Deafening silence on corporate deforestation

There is a failure of transparency from major corporations regarding their impact on global deforestation, according to a new report released today by environmental non-profit CDP.

Over 1,500 companies deemed to have a significant impact on deforestation or to be susceptible to deforestation risk were requested to disclose forests data through CDP’s reporting platform in 2018, but 70 per cent failed to do so. Major consumer-facing brands like Dominos, Next, Ikea, and Sports Direct were amongst those not reporting.

CDP’s new report, The Money Trees, finds that corporate transparency on forests lags behind other environmental issues such as climate change and water security, despite significant risks to business and ecology from deforestation.

Morgan Gillespy, global director of forests at CDP, commented: “The silence is deafening when it comes to the corporate response to deforestation. 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.”

Despite companies facing potential losses of $30.4bn due to the impacts of deforestation risks, from negative brand damage, regulatory change and physical impacts like forest fires and crop failures, the data also shows over a third of companies are not yet working with their suppliers to reduce deforestation.

In fact, only around a quarter of companies reported financial figures for potential losses. The data also shows that nearly a third of companies do not even include forest-related issues in their risk assessments. However, among companies that do, almost all (92 per cent) see substantial risks, suggesting that the business risks and financial impacts associated with deforestation are underreported.

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