As calls for environmental preservation grow louder, deforestation is taking center stage. Last year, the European Union passed a law prohibiting the sale of products responsible for deforestation. However, a recent study by the nonprofit Ceres found that only 18 of 53 global companies have company-wide no-deforestation policies. Knowing more about the issue can help you make a positive difference.

Deforestation plays a pivotal role in reducing nature’s capacity to capture and use CO2, the planet-warming gas responsible for climate change. The depletion of rainforests, part of our planet’s respiratory system, threatens biodiversity, exacerbates climate change, and disrupts indigenous communities. It’s time to delve deep into the policies that can halt this relentless destruction.

Navigating Through the Maze of Deforestation Policies

Understanding the complex web of national and international deforestation policies is crucial for crafting effective and sustainable solutions. These regulations vary significantly across the globe, tailored to each region’s unique landscapes and challenges. Yet, their goal remains unified: to curb the rampant clearing of forests in the name of development and agriculture.

The cornerstone of any deforestation policy is sustainable forest management. This approach balances the need for economic growth with environmental preservation. It involves selective logging, reforestation efforts, and the protection of vital ecosystems. By implementing these strategies, we can ensure that forests thrive for generations.

The most important national and international deforestation policies and initiatives aim to address the complex drivers of deforestation and promote sustainable land use and forest conservation. Some of the policies and initiatives include:

Brazil’s Amazon Fund: Brazil has implemented several policies to curb deforestation in the Amazon, including the Amazon Fund, which supports conservation and sustainable development projects in the Amazon. The success of these policies in the early 2000s led to a significant reduction in deforestation rates, although challenges remain.

Indonesia’s Moratorium on New Palm Oil Plantation Licenses: Indonesia had placed a moratorium on new licenses for palm oil plantations to protect its rainforests and peatlands. However, the country rescinded the rule, allowing new palm oil permits to be issued starting in 2021. 

The REDD+ Mechanism: REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a United Nations-led initiative to combat climate change by incentivizing developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. REDD+ provides financial mechanisms for conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use: Signed by 145 heads of state at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021, this declaration aims to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. It was accompanied by commitments from the public and private sectors to provide significant financial support for forest conservation, making the companies’ actions an essential step toward success.

Corporate Commitments to Ending Deforestation

The Ceres Deforestation Scorecard 2023published last November, evaluated 53 brands’ deforestation policies. The research reveals some important progress and many gaps that must be addressed to prevent the continued loss of forests.

  • A majority have partial policies, often limited to direct suppliers or specific regions, highlighting the need for more comprehensive approaches.
  • Only 18 companies boast clear, cross-commodity, no-deforestation policies, marking a step forward in corporate responsibility.
  • A mere four firms extend their no-deforestation commitments across all supply chains and regions, underlining the vast scope for improvement.
  • These findings emphasize corporations’ need to strengthen their policies, ensuring they cover all commodities, supply chains, and geographies to combat deforestation effectively.

From an impact perspective, the most important company on the list is Amazon, which has committed to avoiding selling products that contribute to deforestation, because the retailer accounts for 37.8% of online retail transactions. The 18 companies that have company-wide no-deforestation policies covering all relevant commodities, including soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee, and rubber, are:

  1. adidas AG
  2. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV
  3. Amaggi
  4. Amazon
  5. Aramark Corp.
  6. Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
  7. Associated British Foods plc
  8. Fromageries Bel SA
  9. BRF Brasil Foods SA
  10. Bunge Ltd.
  11. Cargill Inc.
  12. Carrefour SA
  13. Casino Guichard Perrachon SA
  14. CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.
  15. COFCO Corp.
  16. Colgate-Palmolive Company
  17. Danone SA
  18. Gap Inc.

A Global Call to Action

Deforestation is not just a local issue; it’s a global crisis that requires a unified response. International cooperation and the sharing of resources and knowledge are imperative. We can forge a path towards a more sustainable and forest-friendly future by standing together. Start by looking for companies with clear deforestation-prevention policies and when you can’t find a reliable option, write to companies asking for information and a commitment to prevent the destruction of forests.

The thread of deforestation policy weaves through the fabric of conscious shopping, presenting challenges and opportunities. It’s a complex issue but not insurmountable. We can tackle deforestation head-on through informed policies, technological innovation, community involvement, and corporate commitment. The time to act is now, for our planet’s health and future generations’ well-being depend on it. Let us commit to being part of the solution, ensuring that our forests—our planet’s lungs—remain vibrant and resilient.


By Earth911

We’re serious about helping our readers, consumers and businesses alike, reduce their waste footprint every day, providing quality information and discovering new ways of being even more sustainable.