WWF’s Forests Forward Campaign Helps Businesses Meet Sustainability Goals

Image: Pexels

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer

Every day, the world loses an area of tree cover about the size of New York City from deforestation. World Wildlife Fund’s new Forests Forward campaign partners with companies to help improve forest management and trade. Companies like Kimberly-Clark and Lowe’s have already signed on, committing to the program’s three pillars:

  • Creating responsible supply chains: redesigning how companies source products or packaging that can impact forests
  • Improving forest management: working with companies that manage forests to improve biodiversity and support the local community
  • Providing opportunity for nature, climate, and communities

Why This Matters: More than half of the world’s forests are designated for production, so how they are managed and protected matters. The Forests Forward campaign recognizes these timber farms are important “not just for the wood they supply but for the many other benefits they provide,” WWF writes. Healthy forests provide a whole array of benefits, from locking in carbon to reducing erosion to housing wildlife. By partnering with large companies that sell paper and wood products, the program aims to promote more sustainable timber plantation management and restore forest landscapes. 

Program Gives Companies Structure for Climate Goals: The Forest Forward program sees possibility in working with industry to both boost timber production while preventing future forest degradation. 

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a groundswell of ambition from companies that want to take action for forests to deliver on their nature and climate commitments,” Kerry Cesareo, WWF’s senior vice president for forests, said in a statement. “What’s needed is the guidance to pair this ambition with meaningful actions to reduce companies’ footprints and provide landscape opportunities grounded in science and respect for local communities.”

For the International Paper Company, the program is an opportunity to hit their end-of-decade climate targets: “Planting trees alone is not enough to meet our Vision 2030 commitments to the health of forests or climate,” Sophie Beckham, Chief Sustainability Officer, International Paper Company said in a statement. “We’re excited to be a part of Forests Forward to deepen our understanding and practice of integrating science into our decision-making and to implement solutions that deliver positive results for people and the planet.”


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