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  1. 1. vision for s u s ta i n a b i l i t y White logo
  2. 2. “ The long-awaited tipping point is at hand. We now live in a unique moment, pulsing with the need and the opportunity to radically redesign the world for our children and their children. The Rainforest Alliance’s work to transform land use and business practices has been in the forefront of the effort to tip the balance decisively towards a sustainable future. Today, the scales are moving our way.” tensie whelan, President, Rainforest Alliance passionate More than a theoretical exercise: The Rainforest Alliance Vision For A Sustainable Future If you were asked to reengineer the entire global economy and set it on a path toward sustainability within just a few short years, where would you begin? How would you leverage rapid, widespread change so businesses could thrive while conserving natural resources and ensuring workers and their families were well-treated? In a very real sense, this is exactly the mission that the Rainforest Alliance set for itself when it was launched in 1987.
  3. 3. Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability 1 In the late 1980s, the world woke up to the alarming fact that we were losing 72,000 acres of rainforest a day to logging and agricultural conversion. While many nonprofits advocated boycotts, the Rainforest Alliance recognized that people in the Amazon Basin were earning a living by selling their natural resources. So instead of destroying economic activity in an effort to protect forests, we concluded more could be achieved by making these resource-dependent economic activities sustainable. Provide people with the means to extract a sustainable livelihood from the land, give businesses the opportunity to source responsibly produced goods, make sustainable goods and services available and affordable to consumers, and you have connected the supply and demand sides of a market-driven engine for a sustainable economy. T The Rainforest Alliance Strategy he Rainforest Alliance has succeeded in igniting this market engine and using A it to drive the widespread adoption of bout a third of the world’s population – sustainable practices at astonishing speed – some two billion people – draw their not only in the Amazon, but in forests, on farms livelihoods from arable land, forests and and throughout businesses and markets worldwide. water. And that number – along with the global Each dollar invested in the Rainforest Alliance population – is rapidly growing. How we manage protects roughly five acres of forest and farm the production, consumption and renewal of natural land. Every $20 makes significant and lasting resources will determine the social condition of improvements in the life of a farm worker. billions, the environmental condition of the planet and our collective future. We have brought billions of dollars worth of benefits to key, resource-intensive industries, conserved The human activities with the greatest impact by biodiversity on over a hundred million acres and far are farming and forestry, while the largest global improved the lives of more than a million workers industry bar none is tourism. By focusing on these and their families. In recent years, production and sectors, the Rainforest Alliance pursues a coherent sales of Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainable strategy for leveraging far-reaching, systemic changes goods have experienced phenomenal growth, that can “tip” key markets toward sustainability, exploding into mainstream markets and becoming which can in turn change mankind’s relationship part of widespread consumer consciousness. In the to the planet. years ahead, we believe we have the potential to make sustainability the norm in key industries, making socially and environmentally responsible production an integral aspect of successful economic activity in the 21st century.
  4. 4. Certification helped Chiquita cut costs, for example saving $5 million a year in reduced agrochemical use and $3 million a year in pallet recycling in its European operations. From 1995 to 2005, even as Chiquita was making major investments so that its company-owned farms could become Rainforest Alliance Certified, it was able to cut costs 12 percent collaborative and increase productivity 27 percent. Global purchases of coffee beans Cultivating Conservation 2007 from Rainforest Alliance on Farms Certified farms T he principle agent of ecosystem destruction 2006 and species extinction is not the emission of greenhouse gasses or global warming; it is 2005 agriculture. Farming has the largest environmental footprint of any industry. Occupying 38 percent of the Earth’s land area, agriculture uses more fresh 2004 water, destroys more forests and affects more of the 2003 planet’s surface than any other single activity. So how can we continue to feed the world’s population when the demand for food is expected Global purchases of coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms have, to grow by between 50 and 60 percent by 2030? on average, doubled each year since 2003 (from 7 million pounds in 2003 to 91.3 million pounds in 2007). In the United States, where imports of coffee grew by less than 2 percent from 2004 to 2006, imports of Rainforest Alliance Certified We can do it by giving people incentives to grow coffee beans grew 106 percent. Beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms food sustainably – to keep soil productive, water currently have about a 2 percent share of the global market, which is forecast to clean and ecosystems intact. Thousands of Rainforest grow to 5 percent by 2012 and to as much as 10 percent by 2014. Alliance Certified farms in Latin America, Africa and Asia sustainably produce coffee, tea, cocoa, fruit, conditions, education for farm children, job training ferns and flowers. These certified farms have greatly and health care. They increase profitability and reduced their environmental footprints, cut back competitiveness through better management on agrochemical use, protected soil and waterways, practices, greater efficiency, better product quality contributed to forest conservation and reforestation and improved morale. and conserved wildlife habitat. In 2007, the combined retail value of Rainforest Not only are they environmentally sustainable, Alliance Certified coffee, bananas and cocoa was Rainforest Alliance Certified farms also pay workers an estimated $1.2 billion, with market shares for fairly and offer them decent housing, safe working many certified products growing at double-digit rates.
