Concern for the world’s forests is mounting as their critical role in reducing global carbon emissions is increasingly acknowledged.
Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate with 13 million hectares (32 million acres) destroyed per year*. That is the equivalent area of forest half the size of the UK being lost every year. Not only is deforestation responsible for some 18 per cent of man made global carbon dioxide emissions but the destruction of forests around the world also causes wider problems such as habitat loss, the loss of species and the devastation of local community populations.
*FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010
A ‘Forest Footprint’ is the total amount of deforestation caused directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, by an organisation or product. A company’s appreciation of its forest footprint is a measure of how well it understands, and can therefore manage, its impact on forests.
British Airways is contributing directly to the reduction of deforestation, by focusing on our forest footprint and changing the way we do business to reduce this wherever possible. We have identified the key products that we use, which drive deforestation being timber, beef, palm oil and soy. Based on this we have estimated that our current forest footprint is 127 acres.
Forest Footprint Disclosure Project
The Forest Footprint Disclosure Project seeks to identify where companies use key commodities that contribute to global deforestation and highlight best practice among different industry sectors in order to achieve reductions in the rate of deforestation.
2011 saw British Airways gain Sector Leader under the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project for the second year running. This builds on British Airways’ achievement of being the first airline to participate in the programme when it was launched in 2009.