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Reducing Impacts

Overview

Humanity is using natural resources faster than they can be renewed. By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9 billion—increasing pressure not only on Earth’s natural resources, like timber, sugar cane and salmon, but also on many of the world’s most environmentally sensitive regions. This increasing pressure on Earth’s natural resources requires new business models that support more sustainable solutions.

WWF engages with major companies and their supply chains to change the way global commodities are produced, processed, consumed, and financed worldwide. Working with these companies, WWF seeks to reduce the negative impact that these commodities and sectors have on the most ecologically important places and species on Earth. Transforming how goods are sourced and processed provides benefits to our planet and can result in tangible gains for businesses by conserving or preserving their means of production and, as a result, access to raw materials over the long term.

Depending on Clean Water: Five Freshwater Animals

WWF understands the importance of clean and healthy freshwater ecosystems for a thriving planet. So who are these animals that live in and around freshwater? 

amazon river dolphin travel

What WWF Is Doing

Agriculture

A leading cause of deforestation is the conversion of forests for agriculture. WWF works to ensure that key agricultural commodities (e.g. beef, cotton, dairy, palm oil, soy and sugarcane) are produced and processed in a sustainable manner. To do this, WWF engages with leading companies and other stakeholders to build consensus about key impacts, develop globally acceptable performance based standards that measurably reduce those impacts, and identify better management practices and policies that help reduce key impacts, create financial incentives to encourage conservation, and increase efficiency and improve the bottom line for producers.

Sustainable Agriculture

Each minute we lose the equivalent of 36 football fields of forests to deforestation. WWF addresses the drivers of forest loss, most of which come from outside the forest sector, by engaging with key companies and industries to improve the sustainability of key commodities linked to deforestation and forest degradation. We also work to promote forest conservation and sustainable use by promoting responsible forest management, protection and restoration. WWF provides solutions to conserve our forests, protect species and alleviate poverty by leveraging our field work, policy and business partnerships.

Shrimp, Greenland

Over the next 40 years, the demand for seafood will grow, as the population is expected to increase by almost 30 percent and consumption is expected to double. As a conservation organization, WWF cares about how the rising demand for seafood is impacting—and will continue to impact—the environment and communities. By engaging players from across the seafood value chain—from fisherman, farmers and processors to traders, retailers and restaurants—WWF helps both the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries become part of the solution. Through this collaboration we drive impactful and sustained improvements in the health of the world’s oceans, bringing sustainable seafood even closer in reach.

Water is essential to nearly every industry. WWF works with businesses and industry to improve the way water is managed to ensure adequate water for local people and ecosystems and fair distribution of water among different water users. WWF helps to promote private sector water stewardship at the global level, engages with individual businesses to reduce the impacts of their water use, and encourages public sector water stewardship at the river basin level. This work is accomplished by working together with water authorities, companies, local communities, and civil society.

Commercial capital flows both depend on and shape the world’s commodity markets. WWF works with a range of financial institutions to improve environmental performance and drive change for the benefit of ecosystems, people and businesses. Engaging with the finance sector, WWF works to apply risk management tools and procedures to their lending and investments and promote increased accountability and transparency

Burning coal releases 70% more carbon dioxide than natural gas. Coal plant, Taiyuan, China.

A company’s environmental impact has a measurable effect on its perceived performance and value. Contributing to climate change, one of the greatest environmental challenges we face, poses a fundamental threat not only to businesses’ reputation but to the vulnerable places, species and people WWF seeks to protect. WWF engages with companies to set and meet goals to reduce carbon emissions both in their own operations and along the value chain, advance projects to protect their resources from climate impacts, and ensure the sustainability of their core business.

Projects

  • The 3% Solution

    A report from WWF and CDP—The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reductions—helps U.S. businesses chart a new path forward. This path is tremendously profitable, practical and helps curb climate change.

  • Sustainable Sourcing

    WWF is helping companies trace products from origin to the store shelf, measuring the impacts along the way. By exploring solutions like doubling down on existing farmland, rehabilitating degraded lands, and helping consumers become part of the solution, it’s possible to meet this growing demand and still maintain a living planet.

Experts