A report by the CDP (Carbon disclosure project) shows manufacturers don’t even know which forests they’re destroying.
Deforestation has become a critical business issue for any company active in the trade of soy, palm oil, timber products, or cattle. Their production can contribute to habitat loss, greenhouse gas emissions and social conflicts which is why its addressing must become a priority for policy makers and governments.
With this in mind, 365 investors with over $22 trillion US dollars in assets asked companies to disclose information via the Carbon Disclosure Project, a UK based non-governmental organization that promotes corporate transparency on climate related risks.
They are assessed as the “largest and most impactful” companies and this year more than 200 disclosed data, including brands like Nestlé, Starbucks and McDonald’s. Nonetheless the CDP found out only 30% of manufacturers and retailers that reported on their deforestation risks could identify where their supply chains began.
Also, the response rate was just 21% which leaves massive gaps in knowledge about what forests are being destroyed and by whom. When speaking to Quartz, Katie McCoy head of forests at CDO said, “We’re talking about supply chains that are really vast. Even in one product or one meal you’ve got multiple commodities, and each one of those will have had a very vast and global, complex supply chain,” she said.
Even if products can be traced to a region or even a country, the problem isn’t solved because without any teams on the ground or having trust in every link of the chain a company can’t exactly how their produce is being produced, remarked McCoy.
But with companies having vast resources some are trying to master the problem. For example, Unilever is shown in the CDP’s report as taking seriously the threat of forest loss, damage to environment, habitats and people. They declared they will source commodities from areas with strong programs of forest preservation.
Overall deforestation accounts for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing its rates is a high priority for preventing climate change.
Here are some Latin American companies that did not participate in CDP’s report as they fail to provide sufficient information to evaluate their performance:
El Puerto de Liverpool SAB de CV, Controladora Comercial Mexicana, Gruma SAB, Walmart de Mexico, Grupo Carso S.A., Promotora y Operadora de Infraestructura SAB de CV
Gafisa S.A, MRV Engenharia e Paticipações, BRF S.A, El Tejar SA, CBD Grupo Pao de Azucar, Granol, Grupo Boticário, Hypermarcas S/A, Grupo Jari, Cikel, Suzano Papel & Celulose
S.A.C.I Falabella, Cencosud SA
Adecoagro Sa, Arla Foods amba, Grupo los Grobo LLC, Cresud SACIF y A