  5. 5. Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability 3 “A mug of coffee should represent a whole respectable world – a decent and edifying way of life. When we began the Rainforest Alliance program, we believed our coffee should represent our efforts to protect the waterways, forests and animals. It had to reflect the excellent spouses, mothers, sons, workers, brothers and friends that we are. Being better people each day is what we call passion for excellence, and excellence equals quality.” Jader rivera, Founder and President of Procafé, Colombia Of all the world’s commodity crops, coffee is of enormous environmental, social and economic importance – particularly in the tropics. The second largest legally traded export commodity after oil, growing coffee employs some 25 million families worldwide. Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms offer decent living and working conditions for farm workers and their families, while achieving up to 90 percent decreases in water use and up to 20 percent increases in yields. They also buffer and protect unique forest areas that provide critical wildlife habitat. Coffee grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms is widely available on supermarket shelves and through mainstream outlets including Whole Foods Markets, Holiday Inn and Wal-Mart in the US and McDonald’s cafés across Europe. Kraft’s Yuban, Caribou Coffee, Gloria Jean’s Coffees and many other brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan include Rainforest Alliance Certified beans in their blends. By doing so, they are helping to build sustainability into the culture of the coffee industry – benefiting workers and the environment while bolstering the bottom line. And we are mainstreaming the trend. Kraft, one of the two biggest coffee buyers in the world, is sourcing three percent of its coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and is increasing its purchases annually.
  6. 6. 4 Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability A Sustainable Footing for Forestry F orests provide food, fuel, fiber, medicine and management – helping sustain and enhance the building materials. They shelter wildlife, livelihoods derived from them. In 1993, the Rainforest prevent erosion, filter water, protect coral reefs, Alliance was instrumental in founding the Forest control pests and mitigate climate change by capturing Stewardship Council (FSC), a nonprofit organization and storing atmospheric carbon. They are also the that sets rigorous standards for responsible forest planet’s fastest-disappearing natural resource. management, and we remain the leading FSC certifier. Four hundred years ago, two-thirds of the planet’s As of 2007, the Rainforest Alliance had issued FSC land mass was covered by forest. Today, only half that certificates for responsible forest management in area is forested, and we continue to lose what stands. more than 60 countries. We work with more than The world’s remaining forests are often concentrated 1,600 small landowners, indigenous and community- in the most biologically diverse and sensitive areas, owned forestry operations and companies of all sizes. typically in countries with few protections or forest Sustainable foresters ranging from Canadian giants preserves in place, making them as vulnerable as they Domtar and Tembec, managing vast tracts of northern are valuable. boreal forest, to the Kayapó indigenous people of pragmatic the Amazon, extracting Brazil nuts from the world’s The Rainforest Alliance has pioneered sustainable largest FSC-certified tropical forest, rely on us to audit forestry on a global scale, helping to make working and certify their operations. forests sustainable, and – by promoting responsible
  7. 7. FSC-certified working forests provide for protected areas, regeneration and reforestation and sustainable c ar bon oFFse t harvesting practices. They protect riparian, aquatic and other sensitive ecosystems and meet the world’s ver iFic ation Distribution of the World’s Remaining Forests To limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, scientists say we must freeze carbon emissions 93% quickly and reduce them 80 percent by 2050. Nearly a quarter 7% of carbon emissions are the 169 Countries 24 Countries result of deforestation, so forest conservation and reforestation are 93 percent of the world’s remaining forests are concentrated in 24 countries, including 14 of the 17 most megadiverse countries in the world: The Russian key tools in the fight to stabilize Federation, Brazil, Canada, the U.S., China, Australia, Congo, Indonesia, Peru, India, Sudan, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Tanzania, Argentina, Myanmar, climate change. To provide tropical Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Japan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon and Guyana. This makes them key strategic targets for sustainable forestry. communities with an incentive to sustainably manage their forests and to ensure that these forests meet established international standards, Rainforest Alliance auditors are independently verifying carbon offset projects around the world. We have verified or are working toward verification of projects in Indonesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the US, the UK, Uganda, Ghana and Madagascar. Additional offset verification projects on coffee farms are underway in Colombia, Mexico and Kenya. These forests and farms will provide reliable sequestration of over three million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
