Land use change

Seven agricultural commodities that go into many food and beverages products are a major contributor to deforestation.

What’s going on?

Just seven commodities – cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee, and plantation wood fibre — accounted for 26% of global tree cover loss from 2001 to 2015. This meant the loss of 71.9 million hectares of forest, equivalent to twice the size of Germany.[i]

This matters because forests are one of the planet’s key defences against climate change – they absorb nearly 40% of the fossil fuel emissions the world generates.[ii] Yet as the world’s population increases, deforestation is accelerating – mainly driven by agriculture.

Deforestation isn’t just a threat to the planet’s ability to clean the air, it’s also a major cause of biodiversity loss.

Further, it is now being linked with an increased risk of disease pandemics, such as COVID-19. This is because while deforestation causes the extinction of some species, others will thrive – including those, like rats and bats, that host potentially dangerous pathogens that can make the jump to humans.[iii]

 

Get nature positive

Retail businesses have a role to play in supporting a shift away from the heavy reliance the world now has on these seven commodities to more sustainable sources and, also, alternatives.

Less reliance on these commodities will free land to support biodiversity, for example, as well as delivering health benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Inspired by steps retail businesses are already taking, we’ve compiled suggested actions to help you on your journey to getting nature positive.                

Explore the actions your business can take to join the journey to nature positivity.

Explore actions for nature