Contents of the Framework

Core Principles and Definitions

Operational Guidance

Core Principles and Definitions

A set of Core Principles form the centerpiece of the Accountability Framework. These principles lay out both the scope of strong company commitments and key practices essential to fulfilling them. These Principles are supported by the Framework’s Definitions.

Environmental and Social Scope

Elements of a strong company commitment on key environmental and social topics:

A – Protect ecosystems

Supply chains are deforestation-free and protective of other natural ecosystems

B – Respect human rights

Supply chains respect human rights, including rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and workers’ rights

C – Other sustainability topics

Companies analyze need for additional sustainability commitments

D – Specification of commitments

Commitments apply broadly across operations, are time-bound and verifiable, and are based on common terminology

Implementation and Monitoring

Key practices and procedures to fulfill commitments and credibly demonstrate results:

1 – Company systems

Establish processes & procedures that effectively facilitate implementation of commitments

2 – Traceability

Control origins of materials in supply chains sufficiently to demonstrate compliance or determine improvement needs

3 – Supplier management

Institute supplier management systems to fulfill commitments across the full supply base

4 – Land use

Conduct or support responsible practices in land acquisition, land use planning, and site development

5 – Land management

Conduct or support effective land management and long-term protection to safeguard forests, natural ecosystems and human rights

6 – Remedy & remediation

Remedy past social and environmental harms, including violation of commitments

7 – External relations

Conduct business and engage with stakeholders in an ethical manner to help protect the environment and respect human rights

8 – Monitoring & verification

Conduct regular monitoring against time-bound targets and improvement plans, and provide independent verification

9 – Reporting & disclosure

Report progress regularly, using common definitions and good practices to convey precise information on performance and progress

To review the complete Core Principles document and the Framework’s Definitions:

Operational Guidance

The Operational Guidance provides additional detail related to putting the Core Principles into practice. Sections of the Guidance are being developed and released in stages during 2018.

The following draft sections are currently available:

How to Apply the Definitions on Deforestation and Conversion
Q&A and illustrative examples that demonstrate how to apply Accountability Framework definitions in different contexts

Cutoff Dates

Guidance for setting cutoff dates for no-deforestation and no-conversion commitments

Monitoring and Verification (preliminary draft)
Guidance on key elements and best practices for monitoring and verifying the fulfillment of commitments

Applying Voluntary Commitments in Context
Guidance on how the implementation of voluntary commitments relates to applicable law and government and multi-stakeholder initiatives (e.g., jurisdictional approaches)

Applicable Law Assessment
Guidance on how to design procedures to identify and assess applicable law, or to review their existing procedures related to such assessment.

Future Sections

Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Intact Landscapes


Supplier Management

Land Use Planning

Long-Term Protection

Remedy, Remediation, and Compensation

Reporting and Disclosure


Companies, government, civil society and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide input and help shape the Framework’s further development:

Next Up

Learn how you can apply the Framework to help set, implement, and monitor commitments: