Church Commissioners and other investors tackle commodity-driven deforestation and drive net-zero progress


The Church Commissioners for England and other global investors are acting to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their investment portfolios to drive progress towards a net zero, nature-positive economy. These investors make up the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA).

FSDA has developed and published its expectations for increased engagement with companies to address their deforestation impacts, assess their deforestation risk exposures, transform their supply chains to eliminate deforestation impacts, and disclose on their deforestation risk exposures, impacts and progress.

This FSDA initiative and increased engagement draw on other interventions made by the Church Commissioners and Church of England Pensions Board on deforestation including the signing of the Financial Sector Commitment on Eliminating Commodity-driven Deforestation. The Church Commissioners notably co-chair the Investor Policy Dialogue on Deforestation (IPDD) with Indonesia. The Pensions Board was also a signatory to the deforestation expectations.

All investor peers which make up FSDA agree that ending deforestation is essential for achieving net-zero targets. The FSDA is focused on using engagement and active ownership to eliminate deforestation (by 2025) from the agricultural soft-commodities tied to the lion’s share of impacts - beef, soy, palm oil, pulp and paper - as part of the global transition towards sustainable production.

Olga Hancock, Deputy Head of Responsible Investment at Church Commissioners for England, said: 
“It’s vital that we solve deforestation to help counter the climate crisis. Addressing soft commodity-driven deforestation plays a pivotal role in addressing this widespread, global issue. The financial sector plays a critical role in ensuring soft commodities are sourced sustainably, without driving deforestation further. Through this collaborative effort, the financial community can take a vital step in making this change happen, and ensuring the world’s rainforests are protected.”