Innovation Forum

No more silos: how to integrate action on land use change and emissions reductions

By Leah Samberg, Matt Ramlow, Martha Stevenson and Christa Anderson, 27 October 2022

“Companies cannot meet their climate goals without eliminating deforestation and ecosystem conversion from agricultural and forestry supply chains. New guidance shows how it can be done. Land use is responsible for more than a fifth of human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – half of which comes from clearance of forests and other ecosystems, mostly for crops, plantations, and livestock. In fact, land use change emissions are such a large slice of the total emissions pie for most businesses that produce, trade or source agricultural or forest products that if conversion is not eliminated from supply chains before 2030, companies have little hope of meeting credible climate goals in line with the Paris Agreement.”


From commitments to action at scale: Critical steps to achieve deforestation-free supply chains

By Leah Samberg, July 2022

“From declarations by global leaders at the COP26 climate talks to the forthcoming ‘Paris agreement for nature’ expected at the COP15 biodiversity convention in Montreal later this year, the trend is clear: the time for businesses to accelerate their actions to address and disclose their impacts on nature is now.”


Net-Zero Targets Aren’t Attainable Without Ending Deforestation

By Alastair Marsh, 

“The global economy won’t reach net-zero carbon emissions without putting an end to deforestation. That’s the conclusion of the United Nations-backed Race to Zero campaign, which pushes companies and investors to reduce emissions. The report, which was published Wednesday in partnership with nonprofit Global Canopy, Science Based Targets initiative and the Accountability Framework Initiative, said companies committing to eliminate emissions by 2050 must act with urgency to stamp out tropical deforestation in their supply chains.”


Comment: Companies need to wake up to the urgency of ending deforestation in supply chains. Here’s how

By Leah Samberg and Thomas Maddox, on 29 June, 2022

“A new joint report from international non-profit organisation CDP and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) outlines the critical steps companies need to take to assess and address deforestation risks, and provides a snapshot of current progress by 675 of the companies that produce and trade the commodities that drive deforestation and ecosystem conversion: timber, palm oil, cattle products, soy, cocoa, rubber and coffee.”

ESG Investor

US$80 Billion at Risk as Firms’ Deforestation Efforts Fall Short

Georgie Lee, on 26 May, 2022

“An analysis of voluntary submissions by 675 companies to environmental disclosure platform CDP found that 211 businesses had reported forest-related risks of US$79.2 billion across their operations and supply chains.

The research, conducted by CDP and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), revealed a mixed picture, with many companies lacking targets, needing to increase scale, scope, and rigour of their approach to curb deforestation impacts.”


Cattle, Palm Oil Firms Miss Deforestation Targets, Report Finds

By John Ainger, on 24 May, 2022

“Food and commodity companies are falling short of global commitments to end deforestation by the end of the decade, a new report found, risking missing a key target of last year’s COP26 climate summit.”


Brazilian SPC suppliers sticking to the rules to deliver deforestation and conversion free supply chain
By Jane Byrne, on March 2, 2022

“Together with the sustainability standard owner, ProTerra, and WWF Brazil, SPC and soybean meal suppliers CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Imcopa/Cervejaria Petrópoli also agreed on a robust MRV system, based on the Accountability Framework initiative, to implement and enforce their commitment to zero deforestation.”

The Consumer Goods Forum

Three Reasons Why Tackling Deforestation is a Business Priority in 2022 and How to Prepare
By Jeff Milder, on February 22, 2022

“Leading companies have been working for years to mitigate deforestation risk in their supply chains. Rather than feel daunted, those who are newer to the game or have less capacity to work on sustainability issues can take advantage of the clear guidelines, action steps and implementation tools already tested and available. These are standardised at a global, cross-commodity level in the Accountability Framework and also well-reflected in the CGF Forest Positive Coalition’s new commodity roadmaps.”


Is finance failing on deforestation?
By Sarah Draper, on February 15, 2022

“For sustainability professionals at corporates, understanding where the risks in their supply chains lie – and engaging with suppliers to ensure these risks are addressed, is key. The Accountability Framework initiative sets out best practice for addressing deforestation risks in supply chains.”