  8. 8. 6 Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability highest standards for the protection of endangered species habitat. These forests reduce the use of chemicals and improve worker safety and training practices. And they benefit local communities economically and environmentally. To meet FSC certification standards, landowners are required to consult with and balance the interests of all stakeholders, including indigenous and local people. Today, over 11 percent of global forestry production is FSC-certified, and the Rainforest Alliance has served as the certifier for 44 percent of that total – currently over 100 million acres. This represents an area the size of California, much of it located in some of the world’s most biodiverse areas. By helping businesses of all sizes, cooperatives, communities and individuals to manage their forests, the Rainforest Alliance is contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and the mitigation of global warming. Continuing deforestation currently accounts for 24 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, according to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. But continuing growth of FSC-certified forest acreage is helping to slow global deforestation rates, which is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways of reducing atmospheric carbon. Comparing Sustainably Managed FSC Forestlands to Preserved Areas In 1990, Guatemala’s government created the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a two million-hectare forest area that included core protected areas and an initially controversial category: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forest areas where limited extraction is permitted. Today, the data shows that the FSC-certified working areas actually fared far better in terms of conservation than the other preserved areas. A recent study found that M AYA B I O S P H E R E R E S E R v E the deforestation rate in the protected area was twelve times the deforestation rate MExICO in the FSC-certified working BElIzE forest. FSC-certified areas also experienced much fewer wildfires. This study demonstrates GUATEMAlA how FSC sustainable management of working forests can FSC-certified Areas Kilometros 0 25 50 Core Protected Areas Deforestation 1986-2002 Rainforest Alliance actually lead to superior Includes data from CEMEC-CONAP/WCS Deforestation 2002-2007 30/January/2007 environmental outcomes.
  9. 9. A Sustainable Destination for Tourism T he world’s largest industry is not energy agencies, we promote higher environmental and social or defense; it is tourism, which employs one standards for the tourism industry and government in twelve workers worldwide. In recent years, tourism policy. tourism has annually generated between $3.5 and $5.5 trillion of economic activity. Sustainable tourism is still an emerging field, but our efforts have had a measurable impact. More than If the tourism sector were a country, it would have 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses as well as the second largest economy in the world, surpassed indigenous and community groups in Latin America only by the United States. And the industry is growing have been introduced to sustainable certification and fast – with the number of tourists expected to double best management practices. More than 1,500 of these by 2020. have participated in advanced workshops, where we provide the tools and techniques for running a Managed sustainably, tourism can help conserve sustainable tourism business. natural resources and biodiversity, and generate sustainable livelihoods and revenues. It can create We have laid the groundwork for a global financial incentives to keep forests standing and accreditation body, the Sustainable Tourism sensitive ecosystems intact. The Rainforest Alliance Stewardship Council, and industry leaders – from is leading a global effort to help define, standardize major tour operators to Expedia – work with us to pioneering and scale up sustainable tourism. Partnering with promote conservation and sustainable economic industry associations, nonprofits, and government development through tourism.
