Economic / Impacts

Transformation of Industry: Our Impacts

er-econ-industry-slidev2The Rainforest Alliance has helped to transform the business world at all levels, engaging with companies large and small along the entire supply chain. Beyond working with resource managers to ensure that they adopt responsible practices and adhere to our standards, we’ve also linked supply with demand and vice versa, forging vital connections among producers, traders, wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to grow the market for sustainable products.

Thanks to our efforts, and those of our local partners and peers around the world, sustainability has become much more than just a “best practice” — it is now a business-critical value for companies with an eye on the long-term bottom line. Furthermore, we’ve shown that there is much common ground between what’s good for the planet and what’s good for people. Our model points the way to the economy of the future — and a more sustainable tomorrow for all.

A Pioneer in Responsible Forestry

The Rainforest Alliance co-founded the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993, and since then we have certified more than 188 million acres (76 million hectares) of sustainably managed forests and thousands of forest-product manufacturing companies around the world. We are the world’s largest FSC-accredited certifier and have certified the greatest number of community- and indigenous-run enterprises.


Cultivating a Sustainable Approach to Farming

In 1990, we began to develop sustainable agriculture standards for banana farming in Central America, which led to the formation of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), an international coalition of leading conservation groups. The SAN manages criteria for the cultivation of more than 100 crops—including bananas, citrus, coffee, cocoa, flowers, fruit, sugarcane and tea—as well as sustainable cattle ranching. Today, more than 735,000 Rainforest Alliance Certified farms around the world cover a total area of five million acres (two million hectares).

Greening the Travel Industry

We’ve trained more than 7,000 tourism entrepreneurs in sustainability practices like reducing waste, energy and water use, providing employees with health and safety training, and contributing to the economic well-being of their communities. In 2011, we launched Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability (TOPS) , a network of tour operators who are not only making their own practices more sustainable but are also committed to working with hotel owners and suppliers that do the same.

Market Share

More than 15 percent of all bananas in the world market are grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Here are some other notable achievements:

market share

  • 100 percent of Chiquita’s banana farms are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
  • Mars, Inc., one of the world’s largest chocolate producers, has committed to sourcing its entire cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by the year 2020.
  • Five percent of all Fortune 500 companies buy Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products, which are available for purchase at retail giants such as Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, Marks & Spencer, Safeway, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Staples and Lowe’s.

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