• $5.6 trillion investor coalition joins forces with over 70 companies to call for zero deforestation in Brazil’s sensitive Cerrado region.
  • Major buyers of forest-risk commodities such as soy, including McDonald’s and Tesco are among the coalition. Investors include asset managers such as APG, Legal and General Investment Management and Green Century Capital Management.
  • Announcement made at today’s 16:00 GCAS session: Unlocking Climate Action: Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains

(San Francisco, 13 September 2018) At a session of the Global Climate Action Summit today it was revealed that investors managing over US$5.6 trillion in assets have now joined a coalition of large food companies to sign a Statement of Support for the Cerrado Manifesto. The coalition, launched in October 2017, is now the largest business group focused on halting forest conversion in the Cerrado, with over 100 signatories on the Statement of Support.

Coalition says stop deforestation
The statement calls for companies in the soy and meat value chain to adopt effective policies to stop further deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado region. Cerrado is an area of wooded grasslands alongside the Amazon, described as one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. The region has seen around 50% of its forests and native vegetation cleared for agricultural expansion in recent years. One of the main crops associated with Cerrado deforestation is soy – generally used for feed in the livestock industry.

Investors add their voice in support
The investor support for the Cerrado has emerged in the last six weeks, co-ordinated by the FAIRR Initiative, a London-based investor network set up by private equity pioneer Jeremy Coller, CIO of Coller Capital. In total, 44 investment institutions managing $5.6 trillion have signed the Cerrado Statement of Support since July. It follows the growth of the Investor Initiative for Sustainable Forests, a collaboration by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and US non-profit Ceres to foster engagement between investors and companies exposed to deforestation risks linked to soy and cattle production in South America.

The private sector coalition supports the development of sustainable agriculture in the region – such as using the 38 million hectares of existing agricultural land available in the region where crops like soy can sustainably expand without causing any further loss of forest assets.

Maria Lettini, Director of FAIRR, said:
“From steakhouses to supermarkets, the global food market relies on the sustainable supply of forest-related commodities such as soy and palm oil. Investors are concerned by the regulatory, operational and market risks created by mass deforestation in the Cerrado; and are now joining forces with leading food companies to call for zero deforestation in Cerrado. The precipitous pace of deforestation in the Cerrado hurts ecosystems rich in biodiversity and impacts the livelihoods of local farmers. This convergence of environmental and social risks also threatens the value of trillions of dollars of investments.”

Leslie Samuelrich, President, Green Century Capital Management, said
“It is very encouraging to see investors join with retailers, manufacturers, livestock and feed companies to call for zero deforestation in the Cerrado. The private sector must endeavour to stop the needless deforestation, caused by unsustainable soy and cattle production practices, that is undermining efforts to combat global climate change. We’re excited to see food companies engage in a constructive dialogue with local and global commodity traders to work towards a more sustainable future.”

FAIRR is particularly concerned about the deforestation risks inherent in the global protein supply chain. In July 2018, it launched the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, an assessment of how 60 global livestock and aquaculture companies disclose and manage key ESG risks, including deforestation and biodiversity loss. FAIRR’s assessment found that despite soy and cattle being the most significant drivers of deforestation, 84%of the companies in its Index – suppliers to some of the biggest food brands in the world – do not have targets or policies to address deforestation risk.

A full copy of the a Statement of Support is available at: https://cerradostatement.fairr.org/

Notes to editors

For more information please contact:

Investors supporting the Cerrado Statement are: ABP, ACTIAM; Adrian Dominican Sisters; Aegon Asset Management; APG Asset Management; Australian Ethical Investment Ltd; Aviva Investors; Boston Trust & Investment Management Company; Caja Ingenieros Gestión SGIIC, SAU; Castlefield Partners; Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes; Congregation of St. Joseph; Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise; Dignity Health; Domini Impact Investments; Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapid; EdenTree Investment Management Ltd; Fidante Partners; First Affirmative Financial Network; GES International; Green Century Capital Management; ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility); JLens Investor Network; Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust; Länsförsäkringar AB; Legal & General Investment Management (Holdings); Mercy Investment Services Inc; Miller Howard Investments; Mirova; NGS Super Fund; NN Investment Partners; Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment; Ohman; Pax World Management LLC; Priests of the Sacret Heart, US Province; Robeco; Seventh Generation Interfaith Inc; Sisters of St. Dominic/Racine Dominicans; Sisters of the Presentation of Aberdeen SD; Strathclyde Pension Fund; The Capuchin Franciscan Province of Saint Joseph; The Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation; Trillium Asset Management; Zevin Asset Management.

Corporate signatories can be found at: https://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/initiatives/environmental-sustainability/key-projects/deforestation/soy/business-for-the-cerrado/

The $8 trillion FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) investor network is a Coller Initiative. It is a collaborative forum for investors that aims to raise awareness of the material impacts factory farming and poor animal welfare can have on investment portfolios, and works to help investors share knowledge and form collaborative engagements on these issues. www.fairr.org