Responsible Investor

100 days since COP Deforestation Commitments – why every investor needs to act now
By Nigel Topping, on February 11, 2022

“Today, investors can make their portfolios more sustainable by using the Accountability Framework-aligned financial sector roadmap. Drawing on input from more than 60 institutions, this roadmap provides tailored guidance on mapping deforestation risks, setting policies and initiating engagement activity. It is a crucial first reference point in the journey to deforestation-free portfolios.”

Ecotextile News

Leather mapping project targets deforestation
By Simon Glover, on November 22, 2021

“A collaboration of the Leather Working Group (LWG) trade body, National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab (GLUE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) is behind the initiative. The goal is to support the leather industry to achieve deforestation-free and conversion-free (DCF) supply chains, by providing support for companies to shift to DCF leather supply chains. It will also provide assistance for companies to help them enable their supply chain partners to make time-bound commitments, aligned with the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), on deforestation.”


Why commodity traders may finally get a handle on deforestation
By Theresa Lieb, on November 11, 2021

“Like other sustainability commitments, deforestation pledges need to be implemented in collaboration with third parties. Progress needs to be disclosed and monitored in a transparent manner with respected groups such as the Accountability Framework Initiative and the High Carbon Stock Approach.”


Consumer goods giants plot first steps towards ‘forest-positive’ supply chains by 2030
By Sarah George, on November 6, 2021

“[The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Forest Positive Coalition of Action] is currently calculating the extent of its footprint across forest commodities, with support from organisations including 3Keel, WWF, the Nature Conservancy and the Accountability Framework Initiative. This baseline is how the Coalition will determine what is needed to achieve an overall ‘net-positive’ impact.”


Retailer led roadmap aims to decouple meat from soy linked deforestation
By Jane Byrne, on October 28, 2021

“[The Retail Soy Group’s new industry roadmap] outlines how every company should have effective policies regarding the sustainable production of soy that use the definitions, principles, and guidance agreed within the Accountability Framework initiative.”

Business Green

Companies don’t have to reinvent the wheel to meet climate and nature targets
By Leah Samberg, on July 30, 2021

“We have everything we need to begin eliminating deforestation and land conversion from supply chains, as a necessary precursor to other nature and climate related goals, right here, right now.”

The Daylight

Civil Society Actors Learn New Tool for Concession Campaign”
By James Harding Giahyue, on July 30, 2021

“Campaigners from civil society organizations in Liberia on Thursday received training on the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), a new tool for advocacy in the agriculture and forestry sectors.”

Sustainable Brands

In the Race to Net Zero, Ignore Supply Chain Risks at Your Peril 

By Jeff Milder, on July 7,  2021

“AFi offers a clear and consistent way to set commitments, take action and monitor progress on everything from deforestation to human rights violations, and is working with partners to reflect this into key climate and GHG reporting indicators.”


Campaigners Turn Up Heat On Supply Chain Role In Deforestation
by Mike Scott, on July 6, 2021

“Two years on and the AFi is now everywhere. Some of the biggest companies in the world, such as McDonald’s and Nestlé, are now using the Framework. In fact, it is being used by processors, traders, manufacturers and retailers with total annual revenues of more than US$1.7 trillion… That’s because it has managed to make some sense of the alphabet soup of different disclosure frameworks that exist. Most major assessments of corporate performance on deforestation and related issues are now aligned with the Framework.”


IDH: “Many of the solutions we need to transition to responsible soy are there”
By Jane Byrne, on June 24, 2021

“[Daan Wensing, CEO of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)] sees positive developments as well in transparency such as the Accountability Framework and the work of the Soy Transparency Coalition, along with various developments in collective action to monitor land conversion and to compensate farmers that want to refrain from expansion.”


