McDonald’s and L’Oréal join CDP’s zero-deforestation supply chain agenda

Fast-food giant McDonald's, global cosmetics firm L'Oréal and healthcare specialists Johnson & Johnson are among the first eight major companies that have agreed to disclose key supplier information to CDP to manage deforestation risks.

CDP’s newly-expanded supply chain platform gathers information from key suppliers, with the ultimate goal to secure deforestation-free commodity value chains.

CDP has requested information on behalf of the eight companies, which also includes Swiss fragrance company Firmenich, Brazilian meatpacker JBS, Latin American-based Arcos Dorados, paper producers Klabin and Canadian restaurant group Restaurant Brands International.

“Ending deforestation will be fundamental to global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change,” CDP’s head of supply chain Dexter Galvin said. “With such a large proportion of company revenues attached to commodities in their supply chain that are driving deforestation, this is now a critical business issue.

“Supply chains are like rows of dominoes: if unsustainable commodities enter the top of a supply chain, the effects will cascade throughout. Collaboration with suppliers is therefore essential for companies to reduce their exposure to deforestation and meet their zero deforestation targets – which makes sense for the bottom line and the planet.”

See the forest for the trees

Information gathered by CDP – which includes measuring and monitoring strategies, progress against deforestation targets and engagement with suppliers – revealed that almost 25% of revenues depend on cattle, timber, palm oil and soy. Each of these are the most responsible factors contributing to tropical forest loss.

In fact, CDP analysis from 2016 revealed that more than $900bn in annual turnover is at risk from deforestation, which itself accounts for 10-15% of global emissions.

Already, 400 members of the Consumer Goods Forum have pledged to achieve zero net deforestation in supply chains by 2020. These 400 firms represent almost $4trn in revenue.

Elsewhere, senior executives from 12 leading coca and chocolate companies, including Mars, Mondelēz International and Nestlé, have agreed to end deforestation in the global cocoa supply chain.

HSBC has also launched a zero-deforestation policy following a Greenpeace investigation which linked the banking corporation to organisations that have been destroying Indonesia’s rainforests.

Fortunately, some of the world’s largest producers and purchasers of palm oil have agreed on a single, unified definition of “no deforestation” for the palm oil industry.

Matt Mace

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