Deforestation risks $941bn – leaf it out!

International businesses are risking $941 billion (£711bn) of investments by failing to adequately address the risks posed by deforestation. That’s according to a new report from CDP based on 201 […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

International businesses are risking $941 billion (£711bn) of investments by failing to adequately address the risks posed by deforestation.

That’s according to a new report from CDP based on 201 global companies’ disclosures regarding the four commodities responsible for the bulk of deforestation and forest degradation – cattle products, palm oil, timber products and soy.

Less than a quarter of the companies approached by CDP responded to the information request, which the group says masks the true threat of risk to investors.

The report suggests as many as 87% of companies do realise deforestation causes environmental and social impacts which threaten to reduce profits and increase risks, with nearly a third claiming they have already experienced this first-hand.

Similarly, nearly 90% say they have identified opportunities related producing, marketing or sourcing the damaging commodities in a more sustainable way.

Despite this, corporate action has not yet reached a tipping point – only six of the businesses achieved an ‘A’ grade for their green behaviour and attitude.