Events and insight for sustainability

How business can tackle deforestation

How business can tackle deforestation

Keep targets on track, manage expectations and demonstrate progress

18th-19th April 2018, Washington DC

A two-day conference on the big challenges in tackling deforestation, and the solutions that will scale. Researched and organized by Innovation Forum, held in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy

Building on the themes of recent IF meetings in London and Jakarta, this forum will bring together a range of key stakeholders to discuss the most pressing issues faced by business. The objective is to genuinely drive forward discussion and progress in removing deforestation from company supply chains.

A key theme to this year's discussion will be the likelihood that most companies will miss 2020 targets. We'll take a realistic look at where and why this is happening, whilst debating what should happen next. By bringing together a broad range of businesses, key NGOs, government and finance, the conference presents the multi-stakeholder dialogue that is required to tackle these extensive issues. 

The 2018 agenda will address the big issues, including:

  • Big companies will miss 2020 zero deforestation targets, so what happens next? A pragmatic discussion around how brands can respond and report on missed targets - and the future role of NGOs 
  • Forests in climate deals: What the inclusion of forests as part of international agreements on climate change means for business in 2018 and beyond
  • Big banks and deforestation: From policy to implementation – hear what banks are (and aren’t) doing to help stop deforestation

Your company’s deforestation strategy:

  • Jurisdictional programs: The role of companies in overcoming implementation challenges when scaling efforts
  • Procurement behaviour: What are the right policies, programs and strategies for your purchasing colleagues to tackle deforestation
  • Forest certification: Certification alone is not effective enough. So, what else is needed and what proportion of your time should certification take up?
  • Forest restoration: Above and beyond, or a crucial aspect of responsible business? Explore the business case and benefits of scaling restoration efforts

In-depth, informative case studies:

  • Sustainable rubber: Pirelli’s journey in facilitating transformation of the global rubber market and tire supply chain
  • The Cocoa and Forests Initiative: What is the outlook, opportunities and challenges in the implementation journey?
  • Natural capital: Opportunities and challenges in restoring natural forest capital for the US as the world’s largest wood producing and consuming nation
  • Pre-competitive collaboration: Case studies of companies successfully overcoming competitive barriers in pushing toward a common goal

See the full range of topics covered in the agenda here

Speakers include

Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson

Director, Sustainable Development & Policy Initiatives

Sappi North America

Kevin O'Donnell

Kevin O'Donnell

Sustainability Director, Worldwide Sourcing

General Mills

Jeff Seabright

Jeff Seabright

Chief Sustainability Officer


Deborah Baker

Deborah Baker

Vice President Sustainability

Georgia Pacific

Christine McGrath

Christine McGrath

Chief Well-being, Sustainability, Public & Government Affairs Officer

Mondelez International

Kevin Rabinovitch

Kevin Rabinovitch

Global VP Sustainability

Mars Incorporated

For a full list of speakers see here

What’s different about Innovation Forum?

IF is NOT:

  • A PR platform: enthusiastic speakers are NOT given free rein to fill a session presenting their companies, allowing no time to actually get to the crux of the issues. 
  • A talking shop: this is NOT an opportunity for a group people in a room to simply agree with everything said, regardless of outcomes.
  • All promise, no delivery: we will NOT promise what we can’t deliver. The issues covered are complex. They won’t be solved at a two-day conference. But we will help deliver progress through in-depth, constructive and practical advice around specific issues.  

IF is:

  • Candid: Entirely off-the-record discussion that enables open and honest disclosure from speakers and genuine participation from the audience.
  • Practical: A clear focus on the practical and actionable guidance that can drive change throughout industries and supply chains.
  • Focused: We provide enough time, resources and expertise to the issues that really matter. We don’t skate the surface, but get to the crux of the issues to provide in-depth, constructive discussion.

Who will be there?

The 2018 conference will have 100-120 delegates representing corporates, NGOs, suppliers, traders, development agencies, investors, government bodies and other relevant organisations. 

Below is a sample of last year’s attendees:

  • VP Corporate and Government Affairs, Asia Pulp and Paper
  • Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill
  • Environmental and Social Risk Management Associate, Citi
  • Senior Director, CSR, Dunkin' Brands
  • VP Corporate Communications & Sustainability Relations, Golden Agri-Resources
  • Director, Global Forest Watch
  • Forest Solutions Team Leader, Greenpeace
  • Manager, Forest Stewardship and Sustainability, International Paper
  • Senior Manager Product Stewardship, Johnson & Johnson
  • Director, Global Supply Chain Sustainability, McDonald's
  • Campaigns Director, Mighty Earth
  • Global Procurement Sustainability Lead, Mondelez
  • Coffee Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Olam International
  • Forest Campaign Director, Rainforest Action Network
  • Director, Sustainable Development, Sappi North America
  • Chief Sustainability Officer, Sime Darby
  • Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Target
  • Program Manager, Sustainability & Responsibility, VF Corporation

Why attend?

  • Learn from industry leaders on best practices and get in-depth guidance on how to effectively apply zero-deforestation policies
  • Meet and network with an influential and highly relevant audience of key stakeholders, including NGOs, business, government and supply chain actors
  • Benchmark company performance amongst a room of your peers and discover where you should be focusing efforts

Secure your spot now by clicking here


Innovation Forum is looking for sponsors who are able to support the forum, as well as associated research and analysis.

For sponsors, this presents the opportunity to support leading debate and progress in addressing deforestation in corporate supply chains, as well as providing a platform to highlight products and services in front of a large, diverse group of key stakeholders.

Contact Lewis Hudson at for sponsorship opportunities. 


This conference is hosted at the offices of the Nature Conservancy in Arlington, VA.

Worldwide Office
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606

How to sign up

Early-bird conference registration is now open, and you can register on the link below.

Secure delegate passes here

The early bird discount deadline ends Friday 16th March.

If you are looking to attend the conference with two or more colleagues, please contact Azadeh Ardakani on the details below to secure a group discount.


If you would like to discuss being involved as a speaker, sponsor, media partner or delegate. Please feel free to reach out to the event manager, Azadeh, on the details below.

Azadeh Ardakani
Project Director


Hosted and supported by:

Sponsored by:

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