Events and insight for sustainability

How business can tackle deforestation

Wednesday 18th
Thursday 19th

Timeslots are provisional and exact timings may change


Natural capital that underpins the economy: The value of North American forests

Forests provide numerous benefits, including clean water and air, carbon storage, wood products, habitat for wildlife, biodiversity, recreational opportunities and much more. They sustain our lives and often our livelihoods.

Valuing forests, however, is complex and not well understood. We place different needs on forests and often want competing values from the same forest. In this session, we’ll look at how that value can be better understood and explained, both in the private sector and with stakeholder communities.

With a panel of diverse views, we’ll explore the following questions:

  • Why the value of forests is not well understood, and what can be done about that to drive action and the business case for investing in forests?
  • How companies can internalize the value of healthy forests, including both forests managed for timber products and forests managed for other benefits, and leverage capital for maintaining ecosystems?
  • What are the threats to forests in North America, and what are some of the issues and effective partnerships to solve them?

Dogwood Alliance, Danna Smith, executive director

Weyerhaeuser, Ara Erickson, senior manager, sustainable supply and value chain

The Forestland Group, Kaarsten Turner Dalby, senior vice president, ecological services


Networking break


Big companies will miss 2020 zero deforestation targets, so what happens next?

If this is true, it throws up a couple of significant questions:

  • What’s the best way for an FMCG brand to respond and report on a missed target?
  • What’s the role of NGOs and campaigners as companies miss 2020 targets?

As we approach 2020, is it time to re-think and re-strategize a more coordinated effort among all stakeholders. This session will look at the reality of missed 2020 commitments and their forecasted impacts. We will discuss the 2020 commitments and consider the options. 

 Importantly, we will look at the reality for companies with missed targets and the most practical way forward. If Influence of brands to tackle deforestation is diminishing, then what’s the next big post 2020 deforestation strategy?  

We will leverage learning and expertise from organizations actively working on the ground, in the forests and within communities and plantations to devise a more conclusive way forward post 2020.

Belantara Foundation, Prof. Jatna Supriatna, vice chairman - board of trustees

Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Marco Albani, director

Greenpeace, Richard George, UK forests campaigner

Unilever, Jeff Seabright, chief sustainability officer


How are big banks stepping up with deforestation-related policies?

In 2012, many banks signed up for the Soft Commodities Compact. This is an initiative through which banks help their clients achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

In this session, we will review the current positioning of big banks and their journey from policy to implementation, and explore what future efforts are required for financial institutions to properly engage on deforestation.

We’ll also look at forests as stranded assets and the likelihood for that to happen, and debate the implications.

  • How are big banks viewing deforestation risk management?
  • Where are big banks on their commitments today?
  • What has been their implementation journey? Success and challenges?

Rainforest Action Network, Gemma Tillack, forest policy director

Climate Advisors, Gabriel Thoumi, director capital markets




Jurisdictional programs in land management: The role of business in helping make these successful

Jurisdictional approaches are landscape planning initiatives that seek to align action among government, companies, local communities and NGOs, at a sub-national or national political level. Working at the jurisdictional level at which land use decisions are made allows for real advances in more sustainable development. 

As per recent Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 report, governments, companies, finance institutions, and NGOs are increasingly looking to jurisdictional approaches as a method of scaling efforts to de-link deforestation from commodity production. Given increasing pressure on governments and corporates to meet “deforestation-free” commitments, jurisdictional approaches are growing in interest and are expected to help address deforestation at scale.

In this session, we’ll look at the implementation challenges and the role of the private sector in scaling efforts.

  • What is the role of business in this process?
  • What type of engagement method from private sector catalyzes government land planning and policy goals?
  • What are the challenges of commodity traders and buyers in jurisdictional sourcing?
  • What are some engagement methods that have worked effectively in meeting production and economic objectives while reducing deforestation?

Unilever, Jeff Seabright, chief sustainability officer

Governors' Climate & Forests Fund, Luke Pritchard, senior program officer

Rainforest Action Network, Gemma Tillack, forest policy director

The Nature Conservancy, Lex Hovani, senior advisor

Environmental Defense Fund, Chris Meyer, senior manager (moderator)


Breakout sessions

1. How are companies tracking progress in their supply chains on paper, packaging, and timber deforestation-free goals?

Over the last five years, brands have made wide-ranging commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. To achieve this, companies need to collect supply chain information to assess deforestation risk, as well as to track how much of their supply can be assured as deforestation free.

While companies need similar data points, they risk reinventing the wheel and overburdening suppliers without sufficient pre-competitive collaboration. More importantly, companies need to focus time and effort on remediating risk areas, rather than collecting and manipulating data in inefficient ways.

