Communication, Collaboration Key to Ending Deforestation

According to a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office, deforestation activity accounts for 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Companies such asUnilever have adopted zero-deforestation policies; while private sector initiatives are critical to broader zero-deforestation efforts, a more comprehensive approach involving multiple entities from the private and public sectors is necessary. To achieve sustainability success on a global level, brands must join forces and implement a multi-stakeholder approach to end deforestation and advance global climate change initiatives.

A recent survey by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) found that only 17 percent of consumers prioritize sustainability and deforestation-free attributes when it comes to purchasing paper products. However, the research also shows that 40 percent of consumers consider whether a product is made from recycled materials when making purchasing decisions.

Consumers may be well versed in the importance of recycling, but corporations, NGOs and other actors need to do a better job of educating the public on the range of factors that impact sustainability as a whole. Many brands are making significant progress on adopting zero-deforestation efforts. To supplement this, more collaborative efforts should be undertaken, and companies should communicate why they are adopting zero-deforestation policies, so consumers can better understand its significance and, ultimately, demand it.

Below are three examples of organizations and initiatives that have combined financial resources, global sustainability standards and commitments to tackle deforestation activities internationally.

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