Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Marissa headshot

Stories & Beer on Zero Deforestation

At last night's “Stories & Beer Fireside Chat”, TriplePundit’s Founder, Nick Aster, talked with Sara Santiago, Phil Covington, and Miriam Swaffer about the issue of deforestation, and how companies and NGOs are working together to end it.

In the past two years, we’ve seen rapid and unanticipated changes in the forestry sector, as prominent pulp, paper, and palm oil suppliers have committed to zero-deforestation policies. These commitments were made, in large part, due to years of strategic campaigning by international and local NGOs. In 2014, many brands have in turn adopted zero-deforestation policies. As a result, we are seeing a new norm of zero-deforestation in supply chains, launching us into a global movement toward protecting the rainforests of Southeast Asia.

In this month's "Stories and Beer", we discussed the implications of these policies, the critical partnerships of NGOs and companies to uphold them, and the road ahead.


6:30 – 7:00 – beers and networking 7:00 – 8:00 – fireside chat and Q&A 8:00 – 8:30 – networking

About Sara:

Sara works at Future 500 as a Stakeholder Engagement Analyst, providing support in the organization’s energy, mining, and forestry programs, exploring the intersection of extractive industries and human rights. Sara is a recent graduate of the Ohio State University, where she studied Geography, with a concentration in Environment and Society, as well as International Development. Her work focused on long-term research projects that culminated in a thesis and advocacy campaign focused on indigenous resistance to large-scale hydropower projects in Honduras. She also worked with Oxfam America as a student organizer and as an associate consultant to non-profits, amid other environmental and social justice campaigns on campus and her greater community. Sara has found her way to Future 500 with the desire to contribute to meaningful, practical, and inclusive systemic change by bringing together activist and corporate agents.

About Miriam:

Miriam promotes ways to cut global warming pollution by reducing tropical deforestation.  A communication professional, Miriam grows demand for deforestation-free supply chains by translating scientific findings for corporate and lay audiences.  Her negotiations with consumer goods companies, including Hershey's Chocolates and General Mills, recently resulted in adoption of several zero deforestation palm oil commitments. She looks forward to sharing her on-the-ground experience at Indonesian palm oil plantations as well as her knowledge of 0 deforestation innovations in corporate supply chains.

Prior to joining UCS, Miriam facilitated implementation of evidence-based, multi-stakeholder solutions to complex human rights and environmental issues in international corporate supply chains.  She holds a degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Follow Miriam on twitter @MiriamUCS

About Phil:

Phil Covington holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School. In the past, he spent 16 years in the freight, transportation and logistics industry.  Last year, Phil toured part of Indonesia’s Sumatran rainforest, as well as Asia Pulp and Paper's plantation forest and paper mill. The trip, facilitated by Future500, was to learn about APP's Forest Conservation Policy, a key element of which is thir commitment to zero natural forest clearing. Today, Phil’s writing focuses on deforestation, electric vehicles and sustainable business matters in general. Twitter: @PhilCovBlog


Marissa Rosen headshotMarissa Rosen

Marissa is the Owner of Climate Social, LLC. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Mizzou and a master's in environmental studies from UPenn. 

Read more stories by Marissa Rosen

More stories from Leadership & Transparency