Rathbone Greenbank Investments
Annual Review of the Forest Footprint Disclosure
Rathbone Greenbank Investments was delighted to join representatives of the corporate and financial sectors at the launch of the third Annual Review of the Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) project. The ‘forest footprint’ of a company relates to its exposure to five key commodities across its operations or supply chain. These commodities - soy, palm oil, timber, cattle products and biofuels – all have the potential to be linked to deforestation or production on recently deforested land.
The FFD project has a number of aims including: helping companies build an understanding of how their operations may contribute to global deforestation; providing support for a move towards more responsible production and sourcing practices; and assisting investors in identifying companies that take a proactive approach to reducing their exposure to unsustainable commodity sourcing.
The audience heard from members of the FFD team and representatives of the investment and business communities. A common theme running through the speaker’s talks was the importance of forests to the global ecosystem. Forests function as significant carbon sinks, help to regulate global rainfall patterns, provide habitats for diverse ecosystems and are the source of a wide variety of raw materials used by humanity.
It was recognised that a truly effective global response to the threat of deforestation will need support from a wide range of stakeholders including governments, individuals, investors, companies and NGOs. Strong public policy on the issue of deforestation needs to be implemented and investors were encouraged to adopt an approach that favours long-term value creation over short-term gains. Individuals can play their part through purchasing decisions and raising the issue with their investment managers.
Rathbone Greenbank Investments has been an endorser of the FFD project since its launch in 2009. As part of our support for the initiative we have engaged in dialogue with a number of companies to encourage their participation in the disclosure request. We welcome the increase in the number of companies disclosing information to the FFD project during the last year and look forward to wider participation in the 2012 disclosure cycle.
A copy of the annual report, including information on companies identified as sector leaders, can be downloaded here: FFD Annual Review 2011.