Global Firms Fall Short on Forest Protection Vows

Deforestation  || Photo: Collected

Deforestation || Photo: Collected

Global companies and financial institutions with the highest potential for curbing deforestation are largely failing to do so, undermining pledges to protect forests made at the COP26 climate summit in November, a report said Thursday.

The Forest 500 analysis by non-profit research group Global Canopy graded 350 companies most responsible for producing, using or trading commodities that drive deforestation, along with the 150 biggest banks, investment firms and pension funds that finance them.

One-in-three companies assessed had no forest commitments at all, and 72 percent addressed some but not all of the forest-related commodities in their supply chains.

Even those with commitments keyed to specific commodities -- especially soy, beef and leather -- "are failing to provide evidence of how they are implementing them", the report concluded.

Not one among the 350 companies passed muster on a comprehensive approach to human rights.

"Too few companies recognise the climate risks that are caused by deforestation, with few including their supply chains in their reporting," Niki Mardas, executive director of Global Canopy Executive Directory, told AFP.

Cargill, Colgate-Palmolive, Nestle Corp., Unilever and PepsiCo were among 15 companies sharing a favourable ranking, while some 60 companies -- many from China, Brazil and Argentina -- had the lowest score possible in the five-tier rating.

Progress is even more halting among financial firms, which provide more than $5.5 trillion every year to companies in forest-risk supply chains, according to the report.


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