Full Methodology


Worldwide tropical forest loss equates to an area roughly the size of Costa Rica being deforested each year. Commercial agriculture drives at least two-thirds of this deforestation. The worst of these forest impacts come from a few agricultural commodity supply chains – palm, timber & pulp, soy, and cattle products. These “big four” commodities are valuable inputs to millions of consumer products, from snack foods to shampoos to clothing to paper to housing materials. As a result of this unsustainable deforestation trend, the businesses, investors, and governments that produce or procure the “big four” commodities are publicly committing to reverse their role in degrading the world’s critical ecosystems and setting targets for doing so. These commitments are both plentiful and complex, so it can be difficult for stakeholders to understand and keep track of them.

In response, Forest Trends established the Supply Change project as a platform for real-time news, data, and analysis that catalogs and contextualizes global progress toward these targets. Supply Change’s tracking of corporate commitments and reported performance against them is designed to equip stakeholders with information to support environmental decision making and ultimately drive transformational change.


Prioritizing Company Research

Supply Change focuses on tracking companies with existing public commitments to either the “big four” commodities individually or to agricultural commodities overall. There are so many corporate actors contributing to tropical deforestation that it would be difficult for Supply Change to research them all. Instead, Supply Change identifies companies for research based on participation in related activities to curb deforestation and on company inclusion in relevant assessments by third-parties that address commodity-driven deforestation.

Related activities include involvement in membership associations such as the Consumer Goods Forum; commodity roundtables like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), and the Leather Working Group; and declarations such as the New York Declaration on Forests. Relevant assessments are scores, rankings, or credentials conducted by third-parties such as the World Wildlife Fund commodity scorecards, CDP forest program sector leaders, and the Zoological Society of London Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit rankings.

Related Activities Monitored

Relevant Assessments Monitored

The related activities and relevant assessments currently monitored by Supply Change are also listed at the bottom of the Methodology Summary page on


Research Process

Supply Change collects information on companies to a) build a profile on the Supply- platform and b) identify trends for analysis and report writing throughout the year.

Deforestation commodity exposure

Initial research of companies begins with the Supply Change team determining whether corporate entities “have exposure to” or are “active in” one or more of the “big four” commodities. “Active” indicates that a company produces or procures the commodity as part of its core business. For clarification, when Supply Change checks for exposure across all four commodity supply chains our search covers a variety of derivatives, byproducts, and areas. Among others, these include palm kernel oil (palm); soy feed (soy); fiber, paper, and, woodlands (timber); and beef, dairy, and leather (cattle). A comprehensive list of product types is discussed further below.

Company Structure

The next step involves wading through corporate ownership structures with varying degrees of complexity. This can be especially challenging when public information is scarce, companies are jointly owned, or have a vaguely defined shell company acting as its parent. To deal with these ambiguities, Supply Change has an established decision tree for determining when to profile a company.

Supply Change aims to profile the highest corporate commitment by the parent company, assuming their commitments cover and are the same as that of their subsidiaries. In which case, the subsidiaries’ commitments are included within the profile of the parent company. If, however, a subsidiary(ies) has commitments distinct from the parent company (i.e. different target date), then the subsidiary companies are profiled in addition to the parent company. Conversely, sometimes subsidiaries hold commitments and their parent companies do not, in which case only the subsidiary is profiled. However, as in life, there are exceptions to the rule and so the more challenging situations are evaluated on a case by case basis.

Examples of common situations for companies with exposure to one or more of the big four commodities:

  • Situation: Both the parent company and the subsidiary have a commitment listed
    • Are the commitments equivalent to each other?
      • Yes = One profile is created for the parent company and features the parent company commitment. The subsidiary is noted in the basic business information section of the profile (see below).
      • No = Two separate profiles are created, one for the parent and one for the subsidiary. The parent and subsidiary relationship is noted in the basic business information section of the respective profiles.
  • Situation: Parent company does not have a commitment but the subsidiary does
    • A profile is created for only the subsidiary. The parent company is noted in the basic business information section of the profile.
  • Situation: The parent company and the subsidiary have equivalent commitments but membership in related activities is under the subsidiary name and not the parent.
    • A profile is created for both the parent and the subsidiary featuring the equivalent commitment but distinguishing the difference in related activity participation. The parent and subsidiary relationship is noted in the basic business information section of the respective profiles.

Company nicknames and common brand names (especially those with exposure to the big four commodities) are also cataloged in the database and can be used as search terms on the website.


