Moving Beyond Commitments: Collaborating to End Deforestation

Deforestation can pose significant operational and reputational risks to companies, and we at EDF are seeing companies start to take action in their supply chains. Deforestation accounts for an estimated 12% of overall GHG emissions worldwide–as much global warming pollution to the atmosphere as all the cars and trucks in the world. In addition, deforestation wipes out biodiversity and ravages the livelihoods of people who live in and depend on the forest for survival.

Tropical deforestation in Mato Grosso do Sul, Pantanal, Brazil (Source: BMJ via Shutterstock)

Tropical deforestation in Mato Grosso do Sul, Pantanal, Brazil (Source: BMJ via Shutterstock)

Unfortunately, it’s a hugely complex issue to address. Agricultural commodities like beef, soy, palm oil, paper and pulp—ingredients used in a wide variety of consumer products—drive over 85% of global deforestation. Companies struggle to understand both their role in deforestation, and how to operationalize changes that will have substantive impacts.

When the drivers of deforestation are buried deep in the supply chain, innovative and collaborative solutions are required. In the past several years, we have seen many in this space make big commitments toward solving the problem, but gaining transparency into tracking against these commitments has been almost as difficult as gaining transparency into the supply chains themselves.  For many companies, the hope for making good on their promises may come in the form of powerful partnerships.

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An Absence of Low Hanging Fruit and the Benefits of My High Climb into Grocery Retail

By Christopher Anderson, MBA candidate, Pennsylvania State University, 2009 Climate Corps fellow at Ahold USA, member of Net Impact

The fruit is always fresh. The foggy haze retreats. The sun shall shine brightly. My endorphins rage after the ascent.

So has gone my climb into the world of grocery retail.

With nation-wide profits at around 1.6% and average energy spend at 1.3%, the grocery retail industry has long-recognized the benefits of energy efficiency. The low hanging fruit is long, long gone. The industry largely recognizes that improvements in carbon foot printing and energy management are vehicles for discovering opportunities to smartly implement any of a sea of new energy efficiency technologies or process improvements that promise very positive net cash flows. Read more