Company forest footprint disclosures on the rise

The number of companies voluntarily disclosing their forest footprint has increased by almost 15% compared to last year, according to a report.

The fourth annual Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) report, published today, revealed the increase in discloser numbers and the first reports from multi-nationals such as Colgate-Palmolive Co., Groupe Danone, Gucci and HJ Heinz Company.

In addition, the report has demonstrated a widening geographic reach to Mexico and Japan.

Each year FFD asks the world’s largest companies to disclose their impact on forests based on their use of five commodities: soy, palm oil, timber and pulp, cattle products, and biofuels.

Companies are categorised into twelve sectors and leaders are identified.

However, the gap between the leaders of the forest risk commodity sectors and their peers is increasing.

There was an average of 16% difference in scores between leaders and runners up across all sectors and many companies are trailing behind.

The industrials, construction and autos sector and the utilities sector both received criticism for lacking in active corporate social responsibility in procurement.

FFD judge companies as leaders based on their ability to move beyond the immediate supply chain to engagement upstream.

The organization says leaders must be prepared to spend time and money on finding solutions to problems wherever they are found in the world.

FFD welcomed significant improvements from companies including Boots UK, Next, Kingspan Group and Whitbread Group.

Four new leaders were also recognised; New Britain Palm Oil Ltd., British Sky Broadcasting, Marfrig Group and Prime Asia Leather Corporation.

FFD director James Hulse said: “Whilst we are heartened by the significant increase in the number of disclosers in this fourth FFD annual cycle and the contribution of new, global entities, it is not just about disclosing – we are calling on companies to make a step change in their behaviour to ensure that responsible policies are integrated throughout their supply chains.

“This makes business sense and is what the investment community expect.”

Investment support of FFD grew again this year and the project is currently backed by more than 180 endorsing investors managing in excess of US $12.8trn.

Conor McGlone

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