The Global Canopy Program’s Forest Footprint Disclosure Project will merge with The Carbon Disclosure Project to create what the two non-profits say is the world’s largest comprehensive natural capital measuring system that covers carbon, water and forests.
The merger was announced ahead of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to begin later this month. A major focus of Rio+20 will be how to account for businesses’ use of the planet’s natural capital – the resources and ability of ecosystems to provide a flow of goods and services such as fresh water, the climate and food.
FFD has already started to transition over to CDP, a non-profit that developed a system for companies and cities to measure, disclose and manage their greenhouse gas emissions and water use.
CDP will begin managing FFD operations in February 2013 and the full integration of the two non-profits is expected to be complete the following year. GCP will continue to act as key advisor on forests, and forest risk commodities to the project.
Bringing forests, which are critically linked to both climate and water security, into the CDP system will enable companies and investors to rely on one source of primary data for this set of interrelated issues, CDP CEO Paul Simpson said.
The Forest Footprint Disclosure Project was started in the UK in 2009 to run in parallel to the CDP in an effort to encourage corporations to disclose how their activities and supply chain practices lead to tropical deforestation. Several months later, CDP launched a global water disclosure project to help businesses and institutional investors understand the risks and opportunities associated with water scarcity and other water-related issues.
CDP, which provides data to 655 institutional investors, had more than 3,000 organizations disclose water, emissions and other climate-change related information in its 2011 report.
CDP last week released a report that found 82 percent of cities identify the potential for economic growth as a result of climate change mitigation and adaptation. The report, which provides a global snapshot of the activities, challenges and opportunities facing cities as a result of climate change, called for greater discussion of climate finance for municipal governments at the Rio+20 summit.
Photo of Danum River in Borneo by Forest Footprint Disclosure