Basic Business Information

Supply Change collects basic business information for each company researched that is active in one of the big four commodities. Supply Change prioritizes the Wall Street Journal as a data source, but, as necessary, also references Bloomberg, Google Finance, or Yahoo Finance.

The basic business information collected includes:

  • Company Website
  • Parent company
  • Subsidiary company(ies) with commodity exposure
  • Twitter handle
  • Headquarter country
  • Public or private status
  • Ticker symbol
  • Market capitalization
  • Annual revenue figures
  • Industry and sector designations (based on the Global Industry Classification Standard)
  • Supply chain level
    • Producer, processor, trader, manufacturer, and retailer
      • Note that some companies operate at multiple levels within a supply chain

This information allows commitments and performance to be compared amongst different types of companies.

Commitment Identification

After determining commodity exposure and collecting the basic business information, researchers mine publicly available sources to determine if a company has an existing commitment. Typical data sources include company websites, dashboards, sustainability reports, procurement policies, annual reports, public data from the CDP Forests program, and annual corporate submissions to RSPO and RTRS.

Supply Change considers a commitment to be

  • Any corporate statement targeting
    • procurement or production of proportionate or absolute certified (or otherwise “sustainable”) commodities,
    • procurement of sustainable commodity certificates/credits,
    • supply chain traceability,
    • supplier certification,
    • bilateral purchase agreements,
    • any other organizational target of low-/zero-deforestation or ecological degradation.

If a commitment is found, researchers record the title and web link of the commitment source document, which is then displayed on the company profile. Supply Change researchers prioritize statements that are recent, stringent, time-bound, and as specific as possible. Researchers also collect the title and web link of any resources that support or give context to the commitment’s source document. These are also included on the company’s profile.

Only those companies that have both exposure and at least one commitment are profiled on

Commitment Data Collected

For each commitment, Supply Change records: basic details, inclusion of key commitment goals and procurement policies, intermediary milestones, and available progress toward the overall commitment.

The basic details collected include:

  • Announcement date
  • Percent committed
  • Product type
  • Target year
  • Scope
  • Geographical coverage

This information is used in analysis to identify patterns and performance trends.

Supply Change records the year in which a commitment was announced so that comparisons can be made to commitments with similar or contrasting timelines.

We note the percent of the company’s commodity supply chain covered by the commitment. Most commitments cover 100% of the commodity in a company’s supply chain. If the commitment text uses language such as "all," we mark it as 100% committed. Commitments that use terms such as “strive for” or “prefer that,” we mark as “unspecified amount.”

Supply Change researchers carefully select the most appropriate “product type” from a standardized list of options, which includes:


palm oil
crude palm kernel oil
crude palm oil
palm derivatives
palm fruit
palm kernel meal
palm kernel oil derivatives

Timber & Pulp

sawn timber
wood products


soy derivatives
soy meal
soy oil


cattle products
wet blue skins

In cases where the product type is vague or refers to byproducts not included in the standardized list, Supply Change researchers default to the most broadly applicable product types: palm oil (for palm), fiber (for timber & pulp), soy (for soy), and cattle products (for cattle).

If a commitment is time-bound, we record the target date of the overall commitment. If the commitment is not time-bound it is marked as “No Date Specified” and a date will not appear in the commitment summary.

Commitment Summary

Supply Change researchers use the text in the commitment source document to write a commitment summary or characterization which combines the above details into this standard format:


The “is/are what” characterization is developed after reading all of the commitment source documents and supporting resources. The researcher’s aim is to use common language to succinctly capture the action a company intends to take. Language that researchers use for the characterization is often stated by the company in the preamble of its commitment source document. Each characterization is specific to the commitment, but some typical examples are “is sustainable”, “is deforestation free”, “is certified”, etc.

Despite the simplicity of their characterization, commitments are complex and are often accompanied by other contextual factors for which we collect data. We assume that a commitment is global in nature unless a company refers to a specific geographic coverage for its commitment. Also, researchers ascertain what the “scope” of a commitment is relative to a company’s supply chain based on a careful review of the commitment text. For example, the broadest commitments cover “all suppliers” and “all brands,” while more narrowly focused ones may cover a company’s “own specific brands” or “others’ specific operations.” These two factors are recorded in the data set for potential analysis purposes. If the geography or scope is central and critical to the overall commitment, then it is incorporated into the commitment characterization displayed on the profile.

Commitment Goals and Procurement Policies

Supply Change tracks explicit mention of more than a dozen commitment goals and procurement policies within commitment documents. These goals and policies add specificity to a company’s overall commitment and help move a company toward commitment implementation.

