Commercial agriculture drives the loss of forests, savannas, peatlands, and other natural ecosystems globally. The production of a small number of “risk commodities” – namely: cattle, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and timber – causes the majority of this ecosystem destruction and associated biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions. Germany is a major importer of these risk commodities and German companies that trade and use these commodities risk contributing to ecosystem conversion and human rights violations in their supply chains. In recent years, many companies have started to recognize the responsibility they have within their supply chains and have taken action to make their supply chains more ethical and conversion-free.
In this report, Climate Focus and WWF Germany take stock of the policies and actions implemented by major German companies to move towards ethical supply chains. Using the guidance developed by the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) on how to build ethical, deforestation-and conversion-free supply chains in agriculture and forestry sectors, the report evaluates German companies’ commitments, implementation, and outcomes based on publicly available information and a detailed survey that was filled out by 15 leading companies.