Ranking the most influential companies and financial institutions in the deforestation economy

Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their commitments on deforestation, conversion of natural ecosystems and associated human rights.

This means identifying which companies and financial institutions are addressing deforestation and human rights abuses, which aren’t, and what needs to happen to drive forward progress towards commodity supply chains that are free from deforestation.

These assessments, which have been running since 2014, hold the Forest 500 ‘powerbrokers’ to account, and provide a comprehensive dataset on their performance which you can view or download.

The results and insights from the Forest 500 indicate shortcomings and gaps in powerbrokers’ commitments, highlighting where greater action is required to achieve deforestation commitments. Specifically, the Forest 500 assesses 350 companies and 150 investors and lenders, each selected based on their exposure to forest risk commodity supply chains.

Forests are vital

Tropical rainforests cover 7% of the earth, but contain 50% of global biodiversity. Their ecosystems regulate global water systems and the climate, and they directly support the livelihoods of over a billion people. The social and economic benefits of these services are estimated to be in the trillions. There is no solution to climate change without a solution to tropical deforestation.

We are all part of the deforestation economy

Over two thirds of tropical deforestation is driven by the production of a handful of commodities including; palm oil, soy, timber, paper and pulp, beef, and leather. These commodities are in products we use every day and are present in more than 50% of the packaged products in our supermarkets. This makes us all part of a deforestation economy that is responsible for a tenth of global carbon emissions, harms water systems, and undermines livelihoods. But forest risk commodities can be produced sustainably, without deforestation and human rights abuses – but companies and the financial institutions who fund them need to step up and take action.

Just 500 companies and financial institutions have the power to change global supply chain

Through their production, processing, procurement or financing of beef, leather, soy, palm oil, timber, pulp and paper, the Forest 500 powerbrokers have the influence to transform global commodity supply chains. They can work to eliminate deforestation and associated human rights abuse, but eight years of Forest 500 assessments have found that still too little progress is being made by these powerbrokers. You can find out more about their performance as a group here or as individuals here.

Want to find out more about the Forest 500?