Majority of corporates failing to disclose deforestation risks

Seven in 10 major corporations are failing to be transparent about their impact on global deforestation, and many are not taking the necessary steps to tackle the problem.

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That is according to a new report from environmental disclosure platform CDP, which conducted a study of over 1,500 firms deemed susceptible to deforestation risks.

Only 30% agreed to disclose their impact on forests across the world last year, and a quarter of these are showing no or limited action to reduce deforestation.

And over 350 companies have not responded to CDP’s requests for the last three years, including major brands like Dominos, Next, Sports Direct, and global food corporation Mondelez.

This is despite businesses reporting up to $30.4bn (£24.5bn) in losses through reputational damage, crop failures and other deforestation risks.

“The silence is deafening when it comes to the corporate response to deforestation,” CDP’s global director of forests, Morgan Gillespy, said.

“For too long corporations have ignored the impacts of their supply chains on the world’s forests and have not taken seriously the risks this poses – both to their business and the world.”

These companies drive deforestation through their procurement of palm oil for chocolates, leather for shoes, paper for pizza boxes and timber for furniture.

But CDP found that 83% of their deforestation targets end in 2020, and that only 14% extend beyond this date, posing the risk that corporate action could “fall off a cliff” next year.

Of the companies that disclosed information, the data shows that over a third are not yet working with their supply chains to reduce deforestation.  

With global forest loss continuing at a rate of 15 football pitches every minute, and with trees being a natural sequester of CO2, CDP said addressing the issue would be essential to tackling the climate crisis.

“Environmental concern is at an all-time high, and companies are being demanded to be transparent and take decisive action to protect forests,” Gillespy continued.

“Companies are not doing enough to end deforestation. Businesses that want to maintain market share need to listen to the calls from their customers, investors and consumers or they could face a backlash.”

 

Image credit: ©iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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