December 10, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) and global household brands giant Unilever announced last week that they will prioritize commodity sourcing from states or regions implementing landscape-level initiatives to reduce deforestation within their jurisdictions.

Their approach, dubbed “produce and protect”, means that the companies will give preference to jurisdictions that have a strategy in place to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from forests when sourcing the commodities – such as palm oil – that are the main ingredients of many of their products but also drive tropical deforestation. The prioritization provides part of the “how to” the two companies’ current individual commitments to remove deforestation from their supply chains by 2020.

"We have learnt that working alone in our own supply chains is not enough," Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of M&S, told BusinessGreen. "We need partnerships to solve the deforestation crisis at a whole landscape level."

An estimated 12 million hectares of forest are lost annually, contributing between 10 and 15 percent of global GHG emissions. In order to qualify for priority sourcing with M&S or Unilever, a state or region must also have an established deforestation baseline, a system for measuring and monitoring land-use emissions, a commitment to social and environmental safeguards, and an “ambitious” national climate plan.

The announcement, made in Paris at the 21“Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests: An Assessment Framework and Initial Report” proposes a framework of indicators to monitor progress over time Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is significant partly because M&S and Unilever are the co-chairs of the Consumer Goods Forum (GCF), a membership organization of retailers and manufacturers that has significant influence over global commodity production. Companies around the world are taking steps to reduce or eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, and nearly 300 of them –M&S and Unilever included – are currently profiled on

The announcement also comes at a key moment in the UNFCCC negotiations when countries are deciding whether and how to include a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD+) mechanism in the agreement. In 2014, the private sector spent $63 million on carbon offsets from REDD+ activities at the project level but has been minimally involved in regional or national efforts to fund avoided deforestation. M&S and Unilever’s recent move may be one way in which the private sector scales up.

More CGF members are expected to sign onto the preferential sourcing statement in coming weeks.

-The Supply Change team



Webinar Invitation: Danone's work on eliminating deforestation

Webinar Invitation: Danone’s work on eliminating deforestation

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST

Register here

We invite you to join us next week for a conversation with Vincent Crasnier, Nature Director at Danone, to discuss the company’s work on eliminating deforestation. Stephen Donofrio, Senior Advisor with Supply Change, will moderate the webinar, which is generously hosted by Innovation Forum as part of their global series of events in combating deforestation.

Danone has committed to eliminating deforestation from its supply chain by 2020, which will require effective cooperation from all along the company’s suppliers and middlemen. Crasnier will share his experiences, discuss the company’s progress so far, and outline the key challenges – and plans to overcome them – that the company is working on with its partners. This will include work on High Carbon Stock approaches; High Conservation Value areas; peatlands avoidance and mapping of supplier impacts; Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC); and reporting.



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