They counter climate change and nurture vital species. They support local communities to prosper, and supply markets across the globe. Forests are powerful. And WWF’s Forests Forward programme is here to help companies harness that power to achieve ambitious sustainability, social impact and business goals all at once.
Forests Forward is a signature WWF programme for corporate action in support of nature, climate and people. WWF’s local and global experts support companies committing to ambitious goals by helping them prioritise the forest-related activities that will yield the greatest impact, and integrating new activities into initiatives they already have in place. Then, WWF helps companies take action. Sourcing more responsibly to reduce a company’s forest footprint. Investing in forest landscapes to protect and restore the world’s most threatened and ecologically important ones. Improving the management of forests, to boost each forest’s ability to sustain biodiversity, benefit climate, and support local communities. For each activity, WWF is there, helping companies track their progress and communicate their successes far and wide. And when Forests Forward companies come together, to address shared challenges or co-create solutions, they not only accelerate toward their goals, but multiply their impact.
Achieving ambitious sustainability, social impact, and business goals is complicated. As the most trusted conservation organisation on the planet, WWF has the scientific expertise, global and local perspective, and brand visibility to help corporate partners more easily realize their goals, and amplify successes.
WWF’s Forests Forward partners – including HP, IKEA, SIG and many more – are reaching beyond simple tree planting, holistically supporting forests, and the species and communities who call them home. Together, with WWF, they are unlocking the power of forests to achieve their goals and deliver meaningful results for our planet and all who live here.
Participants in Forests Forward undertake a wide range of actions that can fall under one or more of the following areas:
Participants in this action area are those managing forest resources, be it natural forests, plantations or entire landscapes. They want to manage their resources according to best management practices, not only for direct financial benefits, but based on a long-term vision of responsible resource management.
By working on specific impacts to improve their forest management and make it sustainable, they directly contribute to eliminating illegal logging, deforestation and reducing forest degradation. One can think of High Conservation Value (HCV) habitat protection, better silviculture, reforestation and biodiversity restoration, improvement of certain ecosystem services, more inclusive forest management, increased welfare and positive social impacts to name some.
Organizations participating in this field can be any type of forest steward including companies, smallholder, community forests and state forest enterprises. Forests Forward also supports specific groups of smallholders and community forests on achieving positive forest outcomes. Where possible, synergies are being sought with initiatives supporting those organizations.
Participants in this action area are those that either have a clear link in their sourcing to important forests or landscapes, or are linchpins in maintaining the connection of improving and credibly certified wood product flow from production forests to the global market. This may be in addition to improving forest management actions, in the case of some organizations or groups.
Forests Forward can help these participants influence changes in supply chains that are critical to a particular forest or landscape, make better decisions about the wood they source to help tackle illegality, and the way in which they connect to other actors in the market interested in responsible forest trade.
Participants in this action area want fair, inclusive and equitable value chains to create a better market, not only capitalize on the image of responsible sourcing. Their commitment to responsible sourcing of forest products is based on a long-term, credible vision to contribute to a better future for forests and people.
Participants in this action area are seeking to invest in impactful change that others can learn from and adopt elsewhere through a suite of tools and approaches beyond responsible forest management or supply chains.
Whether it’s a project to maintain, enhance and demonstrate the enormous value that forests hold, or to support sustainable growth and timber supply while positively impacting people and nature, Forests Forward helps identify and design practical, impactful action.
Forests Forward supports participants looking at specific impacts and innovative approaches within the timber trade (e.g. through innovations to combat illegal logging), or proactively engaging on broader conservation outcomes like supporting anti-poaching measures. Other forest-based interventions and actions that could be undertaken are forest restoration beyond legal requirements, support Protected Areas (PA) and High Conservation Value (HCV) management, fair market access through preferential purchasing policies, pricing that recognizes sustainability actions or projects that directly improve people's livelihood such as payment for ecosystem services.
Likewise, other non-forest sector organizations such as banks or investors for example, that are interested in making a positive contribution to the global sustainability agenda, might want to engage through Forests Forward in this area of action.