I support and invest in Green Century’s investments as a way of “widening our compassion” for the forest living-worlds and the species and peoples at home there.
Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Capital Management, writes: “We at Green Century° have been working to end tropical deforestation for nearly a decade now. We do this by pressing the companies in which we invest to stop purchasing commodities produced on deforested land. We’ve made great progress over the years in preventing the burning of tropical rainforests to create palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, where the vast majority of palm oil is produced. Protecting these rainforests sequesters carbon, preserves biodiversity, and improves air quality for millions of people.
“Back in 2014, Green Century came to a landmark agreement with Conagra, the packaged foods giant known for brands like Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher’s, and Duncan Hines, to end sourcing from palm oil suppliers engaged in deforestation. Since then, Conagra has made great strides, now sourcing one hundred percent certified sustainable palm oil.
“This summer, Conagra went further and agreed to set a time-bound goal for eliminating deforestation from all of its supply chains. This will help to protect regions like the Amazon where deforestation continues to accelerate. Conagra’s commitment comes in exchange for the withdrawal of a Green Century shareholder proposal calling on the company to stop sourcing ingredients from land that has been logged or degraded.
“While deforestation rates in Indonesia and Malaysia continue to decline, the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest reached a record high in the first half of 2022: an area five times the size of New York City has been razed since January. These days, cattle production is by far the largest contributor to destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which stores massive quantities of carbon dioxide. The Amazon is also home to ten percent of all known species, and is among the last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles, and pink river dolphins.
“That’s why we’re working to ensure that companies that buy beef are not contributing to the destruction of this special place, which also is home to more than 1 million Indigenous people, representing nearly 400 different ethnic groups.
“Conagra purchases beef for use in products like Chef Boyardee, Hebrew National hot dogs, and Marie Callender’s frozen meals, among others, and its customers don’t want to be enjoying these products at the expense of the Amazon rainforest.
“Conagra’s new commitment to eliminate deforestation in all of its supply chains is an important step. But to achieve it, the company will need to convince major suppliers like JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, to stop purchasing cattle raised on deforested land.
“Our shareholder advocacy team will be working to ensure that Conagra follows through on this necessary action. But you can do your part as well: sign this online petition from our friends at Mighty Earth, calling on JBS, recently described in Bloomberg as ‘among the biggest drivers of Amazon deforestation the world has ever known,’ to end deforestation now. The Amazon rainforest can’t wait.”
Your eco-choice investments might help resist Amazon deforestation.