These Commitment Goals and Procurement Policies were developed organically based on the frequency of inclusion in commitment texts. If new terms or concepts come into common usage or appear to reflect market leadership, then we add them to our existing list.

A full list of the current commitment goals and procurement policies is listed here and also on the Methodology Summary page of

Zero Deforestation - Commits to “zero deforestation,” “no deforestation,” “deforestation-free” or similar language that implies “no deforestation anywhere,” whether defined or not. See Brown and Zarin, What Does Zero Deforestation Mean? in Science, November 2013 for a longer discussion of these terms and their implications.

Zero NET Deforestation - Commits to Zero Net Deforestation, the approach advocated by WWF and endorsed by the CGF, which “acknowledges that some forest loss could be offset by forest restoration”, such as through the purchase of REDD+, biodiversity offsets, or mitigation banking credits. See Brown and Zarin, What Does Zero Deforestation Mean? in Science, November 2013 for a longer discussion of these terms and their implications.

Zero GROSS Deforestation This term very specifically commits to no loss of forest area over time caused by conversion to non-forest, as measured using remote sensing. See Brown and Zarin, What Does Zero Deforestation Mean? in Science, November 2013 for a longer discussion of these terms and their implications.

High Conservation Value (HCV) - Commits to follow the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach, a formal approach to identify habitats (such as within logging or agriculture concessions) that provide considerable values to human and natural ecosystems and seek to maintain or enhance them. See for more information.

High Carbon Stock (HCS) - Commits to the High Carbon Stock (HCS) approach, which limits what lands can be converted to agriculture 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 TFT). It 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. See Greenpeace’s briefing and for more information.

Peat protection - Commits to peat land protection in any form, whether no development on peat at all, ever, or limiting development of peatland to peat of shallower depths or with particular soil composition characteristics.

No burning - Commits to no burning or use of fire as a means of clearing land for agriculture.

Traceability - Commits to traceability in their supply chain (specifically using this term).

Transparency - Commits to transparency in progress reporting (whether specifically using this term or mentioning that they will report publicly on progress in any manner in any time frame).

Legality - Commits to follow all local and/or national laws.

Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) - Commits to the practice of recognizing 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.

Human Rights - Commits to some additional social criteria in addition to environmental criteria, whether agreeing to consult with local communities or to meet or exceed basic human rights (either specifically stating that they will meet United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, United National International Labor Organization conventions, or generally stating that they will provide safe working conditions, fair labor practices, housing, and/or training to workers).

Certification - Commits to buying any amount of commodity certified by an independent third party, whether the standard is specified or unspecified. In certain cases, includes commitment to create proprietary internal certification systems.

Reduce use - Commits to reduce use of the commodity.

Sustainable/Responsible - Commits to producing/buying "sustainable," "sustainably-sourced," "responsible," "responsibly-sourced," or similar language, whether defined or not.

Biodiversity/wildlife protection– This policy captures a company’s commitment to uphold the biodiversity of its lands or the lands of its suppliers.

Support smallholders- Smallholders are responsible for a sizeable share of production of the big four commodities as well as the associated forest conversion. Some companies help suppliers with sustainable production, audits, workshops and trainings, group certification, and technical support.

Reduce GHG emissions from operations- GHG emissions from producer operations contribute to a company’s carbon inventory. Policies focus on quantifying and mitigating GHG emissions from land use change, such as draining peatlands and cutting down forests for production. Supply Change only tracks GHG policies that cover production in forest landscapes. Therefore, policies for other levels of the supply chain (i.e., the GHG emissions of manufacturing facilities) are not included.

Improve water management- Improved water management can take a variety of forms, such as protecting watersheds, prohibiting peatland drainage, minimizing discharge of pollutants into waterways, or reducing irrigation inputs. Supply Change only tracks water policies that cover production in forest landscapes. Therefore, policies for other levels of the supply chain are not included.

Improve waste management- Similar to pesticides, some agricultural producers recognize that the large amounts of waste associated with commodity production also pose risks like polluting local waterways, harming biodiversity, and contributing to inefficient resource use. Supply Change only tracks waste policies that cover production in forest landscapes. Therefore, policies for other levels of the supply chain are not included.

Improve soil management- Farmers and their buyers recognize that maintaining healthy soils is vital for sustaining long-term production for each of the big four commodities.

Improve fertilizer management- When used effectively, fertilizers can improve yields (sometimes short-term) of soy, palm, and timber. However, inexpert or excessive use can result in polluted waterways.