Increasingly, companies are using the same information network to gather supply chain information, and by doing so are achieving multiple pre-competitive goals, including tracking, tracing, and reporting, reducing supplier survey fatigue, and motivating supplier engagement and improvement.

  • What types of information are companies collecting and how far upstream in the supply chain do they trace?
  • What do companies do when they find a supplier or source that is out of compliance or at risk of deforestation?
  • How can the world’s first flexible, shared data network for supply chain assessment and traceability support company efforts by harmonizing industry-wide assessment approaches?
  • How is this network being used to address other deforestation-related commodities?

3M, Dawn Krueger, sustainability supply chain manager

Rainforest Alliance, Samantha St. Pierre, manager, markets transformation

SupplyShift, Jamie Barsimantov, COO (moderator)


2. The future is sustainable rubber: Transforming the global rubber market and tire supply chain

About 75 % of the natural rubber in the world is for the use of automotive industries. In southeast Asia, where 90% of world’s rubber is sourced, demand has translated into land grabs and deforestation, according to WWF.

But the world's biggest tire manufacturers are embracing new procurement policies that are shifting the industry towards “zero deforestation” commitments. Pirelli has adopted a 12-point sustainable natural rubber supply-chain policy to preserve forests and to develop local communities and economies.

In this session, a senior Pirelli executive will talk about the company’s implementation journey, stakeholder engagement process and cross sector collaborations to tackle the impacts of this complex value chain system.

Pirelli, Eleonora Pessina, group sustainability officer

Global Witness, Lela Stanley, policy advisor, Asia forest team


Networking break


Breakout sessions

1. Forest conservation collaborative: How joint efforts are engaging land owners in responsible forestry practices and certification

In this session, we’ll hear how the American Forest Foundation, International Paper, Procter & Gamble and 3M have formed the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative. This initiative will educate and engage family woodland owners in sustainable forestry, certification, the enhancement of habitat for at-risk species, and the conservation of bottomland hardwood forests.

American Forest Foundation, Nathan Truitt, vice president, strategic partnerships

3M, Dawn Krueger, sustainability supply chain manager


2. Data visualization platforms and conservation impacts 

Based on conversations with a wide array of stakeholders, marketplace brands and retailers, forest product companies and others, the AFF and GreenBlue have developed a new tool for assessing forest sustainability and sourcing across the U.S.

In this session, we’ll learn how platforms such as Forests in Focus (FIF) can leverage the power of data and can give context about the factors impacting landscapes and provide risk assessments to engage stakeholders on key issues and ultimately achieve positive conservation impacts.

With FiF, brand owners and other stakeholders engage a portion of the forest products supply chain responsible for over 50% of fiber in the U.S. marketplace that has been largely left out of sustainability discussions – family forests.

Join the session to learn more about this unique collaboration and preview the launch of the FiF tool.

 Mars, Rachel Goldstein, global sustainability director, scientific and regulatory affairs

 Catalyst Paper, Graham Kissack, vice president, corporate social responsibility

 Green Blue Org, Tom Pollock, senior manager

 The American Forest Foundation, Sarah Crow, senior director of sustainability solutions 


3. From pledges to progress: How the Accountability Framework is closing the ‘implementation gap’ for deforestation-free supply chains

The Accountability Framework initiative is a collaborative effort to accelerate progress and improve accountability in meeting supply chain commitments to halt deforestation, conserve natural ecosystems, respect land rights, and protect human rights. Led by a diverse coalition of environmental and social NGOs, the initiative is developing common definitions, norms, and guidelines for consistent and effective implementation and monitoring of these commitments.

Join this session to hear the latest on this initiative, get an early peek at new parts of the Accountability Framework, and learn how your organization will be able to apply the Framework to help meet its objectives.

Accountability Framework Initiative, Jeff Milder, Rainforest Alliance chief scientist and AFI program lead

The Nature Conservancy, David Cleary, director of agriculture

CDP, Jillian Gladstone, senior manager


The business case for forest restoration

At COP23, the World Resources Institute announced $2.1bn in private investment funds to support more than 40 forest restoration projects.

Moreover, WRI research shows the economic, social and planet benefits of restoring 20m hectares of degraded land in Latin America reaching $23bn, while reducing GHG emissions, improving food security and livelihoods.

In this session, we explore the benefits of landscape restoration and explain how those benefits can be monetized. We will learn how wood forest products, non-wood forest products, ecotourism, agricultural production, food security, and carbon sequestration all benefit from restoration projects.

We’ll ask: what does forest reforestation mean for your business and how feasible is it to scale up?

