Forest 500, ‘the world’s first rainforest rating agency’, is a project of the Global Canopy Programme. In 2019, it published its fifth annual ranking. It ranks 350 of the biggest companies in forest-risk supply chains and the 150 biggest investors in these companies.
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.
Over two thirds of tropical deforestation is driven by the production of a handful of commodities including; palm oil, soya, 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
Companies and financial institutions had been assessed and ranked in respect to their policies addressing potential deforestation embedded in forest-risk commodity supply chains. The 2018 report stated that "the Forest 500 methodology was updated in 2018 to better distinguish between companies who have set commitments, and those that have taken the next step towards implementation. This new methodology has meant that many companies have received lower scores this year." A document on the 2019 methodology stated that had been updated again to better align with the guidance of the Accountability Framework, a set of norms and guidance on ethical supply chains developed by a coalition of civil society partners. Three new indicators were added and two indicators were updated.
The Forest 500 ranking and analysis will be repeated annually until 2020, to help inform, enable and track progress towards deforestation free supply chains.
Each company was rated from 0-5, across five categories:
Amazon was one of the 350 companies rated in the 2019 report.
It received an overall score of 1. Its scores in each category were as follows:
Overall Approach 1 out of 5
Commodity Score (palm, paper & pulp, beef, leather, soy, timber) 1 out of 5
Commitment Strength 1 out of 5
Reporting and implementation 1 out of 5
Social Considerations 2 out of 5
The company was a Consumer Goods Forum member but had not signed up to the following collective commitment: New York Declaration on Forests signatory
As it had scored under 4 overall, it lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.
Forest 500 - 2019 ranking (2019)