Reduce pesticides or toxins- Many upstream and downstream companies recognize that pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals (such as the herbicide paraquat) used in commodity production can pose serious risks to farm workers, local communities, and surrounding ecosystems. Consequently, many limit or outright ban their use. Supply Change only tracks these policies that cover production in forest landscapes. Therefore, policies for other levels of the supply chain are not included.

Respect animal welfare- Many companies experience public pressure both to ensure the ethical treatment of their cattle and the elimination of deforestation from the expansion of grazing lands.

Improve yields– Given growing demand for the big four commodities, many regard improving yields per hectare as a vital way of increasing production without increasing agricultural expansion into forests.

Other – Commits to additional criteria that may be a unique aspect of a particular commodity or not in common usage.

Commitment Categorization

After a commitment has been documented, researchers designate the category of commitment based on the intent of the overall goal – in other words – the top-line ambition. These commitment categories are used for analysis purposes in our reports. There are six categories of commitments that Supply Change uses:

  1. Certificates - obligates companies to purchase sustainable commodity certificates or credits (like Green Palm for palm or RTRS credits for soy) equal to the amount of the commodity that the company produces or sells.
  2. Certified Commodities - commits companies to produce, sell, and/or procure certified commodities that have been physically segregated from non-certified materials (RSPO-certified segregated or identity-preserved palm oil is a prime example).
  3. Mix of Certified Commodities and Certificates - commits a company to produce, sell, and/or procure certified supply with the caveat that any non-certified supply will be covered by the purchase of certificates such as Green Palm or RTRS credits.
  4. Zero/Zero Net Deforestation- requires companies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. A commitment to Zero Net deforestation allows clearing in some cases so long as it is offset by the protection of the same amount of forest elsewhere.
  5. Traceability- requires companies to be able to track their commodity supply chains to various stages of production.
  6. Other- includes goals such as substituting or eliminating use of the commodity.

 Recording available self-reported progress

Supply Change researchers record any publicly available quantitative progress toward the overall commitment or milestones provided by the company. Supply Change attempts to reconcile discrepancies in available progress, but ultimately relies on progress that is self-reported by companies; Supply Change does not verify these claims. Source links to the reported progress are provided on the profile.

When available, we collect the “total volume” of a given commodity used by the company throughout its supply chain as well as the volume that meets the requirements of the commitment (the “compliant volume.”) If the company’s “percent progress” has not been explicitly reported, the compliant volume and total volume can be used to estimate this percentage. Careful attention is paid to whether published progress actually meets the requirements set by the commitment. For example, the reported percentage of certified commodities produced or procured alone would not meet the requirements for a zero deforestation commitment (unless zero deforestation was a requirement for the certification, which does not yet exist). We report volumes in metric tonnes and we use conversion factors when progress is reported in another unit. For example, when sawn wood is reported in cubic meters of round wood equivalent we use a factor of 1.4286 to convert it to tonnes.

When a company reports conflicting progress we do our best to record the most recent and robust information. For palm, this often comes from the RSPO Annual Communications of Progress (ACOP). We also research historical volumes and percentages for as many years as possible. In some cases, the reporting periods cross calendar years (most common examples are RSPO ACOPs prior to 2014). In these cases, we include the data under the earlier year.

Supply Change researchers also record the time-bound milestones that companies use as stepping stones toward meeting the commitment’s overall goal. For each milestone the researchers develop a concise milestone text, record the target year, report whether the milestone has or has not been met, and designate the milestone category (same categories as above). The milestones are displayed on the profile page along with a link to the source text.


Profile Review Process

Profiled companies are reviewed at least every six months to ensure that the commitment information is up-to-date and to record any newly reported progress. During this process, researchers may find new commitments or update old ones. An updated commitment may include an increase or decrease in ambition – stringency, product line coverage, or geography coverage – or an acceleration or delay of the target date. If an updated commitment is more ambitious, the previous target will often be incorporated as a milestone. Sometimes commitments may be removed from One cause for removal is if a commitment is no longer publicly documented. Another case is if a new commitment from a parent company changes the profile decision tree outcome described above in the Company Structure section. For instance, if a new commitment from a parent company is equivalent to the existing commitment from a subsidiary company then the subsidiary company commitment would be removed and instead listed under the parent company.


Methodology Updates

This methodology has been developing over time to incorporate useful and new data sources, evolving analytical aims, user feedback, and new ideas from the Supply Change team. Updates in research protocol are documented through this methodology.



A glossary of terms is also available on the Commitments page of

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 TFT). 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:

TFT (formerly The Forest Trust) - 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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