Janina Grabs, Federico Cammelli, Samuel A. Levy, Rachael D. Garrett · 2021
Global Environmental Change

Desgning effective and equitable zero-deforestation supply chain policies

In response to the clearing of tropical forests for agricultural expansion, agri-food companies have adopted promises to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains in the form of ‘zero-deforestation commitments’ (ZDCs). While there is growing evidence about the environmental effectiveness of these commitments (i.e., whether they meet their conservation goals), there is little information on how they influence producers’ opportunity to access sustainable markets and related livelihood outcomes, or how design and implementation choices influence tradeoffs or potential synergies between effectiveness and equity in access. This paper explores these research gaps and makes three main contributions by: i) defining and justifying the importance of analyzing access equity and its relation to effectiveness when implementing forest-focused supply chain policies such as ZDCs, ii) identifying seven policy design principles that are likely to maximize synergies between effectiveness and access equity, and iii) assessing effectiveness-access equity tensions and synergies across common ZDC implementation mechanisms amongst the five largest firms in each of the leading agricultural forest-risk commodity sectors: palm oil, soybeans, beef cattle, and cocoa. To enhance forest conservation while avoiding harm to the most vulnerable farmers in the tropics, it is necessary to combine stringent rules with widespread capacity building, greater involvement of affected actors in the co-production of implementation mechanisms, and support for alternative rural development paths.

Full publication is available on: DOI 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102357

Contributors from our Network

Janina Grabs

Janina Grabs
ESADE Business School and Environmental Policy Lab, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich

Janina Grabs is an Assistant Professor of Business and Society at the Department of Society, Politics and Sustainability at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Münster, Germany, and previously was a post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich and visiting researcher at Yale University. Her work focuses on the private governance of sustainability in global value chains, with a special focus on tropical agricultural commodities such as coffee and palm oil. Her work on the effectiveness of private sustainability governance in the coffee sector has been widely recognized, inter alia with ESG’s Oran R. Young Prize, APSA’s Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award, and ECPR’s Giandomenico Majone Prize, and is published in the book “Selling Sustainability Short? The Private Governance of Labor and the Environment in the Coffee Sector” (2020, Cambridge University Press), which received the AoM 2021 ONE Book Award. She has further published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Regulation & Governance, Business Strategy and the Environment, New Political Economy, the Journal of Economic Geography, Ecological Economics, and the Journal of Environmental Management. Janina is also a research fellow of the Earth System Governance project, is the Earth System Governance Journal’s Book Review Editor, serves on the Outreach Committee of the International Studies Association’s Environmental Studies Section, is a founding member of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s Early Career Network, and sits on the Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s Steering Committee.

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Federico Cammelli

Federico Cammelli
Environmental Policy Lab, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich

Federico Cammelli is a postdoctoral researcher at the Environmental Policy Lab of ETH Zurich. He received his PhD in Economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). His research focuses on designing and assessing public and private policies to mitigate commodity driven deforestation and forest degradation in the Brazilian Amazon, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

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Rachael D. Garrett

Rachael D. Garrett
Environmental Policy Lab, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich

Rachael Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at ETH Zürich (Switzerland). Dr. Garrett's research examines interactions between land use, ecosystem services, and economic development at multiple spatial and temporal scales to better understand the drivers and impacts of land change and the effectiveness of existing conservation policies and practices. She is particularly interested in how commodity supply chains interact with environmental institutions to shape land use processes, resource distribution, and trade. Her research has largely focused on land change processes in agriculture-forest frontiers and sustainable intensification of pastures in the tropics. More recently she is leading a pan-tropical analysis of the effectiveness and equity of forest-focused supply chain policies with funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation and an ERC Starting Grant. This work involves coordinated research in Brazil, Ghana, Indonesia, and Ivory Coast on beef cattle, cocoa, oil palm, and soybean supply chains. Dr. Garrett received her doctorate at Stanford University and did her post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Prior to working at ETH Zürich she was an Assistant Professor at Boston University.

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