Companies and non-profits will work together in a pre-competitive initiative to develop a guidance connecting corporate efforts on climate, forests and agriculture.
The sustainability consulting group Quantis is pleased to announce the official launch of an initiative to develop Guidance on accounting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and other types of land use. This pre-competitive global initiative, convened by Quantis, aims to provide a methodological guide with credible references that companies can use to account for the climate change impacts of their efforts on sustainable forests and agriculture in an accurate and credible manner.
A group of leaders from diverse industries have already joined the initiative: Barry Callebaut, Ferrero, General Mills, Lenzing, L’Oreal, LVMH, Mars, Pirelli, Philip Morris International, Tetra Pak, and Yara as well as non-profits, governments, and academic institutions such as ADEME, C-AGG, CIRAD, Ecofys, Rainforest Alliance, South Pole Group, Textile Exchange, and The Sustainability Consortium.
“Companies understand the need to reduce the impacts of their supply chains and are increasingly interested in communicating about their efforts. Credible metrics are critical for achieving both,” Jon Dettling, Quantis US Managing Director and project lead explains. “A GHG accounting method that is conducive to corporate goal setting and supply chain management will allow companies to achieve progress and to communicate credibly on these efforts.”
The scientific community estimates that deforestation and impacts from land use account for over 20% of GHG emissions. With pressure to set science-based GHG targets as well as to establish deforestation-free supply chains, organizations realize the urgent need for guidance on how to include GHG emissions from deforestation in corporate GHG goals.
“Mars is excited to be part of this initiative - we believe better and more consistent quantification of GHG emissions from deforestation will help accelerate global efforts to reduce both deforestation and GHG emissions,“ says Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director, Mars, Incorporated.
For companies dealing with products of agriculture and forestry, management of forests and other land types is often identified as one of the highest priorities for addressing climate change. To include emissions from deforestation and other types of land use within GHG reduction goals, guidance on how to measure this GHG impact and how to track progress over time is needed.
This initiative will fill this need by developing a Guidance on:
1) How to calculate GHG emissions from land use and land use change such as deforestation, and
2) How to apply this within corporate supply chain assessments and product assessments, such as tracking changes and progress toward goals.
The Guidance is not intended to be a standard, but rather a reference that will be made available quickly and can serve as an interim framework-guide as well as a building block for future tools and standards.
The initiative aims to release the Guidance publicly in April 2017 and is open to additional members through November 2016.
Additional partners of the Guidance initiative share their commitment and objectives:
Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills:
“We made an ambitious commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 28 percent by 2025. Having consistent measurement and guidance on this critical area will allow us to better track progress towards our goals.”
Euan Murray, COO, The Sustainability Consortium:
"You can't manage what you don't measure. This project is an important step in building consensus in an important and complex area. The Sustainability Consortium is delighted to support this valuable work."
Andrew Harrop, Head of Environmental Sustainability, Philip Morris International:
“At PMI, we’re focused on delivering GHG emissions reduction through targets based directly on climate science to limit global warming and the impact of climate change. We’re pleased to participate in this initiative to contribute to the Guidance, and its practical application in the future”
Pablo Llopis, Forestry Project Manager, South Pole Group:
“South Pole Group wants to explore synergies with different actors and identify opportunities for providing sustainability solutions on aspects such as land use change, sustainable agriculture and deforestation“.
Frank Brentrup, Senior Scientist, Yara International:
“Since cultivating new land has serious negative implications for the environment and biodiversity, efficient use and sustainable management of existing arable land is essential to solve the challenges of both food security and climate change. Yara International believes that the needed increase in food production should be achieved by increasing yield on existing farmland to the extent possible - not by cultivating new land - thereby greatly reducing GHG emissions caused by land use change, and potentially protecting biodiversity. In order to evaluate and measure the full climate impact of different crop production systems, it is necessary to include emissions from land use change and therefore we support the development of a guidance document in this respect.“
Nicko Debenham, Vice President Global Cocoa Sustainability & MD Biolands, Barry Callebaut:
"Barry Callebaut has done extensive work on quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions directly and indirectly associated with our supply chain in order to offer chocolate and cocoa products with a declared carbon footprint. Our work will be both benefitting to and from this ground-breaking effort that will result in a widely recognized and scientifically robust methodology".
Quantis is a global leader in sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) expertise, services, consulting and tools. Quantis is specialized in supporting companies as they measure, understand and manage the environmental impacts of their products, services and operations. To learn more about Quantis, visit www.quantis-intl.com