About Commitments

Companies might be influenced by the same campaigns and stakeholders, but no two commitments* are alike. (How does Supply Change define a commitment?)

Below is a diagram of both the major decisions and minutiae that these targets describe. Will a commitment address multiple commodity liabilities or only one? Will it apply to some product lines or all of a company's brands, and will the commitment extend to its suppliers? A company also often acknowledges the intended ecological stringency of its target. Common goals are "zero deforestation" (no deforestation anywhere) or "zero net deforestation" (e.g. forest loss might occur, but offset by restoration).

In most but not all cases, companies specify timetables to achieve their commitments ("time-bound" commitments), bookended by baseline and target dates and possible interim milestones. They may also strengthen their pledge by committing to additional environmental or social criteria that go above and beyond certification requirements.

This project identifies and tracks several approaches to commitment achievement that are typical across commodity types � from promises to source only certified commodities to no expansion into peat lands, to social commitments such as the requirement to obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from affected communities.


Commodity Categories:

General Signifies that a company has made a commitment or policy to reduce deforestation that is not specific to one commodity. Such commitments either cover all their agricultural inputs purchased without mentioning any specific commodities, or specific commitments to multiple commodities. In the latter case we included commodity-specific commitments as separate entries.

PalmSignifies that a company has a commitment, policy, or set of procurement guidelines specific to oil palm and related products, including palm fruit, palm oil, palm kernel oil and / or derivatives.

SoySignifies that a company has a commitment, policy, or set of procurement guidelines specific to soy / soya and related products, including soy oil, soy meal and / or soy derivatives.

Timber and PulpSignifies that a company has a commitment, policy, or set of procurement guidelines specific to wood products, including timber, pulp, paper, packaging, biomass and other inputs made from trees.

Cattle Signifies that a company has a commitment, policy, or set of procurement guidelines specific to cattle products, including beef, leather, tallow, dairy or other related products.


Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) - The Chief Executives of some of the world’s largest banks created the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) in 2010. Its mission is to lead the banking industry in collectively directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development. The group comprises 12 banks. The BEI is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which provides the BEI’s Secretariat. For more information see:

CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) - CDP works to transform the way the world does business to prevent dangerous climate change and protect natural resources, using the power of measurement and information disclosure to improve the management of environmental risk. By leveraging market forces including shareholders, customers and governments, CDP has incentivized thousands of companies and cities across the world’s largest economies to measure and disclose their environmental information. CDP holds the largest collection of self-reported climate change, water and forest-risk data. For more information see:

CERFLOR- Brazilian Forest Certification Programme (Certificação Florestal) - Cerflor was established as a voluntary national forest certificaton programme in 1991. It is an independent sub-system of the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). Cerflor was conceived by the Brazilian Society for Silviculture (SBS), with collaboration of several associations, entities, research institutes and NGOs. For more information see:

Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) - The Consumer Goods Forum is a global industry network bringing together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries. Their member companies are diverse in geography, size, product category and format, with combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion. They are governed by a Board of Directors, which includes 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs and Chairpersons. For more information see:

Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) - The Climate and Land Use Alliance seeks to realize the potential of forested and agricultural landscapes to mitigate climate change, benefit people, and protect the environment. The Alliance is a collaborative initiative of the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. For more information see:

Canadian Standards Association (CSA) - The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group Sustainable Forest Management System (SFM) standard is a leading forest certification standard in Canada. It is an independent sub-system of the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). First released in 1996, it is Canada’s official national standard for sustainable forest management. For more information see:

Danube Soya - The Danube Soya Initiative is an independent, international, non-profit, multi-stakeholder association, aiming to boost the cultivation of non-genetically-modified soya in the Danube region and Western Europe. For more information see:

Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) - FPIC refers to the right of indigenous and traditional communities to give or withhold consent to actions that will affect them, especially actions affecting their lands, territories and natural resources. FPIC is intended to prevent intentional or unintentional negative impacts of large-scale land use or development projects on these communities as a result of their exclusion from decision-making processes. FPIC is considered a “best practice” in conservation and development to identity, avoid or negotiate potential conflicts with communities.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - FSC is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. Their members include some of the world’s leading environmental NGOs (WWF and Greenpeace), businesses (Tetra Pak and Mondi PLC) and social organizations (the National Aboriginal Forestry Association of Canada), as well as forest owners and managers, processing companies and campaigners, and individuals. Together these diverse voices define best practices for forestry that addresses social and environmental issues. The membership consensus sets the FSC Principles and Criteria - the highest standards of forest management which are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable. For more information see:

Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) - WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) aims to turn the global marketplace into a positive force to save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests. The GFTN is a WWF-led partnership that links more than 300 companies, communities, NGOs, and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries around the world. The goal is to create a new market for environmentally responsible forest products. Since 1991, market-driven demands from GFTN participants have increased the economic incentives for responsible forest management. This is helping to ensure that millions of acres of forests are independently and credibly certified, a guarantee that the forests are well managed and that their products come from legal and sustainable timber harvests. For more information see:

Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (GRSB) - The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The GRSB envisions a world in which all aspects of the beef value chain are environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable. For more information see:

Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (BRSL, better known by its Portuguese name, Grupo de Trabalho da Pecuária Sustentável, GTPS) - The Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock was created in late 2007. It consists of representatives in the value chain of cattle production in Brazil, including industry organizations, farmers' associations, retailers, banks, civil society organizations, research centers and universities. The goal of the BRSL is to discuss and formulate, in a transparent manner, principles, standards and common practices to be adopted by the sector, which contribute to the development of sustainable, socially just, environmentally friendly and economically viable cattle ranching. For more information see:

High Conservation Value (HCV) - The High Conservation Value (HCV) approach is a formal approach to identify habitats (such as within logging or agriculture concessions) that provide considerable values to human and natural ecosystems. See for more information.

High Carbon Stock (HCS) - The High Carbon Stock (HCS) approach limits what lands can be converted to agriculture or other uses based on their carbon storage. There are two groups developing their own definitions and thresholds for High Carbon Stock. One group, called the HCS Approach group, includes civil society (Greenpeace and The Forest Trust). They defined “high carbon stock” as 35 tons of carbon per hectare in a pilot project in Kalimantan, Indonesia. The other group, known as the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto group, is industry-only, and is currently conducting a separate study to define high carbon stock. For more information see: and

Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil standard (ISPO, also known as Yayasan Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia, YASBI) - The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) Foundation is a national non-profit organization aiming to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the Indonesian palm oil industry and contribute to the Indonesian government’s objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and draw attention to environmental issues. ISPO was established on 6th July 2009 to implement a mandatory certification system designed by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and applies to all oil palm growers operating in Indonesia. For more information see :

International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) - ISCC is an international certification system for biomass and biofuels. ISCC has been approved by the German Authority BLE as the first certification system for sustainable biomass and biofuels according to the German Biokraftstoff-Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung (Biokraft-NachV). For more information see:

Leather Working Group (LWG) - The Leather Working Group is a multi-stakeholder group aiming to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the environmental compliance and performance of leather tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry, including brands, manufacturers, suppliers, NGOs and end users. For more information see:

Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard - The Malaysian Government created a set of standards, principles, criteria, and indicators for sustainable palm oil in Malaysia. The standards include management commitment and responsibility; transparency; compliance with legal requirements; environment, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem management; best practices; and criteria for new plantings. These requirements are applicable to independent smallholders, plantations and organized smallholders, and palm oil mills. For more information see:

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) - The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. PEFC is an umbrella organization. It works by endorsing national forest certification systems (36 of them) developed through multi-stakeholder processes and tailored to local priorities and conditions. For more information see:

Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) - The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) is an initiative between civil society organizations and industry to improve the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&Cs), especially on issues of deforestation, carbon stocks, biodiversity, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pesticide use and social relations. POIG members argue that this builds a business case for responsible palm oil by bridging the gap between producers and consumer companies. For more information see:

Rainforest Alliance (RA) - Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Their approach includes training and certification to promote healthy ecosystems and communities in some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems. The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability. For more information see:

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) - The RSPO is a not-for-profit that unites stakeholders from the 7 sectors of the palm oil industry: oil palm producers, processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks/investors, and environmental and social NGOs, to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). When they are properly applied, these criteria can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions. The RSPO has more than 1,700 members worldwide that have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO. For more information see:

Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) - RTRS is a civil society organization that promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a global level. Its members include the main representatives of the soy value chain and civil society from around the world. RTRS created the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production applicable on a worldwide level that assures soy production that is environmentally correct, socially appropriate and economically feasible. For more information see:

Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) - The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is a coalition of non-profit conservation organizations in America, Africa, Europe and Asia promoting the environmental and social sustainability of agricultural activities through the development of standards for best practices, certification and training for rural farmers around the world. The SAN promotes productive and efficient agricultural systems, biodiversity conservation and sustainable human development through the application of their Sustainable Agriculture Standards, which include social, environmental and productive aspects. For more information see :

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) - SFI is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. For more information see:

Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) - Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) was catalyzed by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) commitment to mobilize resources within their respective businesses to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. In support of this commitment and other efforts to reduce deforestation in tropical forest countries, TFA 2020 is engaging with governments around the world, a range of civil society organizations active in both producer and consumer nations, and multinational corporations. For more information see:

The Forest Trust (TFT) - TFT is an international non-profit organization that works with companies and communities to help them deliver their products responsibly. Its team is comprised of businesses and social and environmental experts catalyzing positive transformation in many industries including wood, pulp & paper and palm oil. For more information see:

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) - The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC®) is an organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. They develop transparent methodologies, tools, and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. The organization boasts over 90 members from all corners of business. The Sustainability Consortium is jointly administered by Arizona State University and University of Arkansas with additional operations at Wageningen University in The Netherlands and Nanjing University in China. For more information see:

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) - The Union of Concerned Scientists is a non-profit that puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, they combine technical analysis and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. For more information see:

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - WWF is a non-profit organization that works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.1 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF combines global reach with a foundation in science, involving action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. For more information see:

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