Deforestation Spotlight from Treezero

CDP’s 2017 Global Forests Report

From risk to revenue: The investment opportunity in addressing corporate deforestation written on behalf of 380 investors with US$29 trillion in assets. For the 2017 report released on November 21, 2017, CDP asked for data about their efforts to stop deforestation from 1,103 of the largest global companies and 272 responded. 87% of the companies identified opportunities related to the sustainable production, marketing or sourcing of at least one of the commodities. Up to $941 billion of turnover is dependent on commodities linked to deforestation. 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are directly caused by deforestation and up to 33% of climate mitigation efforts depend on preserving forests. CDP’s 2017 Global Forests Report makes a clear business case for investor action, highlighting the material risks that come from deforestation, and the opportunities emerging for those acting against it.

How Staples and the Dogwood Alliance Hope to Save the Forests of Appalachia

By Steve Zwick
Danna Smith founded an environmental NGO called the Dogwood Alliance in 1996 to save the forests by promoting sustainable forestry. At first, she commissioned studies to understand the problem, and she gradually worked her way up the long and intricate supply chains that reach from the forests of the Southeast, through pulping plants, paper makers, and distributors to kindergartens, offices, and newspapers across the country. By the year 2000, she’d concluded that retailers weren’t just links in the chain; they were the muscle pulling it along. Staples was one of the biggest, and Mark Buckley was the company’s director of procurement. To her surprise, he listened. “We met with Danna and others and started to develop a better understanding of the impact of our supply chain,” he says. Within two years of those first protests, Staples and Dogwood were on the same side. Today, they’re true partners. “What we saw in Staples was real leadership,” says Smith, appearing with Buckley on a recent episode of the Bionic Planet podcast. “Mark in particular has been a real visionary.” The organizations have since built what Buckley calls an “uncommon collaborative” of like-minded entities from the corporate, environmental, and academic communities. Earlier this year, they wrapped up a ten-year experiment called Carbon Canopy, which set out to see if small landowners could tap carbon markets to subsidize their transition to sustainable land management. The results were mixed but informative, and the project has spawned several other efforts that build on its success and learn from its lessons.

Funding Trees for Health

The Nature Conservancy has developed an Analysis of Finance and Policy Actions to Enable Tree Planting for Public Health. This report focuses on the links between trees and public health. Recent science has shown that the link is robust and economically significant. The central question of this report asks: If trees are so important for health, how can cities use innovative finance and policy tools to enable tree planting for public health? This question is important, because despite the large literature on the many benefits provided by street trees and other natural features, most U.S. cities are experiencing declines in urban forest cover over time, with a net loss of 4 million urban trees every year, or about 1.3% of the total tree stock. New tree planting isn’t keeping pace with the mortality of existing trees, either from natural causes or from clearing of trees for new development. If trees provide so many benefits, why are cities letting this natural resource dwindle away? One study in California, for instance, found that for every $1 spent on tree planting and maintenance, urban trees deliver $5.82 in benefits.

What is the environmental impact of print media?

At the time this article was written, 478,448,879 tons of paper have been produced worldwide this year. This requires a substantial amount of timber to produce: 40 per cent of the world’s commercially cut lumber is used in paper production. Deforestation is one of the biggest problems associated with the paper industry. It can affect biodiversity, soil fertility and water quality. Furthermore, trees act as carbon sinks that sequester carbon dioxide from t h e atmosphere and use it for photosynthesis. Therefore, fewer forests lead to a higher concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide – a major contributor to global warming. Perhaps a move to online journalism would tackle this environmental issue. Using the web to stay updated on current events is possibly a more environmentally sensible concept. However, a closer inspection reveals that producing an online newspaper may perhaps be as environmentally detrimental as printing a physical edition. A study by the KTH Centre for Sustainable Communications found that reading a web-based paper for 30 minutes every day has approximately the same environmental impact as reading a physical newspaper.