  10. 10. D uring our first 20 years, the Rainforest quickly becoming so established as to be virtually Alliance has worked to integrate unstoppable, and that in the foreseeable future they sustainability into the economic will pass a point of no return. Already, major mainstream, transforming destructive market systems corporations and mainstream consumer outlets into engines of sustainable production, sourcing, are embracing sustainable practices and products. consumption and equitable trade. We have enlisted global companies, reached millions of consumers The Rainforest Alliance is working to optimize these and captured significant market shares. trends, setting strategic benchmarks for our own activities in sustainable agriculture, forestry, tourism Past experience informs our outlook for the next and new industries in the years ahead. Meanwhile, 20 years; each day we move closer to a “tipping point” mass markets themselves will continue to accelerate when adopting responsible practices will become the and globalize the trend towards sustainable practices, business norm. We believe sustainability trends are making sustainability a key criterion of success. About five percent of Fortune 500 companies already work with us. In the first quarter of 2008 alone, the list of new businesses joining them included: holiday inn – 1,000 hotels in the US unilever – the world’s largest tea company, pouring 55,000 cups of coffee from Rainforest which has committed itself to work with the Alliance Certified farms daily. Rainforest Alliance to source all its tea from certified sustainable farms – which will be Mars, inc. – collaborating on establishing 12 percent of the world’s tea, grown in places best sustainability practices for West African like Kenya, Tanzania, India and Argentina. cocoa growers. whole Foods – carrying Rainforest Mcdonald’s uK – the first major United Alliance Certified coffee, bananas and chocolate Kingdom retailer to source coffee 100 percent at Whole Foods Market stores throughout the from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms – an United States and Canada. estimated 1.8 million pounds of it in 2007. McDonald’s stores in Germany and Spain are following suit. scholastic – which made the largest The Rainforest Alliance currently works with more than 2000 single purchase of FSC-certified paper in history companies globally. Some of the trailblazing companies that to print the US edition of the last volume in the have been working with us for years include: Gibson Guitar, Harry Potter series. Kraft Foods, Chiquita, Caribou, Tembec, Domtar, Klabin, IKEA, Home Depot, The Forestland Group, Potlatch and others.
  11. 11. Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability 9 rainForest alliance tarGets For 2012 Over the next few years, the Rainforest Alliance will continue to expand the land area of certified agricultural production and increase the number of sustainable products in the market. Market shares from Rainforest Alliance Certified products will continue to grow, reaching five percent of the global coffee supply and 20 percent of the global banana supply by 2012. We will double the amount of forestland certified as sustainably managed, especially in biodiverse areas – from 100 million acres in 2007 to 237 million acres by 2012. We will recruit 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies to source Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainable paper and engage 20 large furniture makers to source sustainable wood, seeding the market with major corporate demand for certified inputs. “Twenty years ago, Corporate America and environmentalists squared off regularly and acrimoniously across the globe. Today, large companies can’t stop talking about their green initiatives, and groups like the Rainforest Alliance deserve a slice of the credit.” strategic Matthew boyle, Fortune by 2012 we will launch : • New standards and best practices for the production of soy, palm oil, sugar and other crops, enabling the potential environmental benefits of biofuels to be realized, while helping to avoid pitfalls, such as the conversion of forests to cropland, that could potentially result from the boom in biofuel crops. • New standards for sustainable cattle ranching will reduce the environmental impacts of grazing livestock, one of the most destructive forms of land use. Overgrazing has degraded 1.68 billlion acres (680 million hectares) worldwide. • A climate change initiative to certify carbon offsetting projects and protect vast tracts of forest that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, providing a quantifiable, verifiable incentive to conserve, replant and sustainably manage forests. • The Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council, a global governing body that accredits tourism certification programs and promotes sustainable tourism worldwide, providing a powerful economic incentive to conserve high value environments, as well as sustainable, resource-based livelihoods for millions. • A financial initiative that will help provide funding to companies making investments in sustainable production and a public policy initiative to encourage governments to provide more such incentives for sustainable production and consumption.
