The Forest Footprint Disclosure Report 2009

This first annual survey of international firms' awareness of and willingness to disclose their impacts on forests finds low overall awareness, with some firms leading the pack.

Among the key findings of this year's report are:

A modest response rate in this first year reflects limited recognition that deforestation is a significant influence on climate change.

This suggests that CEOs should examine more closely the linkage between their operational forest footprint and their vision of being a participant in a low carbon economy.

During 2009, policy changes towards formal, prosecutable regulation of supply chains have increased significantly.

CEOs should engage with the voluntary bodies to better prepare for a quantum leap in business risk associated with their supply chains.

Several major businesses who spend heavily on marketing their ‘environmentally-friendly’ product segments showed no commitment to sustainability in their total purchasing.

There is a risk of greenwash where the commitments are only selective across a corporation.

Mandated and subsidized biofuels may cut emissions at the point of use but without ensuring that they are made from sustainable FRCs the carbon problem is simply exported elsewhere at the taxpayers expense.

Customers should demand better disclosure of what they are putting in their petrol tank.

Membership of voluntary certification bodies is often not backed up with detailed time-bound commitments to implement targets.

Investors should not assume that being a member of any initiative is the same as making a genuine commitment to implementing a sustainable supply chain.

Intermediaries in the trading world cite tracking difficulties as a reason to avoid identifying sustainable product from farm to fork.

Buyers - both commercial and public sector - should use their ‘pester power’ to demand that these systems are implemented: the more big players get involved in asking for the data the less costly the implementation will be across all users.

Download the report here; and for more information, visit