In the November issue of Ethical Corporation we assess progress on corporate zero deforestation commitments as the clock ticks down to 2020, and how the healthcare sector is stepping up efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals

WWF’s newly released Living Planet Report makes for harrowing reading, showing a 60% fall in wildlife population over the past 40 years as habitats have been destroyed by exploding human consumption of resources.

The report comes after last month’s bombshell UN climate report, which warned that urgent action is needed to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.50C, or life on Earth will become increasingly dangerous for hundreds of millions of people.

At the same time, 40 scientists from five countries warned that halting deforestation was as important as eliminating fossil fuels in avoiding runaway climate change. They said the world would achieve 18% of the emissions mitigation needed by 2030 by protecting and restoring forests.

In 2010 hundreds of companies made ambitious commitments to end deforestation in the commodities that are the biggest contributors to tropical forest loss: soy, beef, palm oil, and timber by 2020.

In the first article in our timely briefing on deforestation we look at how those commitments, which centred mainly on sourcing certified palm oil, lie in tatters, and the radical new approaches that are now being discussed as companies try to get to grips with deforestation risk in their supply chains after a lost decade of inadequate action.

Mark Hillsdon assesses the success of corporate efforts to put a halt to galloping deforestation from soy in Brazil’s Cerrado, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, which is already 60% under the plough.

Eric Marx, meanwhile, looks at how mass tree-planting efforts and the Cocoa & Forests Initiative in Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire are trying to stop rampant deforestation in Africa, and Angeli Mehta profiles three companies that are innovating to meet the booming demand for tree restoration projects.

Giles Grosse looks at fresh UN efforts to overcome the barriers that have prevented a plethora of satellite surveillance to turn the tide on deforestation.

Finally, Eduardo Tugendhat, director of thought leadership at  impact consultancy Palladium Group, explains why he believes deforestation-free cocoa and palm have been so elusive.

Our second briefing is on how the healthcare industry is stepping up its efforts to address the Sustainable Development Goals.

Michael Levitin reports on how the health sector in the US is taking steps to reduce its  environmental impacts and help cities become more resilient to climate change.

Mark Hillsdon reports on how pharmaceutical companies are working to fulfil SDG3, by bringing access to healthcare to all. He looks at how Gavi, the innovative public-private partnership struck in 2001 to meet the Millennium Development Goals, is now innovating to raise stalled vaccination rates. And he reports on how pharma companies are trying to overcome a dearth of community health workers that is confounding efforts to combat the spread of non-communicable disease in Africa.

WWF  Soy  Amazon  Palm Oil  Indonesia  beef  biodiversity  climate change  Africa  cocoa 

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