Stand out as a sustainability leader in your industry. From building coalitions to promote stewardship in Appalachia to testing cutting-edge technology to address child labor in Côte d’Ivoire, the Rainforest Alliance has the skills and experience to help you tackle complex challenges in your field. Together we can help move sectors towards a more sustainable future.
Innovative partnerships that fit your needs
The Rainforest Alliance supports sector innovation at every level. Maybe you want to adopt the latest digital tools for improving traceability and transparency in your supply chain. Or, you may want help aligning sustainable finance investment priorities with your improved supply chain performance. Perhaps you want to work with others in your industry to develop shared approaches for measuring, verifying, and reporting progress. Whatever your goal, we have the resources to help you reach it.
Case study: the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance
One example of the Rainforest Alliance’s sector innovation work is our coalition with small U.S. farmers and forest product companies. Together, we created a platform for interested landowners in Appalachia to work with companies in the forest products market.
“At Kimberly-Clark, responsible forestry practices are an important part of our sustainability strategy. We are proud to be a part of the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance.”Lisa Morden, Vice President of Safety and Sustainability, Kimberly Clark
Appalachia is one of the world’s richest sources of biodiversity. As such, the region has a lot of opportunity for farmers to benefit from the high demand for sustainably sourced wood. But companies seeking sustainably sourced wood need to know that the best practices are being followed for conservation and wood procurement. Sixty percent of forested land in Appalachia is privately owned by small farmers. For these farmers, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is often too costly and inaccessible.
The Rainforest Alliance worked directly with industry leaders Avery Dennison, Columbia Forest Products, Domtar, Evergreen Packaging, Kimberly-Clark, Staples, and the US Forest Service. In 2015, we launched the Appalachian Woods Alliance (AWA), an innovative solution to promote forest stewardship amongst Appalachian smallholders. The AWA connects environmentally conscious farmers with wood sourcing companies. Through the AWA, everyone has access to a transparent platform to share knowledge on best forest management practices.
The Smallholder Access Program
In 2018, the AWA launched the Smallholder Access Program (SAP). Developed by the Rainforest Alliance, the SAP is a path to certification for smaller farmers. Because it is built on the principles of FSC, it uses rigorous auditing and data collection. It can track progress and maintain alignment with FSC standards. At the same time, smallholders give input and data so the SAP can create indicators that reflect their unique risks and needs. Working with all the stakeholders, the SAP has helped support the growth of a sustainable market across Appalachia. By all measures, it has been a huge success. Now, the Rainforest Alliance is using the lessons from both the AWA and the SAP sector innovation to help other communities facing similar market barriers.
“This innovative pilot program promises to benefit small landowners in the region, our suppliers, and our customers. The SAP supports our efforts to source from responsibly managed forests and offer a wide array of certified products to our customers.”Jake Swenson, Director of Sustainability for Staples
Work with us
The AWA is only one example of the work we do. Other examples include mapping palm oil mills for a large brand, and a risk-based supplier engagement program with a large coffee brand.
Companies that work with us on sector innovation projects are leaders in their field. The Rainforest Alliance can help you create, design, and bring to life new projects that have far-reaching benefits. Together, we can raise the bar and make lasting change.