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CDP Calls Out Companies Failing to Disclose Forest Data

CDP Calls Out Companies Failing to Disclose Forest Data
(Photo Credit: Matthew Smith, Unsplash)

A new CDP report finds that 70% of 1,500 companies are failing to provide forest data. Called The Money Trees, the report says that brands including Dominos, Mondelez, Next, and Sports Direct are among those that didn’t disclose effects on forests worldwide in 2018.

Companies reporting to the international nonprofit are asked to disclose on four commodities linked to deforestation: timber, palm oil, cattle, and soy. More than 350 companies declined to respond over the last three years. CDP says in its new report that major consumer-facing brands like Dominos, Next, and Sports Direct as well as the global food corporation Mondelez and its palm oil supplier Rimbunan Hijau Group are among them.

These companies use commodities that drive deforestation such as procuring palm oil for chocolates, leather for shoes, paper for pizza boxes, and timber for furniture, the nonprofit said.

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

Deforestation does represent a significant risk, CDP’s analysis shows. The 306 companies that did disclose forest data last year to the nonprofit reported as much as $30.4 billion in losses due to deforestation risks, including brand damage and crop failures. Nearly a quarter of these companies are either doing nothing or very little to reduce deforestation.

Better forest management could help the bottom line. “Companies also report forest-related business opportunities valued at $26.8 billion such as increased brand value from sustainable products,” CDP noted.

“Businesses that want to maintain market share need to listen to the calls from their customers, investors, and consumers — or they could face a backlash,” Gillespy cautioned.

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