Deforestation: a major issue in achieving a sustainable society
In 2019, a heartbreaking huge forest blaze occurred in southeast Australia and the Amazon rainforest. These forest blazes, which have brought severe damage to wildlife, are said to be caused by excessive deforestation as one of the causes. In large tropical forest areas, deforestation is carried out to produce palm oil, soy, beef, leather, wood, pulp and paper products. In other words, demand for daily necessities is a major cause of deforestation. The Global Canopy Program, a think tank working to protect the UK’s forests, has pointed that companies selling these products are “disregarding deforestation.” This sensational announcement is included in Forest 500 2019, which is a report that performs assessments and ratings depending on the policies and approaches to forest conservation in the supply chain of private companies, financial institutions, governments, banks, etc.
According to the “Forest 500 2019,” nearly half (242) of 500 major brands, investors and companies in the world still have no commitment to stop deforestation in their supply chains. These companies include internet retailer Amazon, Dutch convenience store chain SPAR and luxury fashion group Capri Holdings (owner of Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors). In addition, most of the rest 258 companies have not shown “evidence” that they are working according to their commitments. Of 157 companies that had commitments to remove deforestation, four removed their commitment, and 18 companies, including Nestlé, removed the deadline.
Sarah Rogerson, the author of the Forest 500 2019, says: “Many of the world’s best-known brands are complicit in the destruction of tropical forests, which undermines our ability to address global climate change. They are turning a blind eye to deforestation caused by the demand for the commodities they use and failing to publicly recognize their responsibility to act.”
In recent years, while ESG investment is considered as important and companies are taking active measures to protect the environment, it is shocking that the world’s major brands have been disregarding the risk of deforestation. There are several ways of forest conservation that can be contributed by individuals rather than by companies: Reducing the use of paper and choosing products with the FSC mark*1 or products made from the recycled paper can lead to forest conservation. Try to keep the earth rich in nature by making responsible consumption rather than just relying on governments and businesses.
*1 FSC mark: A mark indicating that the product is made of wood that has been certified by the international forest conservation institute.