ASC to tackle “one of biggest threats to aquaculture’s reputation” with new feed standard
By Madelyn Kearns, on June 15, 2021

“For plant-based ingredients, as with marine based, mills will have to record and report all ingredients that make up over one percent of a feed, and will need to take steps to ensure they have been sourced from supply chains with low-risk for illegal deforestation,” ASC said. “Additionally, they will have to assess the risk of high-risk and high-volume ingredients contributing towards deforestation or land conversion, and must commit and report publicly to transitioning to a supply chain free from these key negative impacts. This mechanism is based on internationally recognized steps by the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) to work towards ethical supply chains.”

World Economic Forum

Ensuring supply chains are deforestation-free is still a priority. This is why
By Jeff Milder and Leah Samberg, on May 20, 2021

“The Accountability Framework initiative is ensuring the infrastructure built to support no-deforestation goals is integrated with the sustainability tools companies will rely on.”


First Soy Traders Scorecard Shows Major Traders Are Not Taking Sufficient Action on Their Environmental and Social Commitments
By WWF, on May 19, 2021

WWF and Global Canopy urgently call on agribusinesses to scale up their commitments and implement strong action plans that are aligned with Accountability Framework initiative guidance (AFi), while increasing transparency in reporting on risk exposure and progress toward commitments over time.

World Economic Forum

The global eco-wakening: how consumers are driving sustainability
By Cristianne Close, on May 18, 2021

Companies can commit to protecting nature and natural systems, including by setting science-based targets for nature and ambitious greenhouse-gas emissions reductions. They can deliver on these commitments by protecting nature and natural systems in the landscapes where they operate, or from which they source commodities, by using tools and approaches such as the Accountability Framework, and through reshaping markets.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Despite setbacks, no-deforestation supply chains remain crucial
By Jeff Milder and Leah Samberg, on April 16, 2021

Making supply chains protect forests and land rights is the clearest route to other priorities, from biodiversity protection to human rights.


A path for ending deforestation for businesses
By Kerry Cesareo, on April 14, 2021

The Deforestation Fronts report provides a map for companies to help prioritize where to focus supply chain efforts, investments and engagements in key landscapes. To accompany the map, businesses should use the definitions, core principles and guidance outlined by the Accountability Framework initiative, a collaborative multi-stakeholder effort to scale up ethical supply chains for forestry and agriculture products.

Triple Pundit

The Role of Collaboration in Driving Forest Restoration
By Kate Zerrenner, on April 8, 2021

The Forest Allies initiative leverages the Accountability Framework, and requires members are to align their policies, strategies, and activities with it. The Framework is a set of norms to help companies define and operationalize deforestation-free supply chains alongside a common approach to monitoring, verifying, and reporting their progress.

Innovation Forum

Can ethical supply chains become the new normal?
By Tom Idle, on April 1, 2021

The past decade has seen a blitz of commitments and initiatives to address commodity-driven deforestation. The Accountability Framework initiative helps translate these into effective implementation and progress on the ground.


Raising the bar at ProTerra: How to advance a sustainability standard to the next level
By Jane Byrne, on March 10, 2021

[Emese van Maanen, managing director, Proterra Foundation] describes the Accountability Framework initiative and the recently developed FEFAC soy sourcing guidelines (SSG) as ground-breaking as they enable consensus-based principles, guidance, and definitions to help ensure effective action and clear accountability.

Forest News

Finding effective ways to ensure sustainable supplies of forest-risk commodities
By Julie Mollins, on February 27, 2021

The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) developed a global disclosure system which aims to stimulate ethical supply chains by tracking progress toward eliminating deforestation and other forms of ecosystem conversion from corporate supply chains.


How Do You Save The Rainforests? Britain Has A New Idea by David Vetter, on August 28, 2020

“There are all sorts of ways of defining sustainable agricultural production.” Bodies such as Rainforest Alliance, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the Accountability Framework already offer … a potential route by which the government could choose to make sustainability the standard controlling such products.”

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Closing the accountability loop on commodity-driven deforestation by Leandro Fleck, on June 30, 2020

“A suite of recently launched transparency and accountability tools are turning the tide in the fight to protect tropical forests. Alongside the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative and other partners, we have supported three groundbreaking projects: The Accountability Framework Initiative, the Trase Initiative, and the Global Forest Watch Pro Platform.”

