October 12, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you well know, forest health and climate change are deeply linked. More carbon sequestered into forests means less carbon in the atmosphere and therefore less of a greenhouse effect. Unfortunately, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services provided by forests have experienced slow adoption into natural capital accounting practices. However, there are new developments on the horizon that seek to integrate forests into the GHG framework. A new methodological guidance makes it possible for companies to quantify land use emissions associated with commodity production. This guidance could have substantial impacts - 30% of the companies tracked by Supply Change aspire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of their agricultural commodities – but none have found an adequate system for doing so. In addition, Forest Trends’ recently published report, in collaboration with EDF, Collaboration Toward Zero Deforestation: Aligning Corporate and National Commitments in Brazil and Indonesia, shows how companies and governments are using forest conservation as a way to fulfill their obligation to The Paris Agreement. This year’s Climate Week also served as an opportunity for increased recognition of the linkage between forests and climate. Forest Trends’ Supply Change Initiative and Communities Initiative, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020), and Consumer Goods Forum gathered more than 120 attendees from the public and private sector for “Going ‘All In’ to Address Commodity-Driven Deforestation + Film Premiere of Stewards of the Forest,” a collectively produced Official Climate Week NYC 2017 Affiliate Event, which featured over a dozen speakers.

The Climate Week event served as the launchpad for TFA 2020’s white paper, “Commodities and Forests Agenda 2020,” which outlines ten key priorities for removing tropical deforestation from commodity supply chains. “The (TFA2020) priorities are designed to serve as a framework that can be referenced by CEOs and policymakers at the highest level whenever decisions are made,” explains Charlotte Streck, cofounder of the environmental consultancy Climate Focus. The Supply Change initiative directly contributes to several of the priorities, including: priority 2 – growing and strengthening palm oil certification, priority 6 – accelerating the implementation of jurisdictional programs, and priority 10 – improving the quality and availability of deforestation and supply chain data.

In alignment with priority 7 of the white paper, which addresses the need for formal land registration and titles, the event concluded with the premiere screening of “Stewards of the Forest.” The film highlights Forest Trends’ Communities Initiative work, supported by USAID, to develop successful partnerships with indigenous peoples - featuring the Yawanawa people of Acre, Brazil - to protect against risks of deforestation through the development of long-term "life plans."

The film is now available for public viewing here.

Take action, get involved, and learn more about the Yawanawa and its partnership with Forest Trends, USAID, IKEA Foundation, Aveda, and the innovative payments for ecosystem services project led by Native Energy. For further information, contact Forest Trends’ Communities Initiative.

We are grateful to our host, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Supporting Organizations – CDP, Rainforest Alliance, National Wildlife Federation, WWF, and Greenpoint Innovations, all of whom contributed time and resources to make this event a success.


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

- The Supply Change team



Upcoming Events

Innovation Forum: How business can tackle deforestation
Jakarta, Indonesia, 17th-18th October 2017

This two-day, multi-stakeholder conference presents an excellent opportunity to hear from leading experts and practitioners on how businesses are progressing with anti-deforestation and forest preservation agendas. Already confirmed to attend are senior figures from APRIL, Golden Agri-Resources, IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Neste, Nestle, Sime Darby, Sustainable Agriculture Network, TFA 2020, USAID, and many more.

Register here and get a 15% discount using the SC15 code or get in touch with Innovation Forum directly –


Innovation Forum: How business can tackle deforestation
London, United Kingdom, 14th-15th November 2017

As part of a global series of meetings, Innovation Forum has put together a London conference that looks to discuss the key methodologies, technologies, and industry examples for implementing companies’ zero deforestation policies. Already confirmed to attend are senior figures from Bunge, Olam, BNP Paribas, ABN AMRO, RSPO, IOI Loders Croklaan, Marks and Spencer, Oxfam, Mighty Earth, HCV Resource Network, and many more.

Register here and get a 15% discount using the SC15 code or get in touch with Innovation Forum directly –



Recent News

Hazey Procurement Policies

Two out of three companies operating in the Malay Peninsula are not transparent about their palm oil use, according to World Wildlife Fund Singapore’s latest Palm Oil Buyers scorecard. Smoke emanating from fires set in palm and timber plantations have blanketed the Malay peninsula on and off for a number of years. The recurrence of this “haze” has catalyzed the formation of consumer campaigns and corporate alliances dedicated to its mitigation. In spite of these developments, few downstream companies based in the region have established sustainable palm oil sourcing guidelines, according to the WWF. But, the news isn’t all bad; it comes with a silver lining. Six of the non-respondent companies have announced new palm oil commitments in the wake of the scorecard’s publication.
Read more from Aljazeera


Off-grid deforestation? There’s an app for that

A newly released mobile application enables users to locate and report evidence of forest cover change even when offline in remote areas. The World Resources Institute (WRI) designed the app to pinpoint areas of suspected tree cover loss anywhere in the world based on satellite information downloaded from its online monitoring and alert platform, Global Forest Watch. Lack of resources and poor connectivity in forested regions has traditionally made it difficult for law enforcement, indigenous peoples, and forest managers to document forest clearance. But now on occasions when app users have access to the internet, they can download and save geographic coordinates to their phone for future offline use. The app has already been found to be useful for conservation.
Read more at Open Gov Asia


Sustainability is Golden

Golden-Agri Resources (GAR), a palm oil producer listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX:E5H), has become the first exclusively palm oil firm to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. The firm’s sustainability reputation has come a long way since 2009 when a report by Greenpeace provided evidence that GAR had engaged in illegal forest clearing and greenwashing. As part of the firm’s efforts to improve its sustainability practices, it has become a member of seven different initiatives dedicated to reducing deforestation, and has participated in countless discussions with NGOs, indigenous representatives, and industry associations. GAR’s claims to progress have been substantiated by their positive scores on several assessments, including: CDP Forests, The Climate and Land Use Alliance, and ZSL’s SPOTT.
Read more from Eco Business



Monthly Insights from the Supply Change Desk

Each month, the Supply Change team reviews hundreds of corporate commitments to reduce deforestation in commodity supply chains. Monthly Insights shines a spotlight on companies that deserve recognition for their diligence or innovation at crafting, implementing, or reporting upon their commitments.


Doing good, Specifically

Supply Change shows that more than one in five corporate commodity commitments to low/no deforestation include a pledge to support smallholder producers. Yet, only a few leading companies are transparent in communicating the specifics of their support. As part of its commitment for deforestation-free soy, Marks and Spencer outlines the details of their ongoing effort to support soy growers in Paraguay—a country threatened by deforestation and often overlooked in corporate commitments. The British retailer identifies the duration and level of financial support provided, as well the farmers and hectares of land affected. This kind of direct smallholder support from a downstream company is a rarity, and represents a hands on approach to deforestation reduction; one that doesn’t rely on certified soy, which exists only in low volumes and can be difficult to acquire.
Read more on Marks and Spencer's profile page

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