparency, land acquisition and development, smallholders, and human rights among others.
Read more at Ecosystem Marketplace


Subnational Laboratories in Sustainability

A recent evaluation of emerging approaches for pursuing sustainable development at subnational levels in tropical forested countries finds three main pathways for achieving success. In a nutshell, these “jurisdictional approaches” rely on coordination among key stakeholders in establishing shared visions of success and strategies for reinforcing sustainability within governmental policy, business models, and formal land designations. The Earth Innovation institute and partners conclude that these initiatives benefit from the guidance of trusted conveners, advanced planning for balancing key power broker interests, and evidence of early wins with tangible benefits. Stakeholders also must jointly develop time-bound and meaningful goals with rigorous monitoring and reporting mechanisms. Ultimately, for these approaches to be successful, integrated systems of cost sharing and incentives are required.
Read more at the Earth Innovation Institute 


A Budding Tale of Legume Legality

Several Brazilian and European industry organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a meeting in Lisbon on January 19th, in support of Brazilian responsible soy production and its market acceptance in Europe. It is the first time that a direct, formal working relationship has been established between Brazilian soy producers and European soy purchasers with a common vision of responsible and legal soy production in Brazil and its use in Europe. The focus on legality drew criticism from the WWF for not being holistic enough, while the Federation of European Vegetable Oil and Proteinmeal Industry contests that its role as a facilitator is not to promote a certain standard but rather to define a baseline for the market.
Read more from Feed Navigator



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