World Resources Institute, Sean DeWitt, director, Global Restoration Initiative

Taylor Guitars, Scott Paul, director, natural resource sustainability

The Nature Conservancy, Eriks Brolis, conservation business lead

Rainforest Alliance, Richard Donovan, senior vice president and vice president of forestry (moderator)


Networking drinks reception


The Cocoa and Forests Initiative: Progress on the collective industry commitment to end deforestation

The world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies have come together as a collective, in partnership with government, local groups and NGOs, to end deforestation and forest degradation. At the COP23 meeting in Bonn the initiative launched frameworks for action in Ghana and Ivory Coast, where almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced. In total two million farmers earn income from cocoa production.

  • Who are leading private sector signatories and what are their commitments and action plans?
  • What is the outlook, opportunities and challenges in their implementation journey?

World Cocoa Foundation, Ethan Budiansky, director of environment

Mars Incorporated, Kevin Rabinovitch, global VP sustainability

General Mills, Kevin O'Donnell, sustainability director, worldwide sourcing

Mondelēz International, Christine McGrath, chief well-being, sustainability, public & government affairs officer

World Resources Institute, Craig Hanson, global director, food, forests, and water (moderator)


Networking break


Procurement: Engagement policies, programs and strategies that tackle deforestation in supply chains

In this session, we’ll start by discussing whether procurement gets blamed unfairly for driving deforestation. Then we’ll move onto discussing the role of incentives, strategy alignment and education/collaboration between the sustainability and procurement functions in reducing deforestation.

We’ll discuss case study style examples, focusing on the experience of companies and others in this area, in an inter-active format.

Neste, Johan Lunabba, director of sustainability

World Resources Institute, Rod Taylor, global director, forests

Office Depot, Molly Ray, senior manager, sustainability


Certification alone is not effective enough. So, what else is needed?

Forest certification systems provide important guidelines to help determine what “good” sustainable forestry is, verify it through third-party audits, and provide a symbol of responsible sourcing practices to consumers. However, it’s important for companies to challenge their own abilities to innovate and approach responsible sourcing in unique ways.

In this session: learn how to use a variety of tools and approaches to procure in a way that promotes sustainable forestry practices and helps provide assurances of legal and sustainable forest products to customers.

Georgia Pacific LLC, Deborah Baker, vice president of sustainability

Rainforest Alliance, Andrew Goldberg, project manager, southeast family forest project




Pre-competitive partnerships for implementation of deforestation commitments

The savannas region (Cerrados) of central Brazil is one of the world’s most important soy producing areas. As a major agribusiness company in Brazil, for years Bunge has collaborated with TNC (The Nature Conservancy) in different projects that sum more than $5 million dollars in order to get its soy supply chain engaged with sustainable agricultural practices, including the implementation of deforestation commitments. Activities have spanned throughout different municipalities in the Cerrados, supporting the full implementation of local Forest Code, enhancement of local governance with management tools to monitor and map environmental compliance and, finally, the development of Agroideal - a free, open source tool to help growers and companies finding the most suitable areas to sustainably expand and intensify farmland.

The Nature Conservancy, David Cleary, director of global agriculture

Bunge, Michel Santos, director, global sustainability

World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Mark Murphy, strategic advisor to the Soft Commodities Forum


How is pre-competitive collaboration contributing to zero deforestation targets?

Pre-competitive collaboration allows multiple players across sectors, regardless of competitive business stance, to press forward towards a common goal.

We’ve seen various examples of companies combining their collective influence and efforts to tackle big challenges like global deforestation. In this session, we will hear some case study examples of collaborative efforts that are addressing this issue successfully.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Paul Trianosky, chief conservation officer

Sappi North America, Laura Thompson, director, sustainable development and policy initiatives

NatureServe, Dr. Healy Hamilton, chief scientist


What inclusion of forests in climate deals means for business in 2018 and beyond

According to Nasa’s Earth Observatory, if current rates of tropical deforestation continue, the world’s rainforests will vanish within 100 years.

CDP data shows that up to $906bn in revenue is at risk because of deforestation and investors representing $22tn in assets requested corporate deforestation. Companies’ deforestation risk management activities and engagement across their supply chains is essential to meet their future business needs and protect long-term value.

According to, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses are responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse emissions, but in Latin America and the Caribbean, they account for roughly half of all emissions. That’s why these sources of climate pollution are featured in the action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (or NDCs), submitted by many countries as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • So, now that forests are part of international agreements on climate change, how deforestation commitments will shift.
  • What happens post 2020 given many companies will miss 2020 targets due to implementation and resource challenges?
  • There are real financial implications of not managing forest risks to shareholders, but how will these risks manifest themselves?

Climate Advisors, Peter Graham, managing director of policy and research

CDP, Jillian Gladstone, senior manager, forests

Ceres, Julie Nash, senior manager, food and capital markets

Supply Change (a Forest Trends initiative), Stephen Donofrio, senior advisor


Conclusions and closing remarks

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