Actions

Some Measure of Justice

Today’s verdict brought some measure of justice, though for George Floyd and his family above all, this cannot make up for his loss. And while today is a cause for hope, we know there have been so many other unjust verdicts in the past, and so many more cases like this that never even made it to trial. Even since George Floyd’s murder, there have been many other murders under similar circumstances, and daily reminders of violence and racism in our society. We celebrate the progress that was sparked by George Floyd’s death, but know that for Black Americans, they still face daily questions about how American institutions, the justice system, and the American people value their lives. Even with a sense of relief, we have so much to do in our thirst for a more just society.


Joe Biden and Congress must stop deforestation in order to prevent the next pandemic

Ending deforestation is our best chance to conserve wildlife, one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to curb global warming, and absolutely crucial to prevent the next deadly, global pandemic.

Sign the petition: $2.5 billion to build back better, stop new outbreaks and stop the COVID-19 catastrophe from repeating itself.


To Save the Climate, Grocery Stores Must Stop Stocking Deforestation

To Save the Climate, Grocery Stores Must Stop Stocking Deforestation

In latest corporate accountability action, letters to Costco, Ahold Delhaize, and Walmart demand companies fulfill climate pledges and protect forests

NEW YORK – As activists gather in New York for Climate Week, they are increasingly focusing their attention on corporate behemoths driving deforestation and ecological destruction around the globe. Today, in the latest action seeking to hold companies accountable for the pledges they’ve made in the past, Mighty Earth has released letters calling on Costco, Ahold Delhaize, and Walmart to take immediate action to end their links to deforestation in the Amazon and throughout South America.

The burning of the Amazon and the darkening of skies have captured the world’s conscience. But while much of the blame for the fires has rightly fallen on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for directly encouraging the burning of forests and the seizure of Indigenous Peoples’ lands, the financial incentive for the destruction comes from large-scale international meat and soy animal feed companies like Cargill, Bunge, and JBS.

Costco, Ahold Delhaize, Walmart, and other global brands that buy from these suppliers and sell to the public are creating the international markets and providing the finances for the destruction.

Ten years ago, Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) members made a commitment to end deforestation in their supply chains by 2020, with an emphasis on high risk commodities such as soy, cattle, palm oil, and pulp and paper. Five years later, at the 2014 Climate Summit in New York, 60 additional companies joined in this pledge as a part of the landmark New York Declaration on Forests.

But progress toward these lofty goals has been lacking. According to Forest 500’s 2018 Annual Report, “As the 2020 deadline approaches, not one of the Forest 500 companies and financial institutions assessed in 2018 is on track to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains and portfolios by next year. Yet nearly half have made commitments to do so by 2020 or earlier […] Even companies with ambitious commitments are not putting these into practice. Of the 228 companies assessed in 2017 and 2018, nearly 70% scored lower this year than last year, due to the new indicators on implementation. This reflects an implementation gap – companies are not executing their commitments.”

“Costco, Ahold Delhaize, and Walmart have called for change and asked for supply chain reforms,” said Mat Jacobson, Senior Director for Forests at Mighty Earth. “But these polite requests have been ignored. Money talks, and the grocery stores’ calls for change aren’t making a difference because they continue to buy from the suppliers driving deforestation. Cargill, Bunge, and JBS shrug off the bad press and keep cashing checks. It’s time for that to end. We want these grocery stores to stop doing business with the companies driving deforestation in the Amazon.”

The letters, delivered late last week, call on Costco, Ahold Delhaize, and Walmart to:

  • Immediately cease purchases and financing of any company responsible for destruction of forests and other native ecosystems or the theft of Indigenous and local community lands, and adopt an immediate supplier suspension policy for future violations.
  • Require suppliers to establish industry-wide mechanisms to monitor and stop destruction of native ecosystems across South America.
  • Establish and implement a zero-tolerance policy for attacks on environmental and human rights defenders and civil society advocates.
  • Move rapidly towards only buying from countries that are increasing their natural forest cover and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including Free Prior and Informed Consent.
  • Work with civil society to actively and publicly support government efforts to protect native ecosystems and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities through stronger regulatory frameworks and enforcement.
  • Require suppliers to implement regenerative agro-ecological farming practices that verifiably improve soil health, water quality, and biodiversity.
  • Set a public, science-based target to rapidly shift a significant portion of protein sales towards plant-based options.

Read the full letters here.

These new letters are just the latest in a series of actions seeking to hold corporations accountable for their climate action pledges. Monday, Mighty Earth joined dozens of NGOs in asking members of the Consumer Goods Forum “to take bold and urgent action to halt deforestation, species loss, and human rights abuses within supply chains.” Activists from several organizations gathered outside a meeting of the Consumer Goods Forum on Monday night to hold a “vigil for the Amazon” and demand that member companies immediately cut all ties to deforestation.

The letters and vigil plainly caught the attention of CGF, as they invited Mighty Earth Senior Campaign Director Etelle Higonnet into the meeting to present Mighty Earth’s concerns to many of the top executives as well as the presidents of the Tropical Forest Alliance and CGF.

A follow-up protest will be held on October 7, as activists will converge on the InterContinental New York Barclay – where Cargill’s Senior Vice President is speaking – to call for rapid changes.

“We don’t have the luxury of trusting corporate pledges anymore,” said Jacobson. “We applauded when these companies pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020, and that promise is now literally going up in smoke. It’s time for real, concrete action. Not one year from now, not 10 years from now. Right now.”

See also:


Tell CVS: Stop Superbug Pollution

Antibiotic pollution contributes to antimicrobial resistance, but little is being done to stop it.

Brenda, pictured above, suffered from a drug-resistant infection back in 2007. Luckily, she recovered. But as long as we allow any cause of AMR to go unchecked, infections like hers will become more and more common, and harder and harder to treat.

Sign the petition to tell CVS Health, one of the largest buyers of antibiotics in the United States, to make sure it's not adding to the problem by ridding its supply chain of known polluters like Aurobindo.

After you've signed, catch up on our antibiotics campaign:

  • Unfamiliar with AMR? Read about the problem and its major causes here.
  • Multiple reports support the idea that active pharmaceutical ingredient pollution by antibiotic manufacturers can exacerbate the development of superbugs. Read Bad Medicine, Resistance through the Back Door, and Superbugs in the Supply Chain to learn the extent of the problem.
  • Public health leaders recognize the problem, too. Read Henry Waxman and Bill Corr's op-ed in STAT.
  • Read our letters to pharmaceutical companies and the FDA demanding action on the issue here.


Call on Walgreen’s to stop selling blue whale’s food as nutritional supplements

Sign the petition to Walgreens Boots Alliance

Dear CEO Stefano Pessina,

Antarctica is the world’s last great refuge, guaranteed by treaty to be free from commercial exploitation. Unfortunately, this protection didn’t extend to the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, leaving its immense marine life vulnerable.