South Pole Group will act as CDP's global forest scoring partner on the assessment of corporate efforts to tackle deforestation among the most impactful organisations from around the world.
International efforts to address climate change are accelerating and the pressure to reduce deforestation and forest degradation is building up on many fronts: the New York Declaration on Forests in 2014 saw 180 nations, companies, communities and other organisations commit to halving deforestation by 2020 and putting an end to it by 2030. The Consumer Goods Forum – an umbrella organisation of over 400 companies and large retail businesses, and over 25 NGOs and civil society groups - has pledged to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
With final results set to be launched in December 2016, the forest scoring work will consider the comprehensiveness of each company's assessment of deforestation risks related to operations, reputation, and regulation, and whether these are factored into business planning. Together, CDP and South Pole Group will evaluate the management practices of companies operating in production, processing, trading, manufacturing, and retail, based on the strict application of CDP's forests scoring methodology.
"Curbing deforestation is a core part of the puzzle when working towards a 2º world and towards the Sustainable Development Goals - especially biodiversity conservation. Committing to it is already becoming the new 'business as usual' - yet, attaining it is still far away for many," says Christian Dannecker, Director Sustainable Supply Chains & Land Use, South Pole Group. “We are proud to leverage our expertise in measuring supply chain forest, water and climate impacts and implement action to attain global zero-deforestation together with CDP."
Since 2013, CDP has annually requested companies to disclose data relating to their efforts to end commodity-driven deforestation through its forests program. On behalf of investors representing US$22 trillion in assets, over 800 companies were asked this year by CDP to disclose data on their management of the four forest risk commodities most linked to deforestation. Among last year's respondents, a whopping 75% recognise at least one supply chain risk associated with these commodities with the potential to generate a substantive change in business operations, revenue or expenditure.
"CDP's annual request for disclosure has amassed an unparalleled global picture of how companies are responding to the challenge of ending deforestation. The adoption of the Paris climate accord only fuels how important achieving this challenge is – our low-carbon future depends on it," says Katie McCoy, head of forests at CDP. “The ability to keep score is fundamental to ensuring that business is on the right track, and South Pole Group bring the right expertise to enable the companies CDP works with to raise the bar on efforts to preserve forests. We are delighted to have the South Pole Group as our scoring partners."
The scoring carried out by CDP and South Pole Group will acknowledge corporate efforts and highlight best practice examples. The resulting evaluations will help stakeholders and investors to better understand corporate risk amid pressing challenges in combatting global deforestation, and ultimately reach zero commodity related deforestation