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First Affirmative Endorses the Forest Footprint Disclosure
By Christie Renner

The Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) is a UK government-supported initiative developed to help investors understand a company’s impact on deforestation. First Affirmative has joined several dozen financial institutions around the world, which collectively manage over $4 trillion in assets, in endorsing the FFD to support greater disclosure of forest impacts.

Driven by demand for agricultural commodities including timber, beef, soy, palm oil, and biofuels, deforestation continues around the world, with an area close to the size of Costa Rica lost each year. In addition to habitat loss and consequent biodiversity loss, deforestation is responsible for nearly 20% of global carbon emissions.

Measuring and tracking where deforestation is occurring in a company’s operations and supply chains is a critical step toward restoring natural systems and preserving existing forests. After a company identifies where in its processes it has exposure to deforestation, the company can better implement sustainable land management and procurement policies and practices.

The FFD questionnaire provides companies with a framework for publicly disclosing their impacts on deforestation. Greater disclosure helps investors make informed decisions about risks to a company’s bottom line and risks to the long-term health of the ecosystems on which that bottom line depends.

The FDD is modeled on the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), to which First Affirmative is also a signatory. The CDP has provided companies with a framework for disclosing carbon emissions since 2003. The number of companies disclosing data through the CDP has increased tenfold in only seven years. We hope to see the FFD become a strong international accounting tool to help companies tread lightly through the world’s remaining forests.

Christie Renner
Executive Assistant to the CEO

Posted: May 28, 2010