Collaboration, Transparency and Monitoring Enabling Faster Deforestation Progress, Shows the Consumer Goods Forum’s Report

Oct 19, 2023 1:00 AM ET
Cover image of Forest Positive Annual Report 2023
  • The Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition publishes 2023 Annual Report, showing collective advancements on forest conservation, ecosystem restoration, and community inclusion in the production of palm oil, soy, paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging, and beef.
  • Coalition members’ overall KPI disclosure has risen from 64% to 77% across priority commodities, as part of ongoing commitment to greater transparency. Proportion of members reporting on actions to monitor their supply base has doubled and the number of members who track steps taken on grievances has tripled.
  • The Coalition shares learnings for both consumer goods companies and wider stakeholders, to help accelerate action on this complex global challenge.

Read the report 

October 19, 2023 /3BL/ - The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Forest Positive Coalition of Action, which brings together 21 of the world’s major consumer goods companies, has today published its latest Annual Report, showing improvements on collective efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains.

The report, ‘Perspectives on Progress: Challenges and Insights on the Way to Forest Positive’, marks three years since the Coalition started implementing its Theory of Change. The approach prioritises the sourcing of deforestation and conversion-free goods in members’ own supply chains, supporting suppliers to do the same, and working to transform commodity production landscapes into forest positive areas.

Launched at CGF’s Sustainable Retail Summit in Copenhagen, the report sets out improvements, challenges and learnings in protecting the climate, nature and communities, including:

  • Improved reporting on key commodities.
    • Coalition members have improved their reporting across the four commodities covered palm oil, soy, beef and paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging, with overall KPI disclosure this year at 77%, up from 64% last year.
    • Improvements have been driven by members implementing new guidance to align best practices with stakeholders across the value chain, collaborating with certification schemes and embracing the power of technology.
  • Increased action on grievance monitoring. 
    • The Coalition has seen significant progress in grievance monitoring – a process designed to alert businesses on potential instances of deforestation.
    • The proportion of members reporting on actions to monitor their supply base has doubled compared to 2022, and the number of members who track steps taken against grievances has tripled.
    • Technology has played an important part in this monitoring. For example, Mondelēz International has been using satellite monitoring technology for deforestation and peat grievance tracking of its palm oil concessions.
  • Sustained focus on prioritising production landscapes
    • Beyond their own supply chains, members have ramped up collective efforts on production landscapes where key commodities are sourced. These projects are supporting conservation and restoration while improving land tenure security, agricultural practices, and livelihoods.
    • 78% of landscape initiatives are invested in by two or more Coalition members, demonstrating how members are joining forces with other corporates to protect forests.
    • For example, Carrefour, Nestlé and METRO have been working on a landscapes initiative with Conservation International to drive low carbon regenerative agriculture production in Brazil.
    • To date, the Coalition has supported some 18,000 smallholders across 1,000 communities worldwide, through landscape-level action.

Read the report 

The Coalition is made up of eight retailers — Carrefour, Jerónimo Martins, METRO AG,  McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo, Tesco and Walmart — and 13 manufacturers — Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Sinar Mas, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Danone, Essity, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Mars, Incorporated, Mondelēz International, Neste, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Reckitt, and Unilever. IKEA has recently joined the Forest Positive Coalition and is therefore not featured in this 2023 edition of the Annual Report.

The Forest Positive Coalition members represent a collective market value of more than US$1.8 trillion and 3% of the global production of palm oil, soy, beef, and pulp, paper and fibre-based packaging.

Wai-Chan Chan, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum, said:

“Our Coalition has made significant progress in vital areas such as transparency and grievance monitoring – but we know there is much more to do. Accountability is essential to delivering the pace and scale of change we want to see, and we are committed to openly sharing reflections and learnings. We will not drive transformative change without being able to truly measure the scale of the challenge before us and our status on the journey to forest positive.”

“Consumer goods companies have a direct responsibility for the world's forests – particularly given their reliance on nature to create products and goods. Being forest positive for us means sustainable economic development, improved livelihoods, and climate positive outcomes. We hope this report will inspire continued action a complex global challenge, recognising areas we need to learn from. The bottom line is that every consumer goods company must go further, faster to save the world’s forests.

Noel Wallace, CEO, Colgate-Palmolive and Forest Positive Co-Sponsor said: 

“We cannot achieve a climate positive future without a forest positive future. The science is clear that forests play a critical role in maintaining life on Earth. Through storing carbon, forests are essential to fighting the climate emergency. And we know that they are vital for so many communities around the world. We continue to collaborate with producers, suppliers, and traders at all stages of the supply chain to combat this complex challenge.” 

New to this year’s report is a series of key lessons learned to help catalyse wider action – in the hope this will be valuable not only to other manufacturers and retailers, but to wider sectors and stakeholders.

With each stakeholder and industry having a role to play in combating deforestation, the report also outlines practical steps to enhance cross-stakeholder collaboration. Recommendations include how philanthropic organisations and value chain intermediaries must work with corporates to provide financial and technical support that protects people and planet. The report also calls for consumer-country governments to complement due diligence requirements with investment in the on-the-ground transition to forest positive practices, developed in partnership with producer-country governments and companies.

Read the report 

About the Forest Positive Coalition

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Forest Positive Coalition of Action is a CEO-led initiative representing 21 CGF member companies who are committed to leveraging collective action and accelerating systemic efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains.

Launched in 2020, the Coalition represents a dynamic shift in the industry’s approach to stopping deforestation: by mobilising the leading position of member companies to build multi-stakeholder partnerships and develop effective implementation and engagement strategies, the Coalition brings together diverse stakeholders for sustainable impact.

These efforts support the development of forest-positive businesses that drive transformational change in key landscapes and commodity supply chains, strengthening the resilience of communities and ecosystems worldwide.

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide.

It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format.

Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 4.6 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.