Global Canopy’s 9th annual Forest 500 report and ranking finds that the companies and financial institutions with the most influence on deforestation are taking insufficient action on deforestation, with the finance sector “woefully behind”.
Global Canopy’s latest Forest 500 report and ranking, which tracks the policies and performance of the 350 most influential companies and 150 financial institutions most exposed to deforestation risk in their supply chains and investments, has been published.
The latest assessments show very slow progress on deforestation action.
None of the companies and financial institutions in the Forest 500 are deforestation-free, and 40% (201 companies and financial institutions) haven’t set a single policy on deforestation.
Ending deforestation is essential to achieving urgent global goals on climate, nature and human rights. Deforestation impacts global temperatures, emissions, biodiversity, rainfall, displacement of communities and food security.
Inaction is a risk to finance, a risk to business and risk to life.
We are three years past the 2020 deadline that many organisations set themselves to halt deforestation, and just two years away from the UN’s deadline of 2025 for companies and financial institutions to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation, conversion. In the past, targets have been missed, but the goalposts for ending commodity-driven deforestation and the associated human rights abuses cannot continue to be shifted.
Many human rights abuses are linked to deforestation, but none of the companies assessed meet the requirements for all human rights commitments alongside their deforestation commitments for all of the commodities to which they are exposed.
The overall picture for financial institutions is worse, where the movement is much too slow for a sector that yields so much power and ability to affect change through its investments.
The financial institutions identified as part of the Forest 500 provide US$6.1 trillion in finance to companies in forest-risk supply chains. But only 16 (11%) financial institutions most exposed to deforestation have policies for all four commodities that are assessed.
New best practice guidance calls for companies and financial institutions to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation, conversion, and associated human rights abuses by 2025 at the latest. And meeting this 2025 target is possible. With new due diligence legislation, tools, guidance and data which didn’t exist when these goals were last set. There is no longer any justification for inaction.