World Economic Forum

How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia by Michael B. Jenkins and Eric Usher, on March 5, 2020

“Financiers need to address their deforestation exposure in their portfolios (see the Accountability Framework initiative for detailed guidance).”

Ethical Corp

Deadline 2020: Big brands double down on efforts to source deforestation-free palm oil by Terry Slavin, on February 11, 2020

“Morgan Gillespy, director of forests at CDP, says the Accountability Framework closes the ‘accountability loophole’ that has stymied corporate action over the past decade.”

Business Green

Our world is on fire – and business must help put it out by Cristianne Close and Margaret Kuhlow, on January 25, 2020

“Companies can also double down on efforts to end deforestation and land conversion by investing in key production landscapes and developing scalable solutions in line with the Accountability Framework.”


How standardization advances supply chain responsibility by Supply  Shift Staff, on January 2, 2020

“Focused in the agriculture and forestry sectors, the Accountability Framework has already helped to drive change in the private sector as industries face a growing call for accountability.”


In the Wake of Climate Week, Here’s a Future Roadmap for Forests by Akiva Fishman, on October 1, 2019

“We cannot curb global warming and stem the alarming loss of biodiversity without decoupling production from deforestation and land conversion. The Accountability Framework provides a blueprint for companies to do exactly that. […] Companies can lead by example, demonstrating with their own actions in line with the Accountability Framework that rapid progress is possible.”

Business and Industry

Making ethical supply chains the new normal by Jeffrey Milder, on September 25, 2019

“We need a common framework for companies to set sustainability commitments, take action, demonstrate results, and be held accountable across vast global supply chains. […] The recently launched Accountability Framework fills this need, responding to company requests for a clear roadmap to achieve ethical supply chains that protect ecosystems and respect human rights.”

South China Morning Post

Amazon fires and Brazilian beef: how Hong Kong’s massive appetite for the meat is driving rainforest’s doom by Kylie Knott, on September 25, 2019

“‘Companies with ties to Brazil should implement concrete policies to combat deforestation and call for stronger environmental policies in Hong Kong and abroad,’ [WWF HK spokesman] Thomas Gomersall says.

He adds that firms can look to the Accountability Framework, a set of principles developed by the WWF and its partners that show how companies can credibly meet commitments to eliminate deforestation and human-rights violations from their commodity supply chains.”

The CSR Journal

CSR: Apple’s Commitment for Amazon Fires by Hency Thacker, on September 3, 2019

“Several other leading companies have also been drawn into the Amazon fires through their affiliation with the Rainforest Alliance. Rainforest Alliance works with global companies on eliminating forest destruction in their supply chains through the Accountability Framework Initiative among other activities.”

Revista Globo Rural

Platforma de boas prácticas by Raphael Salomão, in September 2019

“‘O Framework não substitui, mas endossa e recomenda seguir os parâmetros da Moratória da Soja para as companhias que têm compromisso com desmatamento zero de soja no mundo.’

Se uma empresa não fizer parte de nenhum programa específico de certificação, acrescenta [o executivo do Imaflora] Luis Fernando, pode também usar o AFi como referência para suas ações de sustentabilidade. E, a partir das diretrizes da ferramenta, será possível avaliar se essa companhia está, de fato, indo na direção das metas que tenha assumido.”

Innovation Forum

Delivering on supply chain commitments: Closing the accountability loop in 2020 and beyond Webinar hosted by Ian Welsh and featuring Dr. Leah Samberg and Philip Rothrock, on July 31, 2019

“In this webinar, we’ll discuss how companies can use newly available tools and platforms to deliver on their supply chain commitments. We’ll also assess how they can accurately and effectively measure and demonstrate that success. We’ll discuss:

  • What is the Accountability Framework, and how can it be used to strengthen and accelerate company commitments?
  • What are the latest developments and new norms around supply chain transparency?
  • How the Accountability Framework and Supply Change guide corporate reporting
  • How companies can measure progress and outcomes related to corporate commitments”


Rainforest Alliance welcomes new EU commitment on deforestation by Anthony Myers, on July 31, 2019

“The NGO stakeholder is a key member of the consortium that developed the ‘Accountability Framework’, referenced by the EU as an example of an initiative for forest and supply chain transparency.”