  12. 12. The Post-Tipping Point Economy T he Rainforest Alliance envisions a future when producers and retailers bring a wide range of sustainable goods and services to market, and consumers are empowered to make choices that contribute to a socially just and environmentally sound economy. The outlines of this future are already visible. Current case studies of Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified forests afford glimpses of an emerging global economy that thrives on sustainable principles. For example, implementing sustainable production helped Chiquita cut costs by 12 percent and increase productivity by 27 percent. It boosted coffee yields up to 20 percent in Colombia, and increased profitability by 1,400 percent on a Peruvian coffee farm. It connected rural Nepalese workers to global markets for the first time and leveraged $50 in new investments for every initial dollar investment in a pan-Latin American project. These are examples of global, market-driven sustainability trends that are rapidly approaching a tipping point. As they continue to grow, they will impact consumer behavior, livelihoods, markets, policy and the global environment in certain ways we can already foresee: FroM rural nepal to the world: SUSTAINABIlITY GOES GlOBAl Working with USAID, Aveda and local nonprofits in Nepal’s mountain communities, the Rainforest Alliance trained 11,000 rural residents to sustainably harvest wild herbs and bark. Trainees inventoried wildlife, identifying and protecting two threatened species. They worked through conflicts over land use, such as grazing livestock versus forest management. They developed financial management tools. The project generated 14 new small businesses that sustainably produce pain relief oil, personal care products, teas and handmade papers, and plugged over 5,300 households into the global marketplace. Before certification, primary markets for the herbs and bark were in India and Nepal. After certification, markets expanded to include S&D Aroma in the United Kingdom, Aveda in the US and tea distributors in Europe.
  13. 13. Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability 11 As these trends continue to build momentum, they will impact consumer behavior, livelihoods, markets, policy and the global environment in certain ways we can already foresee . . . Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee cultivatinG a sustainable Future farms in Colombia are growing fast For coloMbia and have already raised standards, productivity and profitability $0.25/lb Price Premium for Rainforest Alliance while improving environmental Certified Coffee Farms in Colombia and social conditions. Farmers in Colombia have installed eco-friendly water treatment systems, seen an $.75 Million $1.6 Million increase in butterfly and migratory bird populations, established social security, improved housing and provided other benefits for workers. Beyond coffee, producers see themselves as cultivating a 2005 2006 sustainable future for their children, their land and their country. As one Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers will triple grower on a Rainforest Alliance certified coffee production over the next three years. Certified farm said, “Every cafetero is an entrepreneur, a protector of biodiversity, a provider of jobs.”
  14. 14. 12 Rainforest Alliance - Vision for Sustainability Increasingly, products will carry their “real” Alliance is helping to conserve sensitive ecosystems prices, with the cost and added value of sustainable while sustaining and enhancing the livelihoods production built in. Consumers and businesses based on them. Rainforest Alliance Certified will be more aware of the impacts their choices have farms and FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified on workers and the environment, and will forests have reduced habitat loss, energy and water demonstrate their support for sustainability through consumption, pesticide and chemical fertilizer use their purchases. and erosion. At the same time they are improving biodiversity management, reforestation rates, business This is already beginning to happen. Even while accountability and performance, employment rates prices in food and other commodities markets and worker safety, education and healthcare. are changing to incorporate higher energy and transportation costs, over half of US consumers Such gains in the agricultural, forestry and surveyed in a Forrester Research poll identified tourism industries form the nucleus of an emerging themselves as “green.” This includes 12 percent sustainable economy. As they achieve global scale, (or 25 million) “bright green” consumers strongly they could extend similar benefits around the motivated to buy goods that save energy or are world, while helping spread sustainable standards produced in an environmentally responsible way. and benefits to other economic sectors – ranching, Their ranks, like the