Ecosystem Marketplace

Webinar: Understanding the Accountability Framework by Declan Foraise, on July 24, 2019

“NGOs spent the past two years creating a framework for holding companies accountable for their impacts on nature. They called it the Accountability Framework, and unveiled it last month. Now you can learn more about the Accountability Framework by tuning in to an Innovation Forum webinar called “Delivering on supply chain commitments: Closing the accountability loop in 2020 and beyond.”


New initiative aims to jump-start stalled drive toward zero deforestation by Sarah Sax, on July 19, 2019

“Directed toward companies, [the Accountability Framework] was developed to help make sure corporate commitments, activities, monitoring systems and reporting practices are in line with common and agreed-upon norms and best practices…

Beyond just providing environmental standards, the AFi also brings on board human rights organizations like the FPP to draw up a set of ethical guidelines that look beyond traditional certification systems that have focused largely just on forests and native vegetation.”

Ethical Corp

Training for the deforestation marathon by David Cleary, on July 15, 2019

“When companies first made deforestation commitments, they lacked the clarity needed to implement these pledges in a credible way. For example, what definitions should they use for key terms like forests, deforestation and conversion? What are the best monitoring options? What are expectations and standards around transparency, verification and supply chain management? Now the Accountability Framework, launched last week, can fill the information gap and produce such guidance for companies, much of which has already been road-tested with businesses around the world.”

The Hill

Americans deserve better coverage of carbon finance by Steve Zwick and Tim Whitley, on June 22, 2019

“Such things need rigorous definitions, and the scientific debate around them recently reached a milestone, when the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) unveiled a new global consensus on what a forest is, what deforestation is, and how forests impacts can be measured.”

Bionic Planet

An Accountability Framework For Deforestation Podcast hosted by Steve Zwick and featuring Jeff Milder, on June 18, 2019

“Environmental NGOs have long pressured companies to reduce their impact on forests, and companies have long complained that every NGO seems to come with different demands.

Now a coalition of more than a dozen NGOs have called the corporate bluff by creating a framework that provides a universal way of accounting for deforestation.

They call it the Accountability Framework, and today’s guest, Jeff Milder, is one of the people helping to pull it together.”

Agence d’information d’Afrique Centrale

Cadre de responsabilisation des entreprises : les acteurs de la sous-région se concertent à Brazzaville by Guillaume Ondzé, on June 14, 2019

“Ces dernières années, des centaines d’entreprises se sont publiquement engagées à éliminer la déforestation et l’exploitation humaine de leurs filières de valeur forestières et agricoles. « Ceci marque une évolution prometteuse pour la protection des écosystèmes et le bien-être de la population et des communautés », a déclaré Adrienne Stork, coordonnatrice du Programme AFI chez Rainforest alliance.”

The CSR Journal

CSR: Combating Deforestation – Responsibility of Companies to Protect Environment by Hency Thacker, on June 14, 2019

“To change and aid the companies to be more accountable, The Accountability Framework initiative has been launched by a coalition of civil society partners which seeks to close this implementation gap by giving companies the support they need to turn their pledges into action.”

Fast Company

The Accountability Framework wants to show if companies are actually keeping their promises by Eillie Anzilotti, on June 14, 2019

“The AFi, says Jeff Milder, professor at Cornell and director of programs at the Rainforest Alliance, is meant to act as the Rosetta stone for environmental and ethical commitments. In other words, the AFi is designed to apply across different contexts, and standardizes the different metrics and requirements of various global initiatives on climate and labor justice—including the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals—into a single, comprehensive framework.”