market for certified sustainable aquaculture, biofuels and eventually mining, energy goods and services, are growing rapidly. and other industries. Growing demand for sustainable products and Ultimately, our approach stands to transform the services will help protect threatened areas and help way the global economy works. Businesses, financial degraded areas to rebound. In the foreseeable future, markets and policymakers will no longer regard billions of natural resource-based livelihoods will be sustainability as an “externality,” but as a key put on a sustainable footing. criterion for success and an integral aspect of all economic activity. In the post-tipping point economy, attainable In fact, this is already happening. On farms global markets can become engines of environmental from Indonesia to Côte d’Ivoire, in hotels and lodges conservation and social justice. from Guatemala to the Galapagos, the Rainforest GrowinG investMents FiFtyFold in latin aMerica Governments and international financial institutions are increasingly embracing sustainability certification as a development strategy. The Certified Sustainable Products Alliance (CSPA) has been a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rainforest Alliance, its partners in the Sustainable Agriculture Network and more than 35 companies. It has worked with farms and forests in Central America and Mexico to certify over 300,000 acres of sustainable timber, coffee and banana production. This is improving competitiveness of forestry operations and farms in the region and boosting the supply, demand and value of their products. It also secures livelihoods $8.6 million $450 million and raises living standards in rural communities and catalyzes new trade and investment. For USAID’s investment of $8.6 million in the program, the CSPA leveraged $450 million of investment in sustainable product, marketing and technical assistance.
  15. 15. In Peru’s Yanesha Cooperative, Lavazza and VOLCAFE partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to sustainably produce beans for ¡Tierra! coffee. A comparison of life on the farm before and after the upgrades required for certification were implemented shows the following: Before After Top grade coffee production 85% 91.5% 6.5% Number of tree species on a farm 12 19 58.3% Number of children attending school 132 148 12.1% Net income per hectare $23.60 $353.84 1499.3% sustainable is attainable We believe our vision of a sustainable future is not only possible, but imminent. We have witnessed firsthand the power of the marketplace to change thinking, management and production – moving people from entrenched unsustainable habits to sustainable ones. People do not wake up in the morning with the will to pollute, mistreat workers or endanger wildlife. If they are shown a better way and given the means and incentives to implement it, most will choose it. Completing the transition to a sustainable future is not a simple proposition. Basic processes and services must be reengineered to conserve energy and resources, reduce waste and protect biodiversity, while offering dignified working conditions and a decent standard of living for workers. People of all ages and walks of life are affected by these shifts and can embrace new ways of participating in the global economy. To that end, the Rainforest Alliance invites . . . • concerned consumers to purchase products bearing the Rainforest Alliance frog and FSC seals. • forward-thinking business leaders to partner with us to lead a revolution in how goods and services are produced and delivered. • public sector leaders to help create incentives for the redesign of the production of goods and services. • concerned individuals to support us with funding that can help accelerate the global-scale changes underway. As Malcolm Gladwell suggests in his book, The Tipping Point, incremental shifts can touch off “an epidemic of change.” The Rainforest Alliance has been a catalyst to significant shifts in the way businesses operate and consumers choose. We are at the threshold of a new, more sustainable economy. The time is now for all of us to recognize the power and sweep of this epidemic of change hurtling towards us – to anticipate it, facilitate it, invest in it and work to optimize it for a sustainable future. photo credits cover: chris wille (top), sQn communications design (bottom); inside cover J. henry Fair; p. 2 robert Goodier (top & bottom left), sQn communications design (top right); p. 3 rainforest alliance; p. 4 robert Goodier (bottom); p. 5 Jennifer vogel bass (bottom); p. 7 Gilda aburto (top right), chris wille (bottom); p. 8 rainforest alliance; p. 10 diane de oliver (top), robert Goodier (bottom); p. 11 robert Goodier (bottom right); back cover sQn communications design
  16. 16. s u s ta i n a b l e i s at ta i n a b l e White logo 665 Broadway, Suite 500 New York, NY 10012-2331 t 212.677.1900 F 212.677.2187 www.rainforest-alliance.org