Financial measures to support deforestation-free sustainable agriculture: RTRS conference highlights and Cargill pledges by Jane Byrne, on June 13, 2019

“As regards developing its action plan for sustainable soy in South America, the agribusiness giant [Cargill] said it drew down on several sources, including The Soy Toolkit developed by Proforest and its 5-element approach, as well as the Accountability Framework initiative.”


Roadmap developed to abolish unethical supply chains: ‘We have the tools, now is the time to act’ by Flora Southey, on June 13, 2019

“Compared to two or three years ago, before the development of AFi and its recently launched framework, ‘we are now in a much better place’, said [the AFi’s Jeff] Milder. ‘We have much greater clarity on definitions, on implementation guidelines, on best practice around implementing deforestation, no conversion, and human rights commitments.

Ethical Corp

‘Now companies can finally be held to account for their no-deforestation commitments’ by Morgan Gillespy and Leah Samberg, on June 12, 2019

CDP and AFi are working together to make it easier for companies to use the CDP reporting platform to report against the principles of the Accountability Framework using standardised and widely accepted methods. Companies that report on their supply chain activities and commitment implementation using CDP will use many of the same definitions, concepts and metrics that are laid out in the framework, allowing for clear and consistent assessments of progress and performance.”

Ecosystem Marketplace

Nearly Half of Companies with Deforestation Risk Aren’t Addressing It by Steve Zwick, on June 10, 2019

“[The high conservation value approach and the high carbon stock approach], in turn, spawned the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) in 2016 to forge consensus not only on what constitutes a forest, but what constitutes a deforestation commitment.”

Forest 500

Extending the ambition of company commitments to zero deforestation in soy supply chains by Ellen Griffiths, on April 18, 2019

“There are many initiatives which can help companies move from forming policy commitments through to implementation, including the Accountability Framework Initiative and Proforest’s Soy Toolkit, which provides resources and guidance…”

Supply Chain Dive

Mars discloses Tier 1 cocoa suppliers in step toward supply chain transparency by Emma Cosgrove, on March 27, 2019

“Mars’ plans include supplier accountability infrastructure provided by the Accountability Framework, a set of core principles and definitions for supply chain accountability developed by a group of environmental and labor-focused NGOs…”

Food Ingredients First

The reputational risk of deforestation-linked soy: Investors call for action on global supply chains by Robin Wyers, on March 11, 2019

“[Companies] need to be able to develop time-bound action plans in order to be able to bring [suppliers] back into compliance. The Accountability Framework is looking to help companies and organizations with a uniform way to be able to talk about this issue.”

Green Biz

With clock ticking on 2020 deforestation pledges, 5 ideas for sourcing palm oil sustainably by Meg Wilcox on February 27, 2019

“Yet even with this positive momentum, many manufacturing companies and retailers lag behind their sustainable palm and no deforestation by 2020 pledges. Such lack of ambition is not lost on investors, who are “getting to the point where they really want to see these policies in action” said Siobhan Collins…

…There are ample resources, from the Accountability Framework Initiative to industry stakeholder groups and initiatives summarized by Ceres Engage the Chain, that could help companies move from paper commitments to action on the ground.”

Forest 500

Why is FPIC important for deforestation-free supply chains? by Emma Mutch on January 25, 2019

Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is the human right for indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold consent to any proposed activity that may affect them or their territories… Incorporating FPIC into sustainable sourcing commitments is recommended by the Accountability Framework initiative, which aims to develop a consistent framework for companies to deliver on zero deforestation commitments. ”

The Nature Conservancy

2020 Deforestation Targets Lead to Positive Outcomes—Even If We’re Behind Schedule by Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy on January 17, 2019

“So what does a credible plan [to follow through on deforestation commitments] look like? Benchmark against the Accountability Framework; cross-check planning against it; take advantage of tools like Global Forest Watch and Agroideal; and be sure to work with supply chain partners and governments. It takes a village to get this important work done.”

Forest 500

The countdown to 2020 by Helen Burley on January 14, 2019

“…companies need to recognise the deforestation risks in their supply chains and introduce policies to address those risks. … The new Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) will provide a toolkit for companies to follow. ”