Carrefour`s Commitment for 2020: Work towards “Zero Deforestation”

By Sevda Latapie-Bayro (Carrefour), Carrefour Group
12:51 PM, April 19, 2012

Engaged since 1997 in an approach to control the sourcing of its wood supplies, Carrefour has been working with WWF since 1998 to privilege FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) -certified wood. The Group is now stepping up these efforts to positively influence all concerned supply chains through appropriate purchasing practices in order to preserve biodiversity, to reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions, and to ensure the respect of human rights.

At the end of 2010, Carrefour gave new impetus to its forest-linked purchasing practice by setting an ambitious goal: “Zero deforestation” by 2020. With this new target, Carrefour’s ambition is to preserve natural resources, biodiversity, and to help put an end to deforestation. Indeed, the Group has established strict rules that will apply to all its forest-related sourcing. This commitment – initiated in 2010 on the occasion of the UN International Year of Biodiversity – will be detailed and implemented in 2011 on the occasion of the International Year of Forests, declared by the United Nations.

This global policy concerns a wide range of products linked to forest management issues, among which are:

  • goods made from wood, paper, and pulp;
  • agricultural commodities whose production can have an impact on forests (especially palm oil);
  • non-merchandising items such as commercial publications or cash register receipts.

For these products, Carrefour will improve its purchasing practices worldwide, and will work with its suppliers to ensure legality and no associated land conversion of natural forests and peat lands. Moreover, the Group is committed to promoting responsible consumption among its consumers and to raising their awareness on this issue.

For 100% traceable, certified palm oil

In its efforts to protect biodiversity and to prevent deforestation, Carrefour is an active member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and promotes the production of 100% traceable and certified palm oil.

Sustainable palm oil production only officially began at the end of 2008. In 2009, 1.3 million tons were produced out of a total production of approximately 45 million tons. In 2010, this production reached 3.8 million tons, that is, 8 percent of the global consumption. The RSPO was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.

The supply chain for palm oil and its byproducts, however, is very complex and lacks traceability. There are very few mills and factories that produce certified palm oil, most being certified only for a part of their production. They therefore still sell a mix of palm oils – both certified and non-certified – and in parallel purchase certificates for their quota of certified palm oil, off the Internet, via a system similar to the purchase of green electricity.

These “green” certificates are only a first stage in the international process. To promote a more transparent market, Carrefour defends the idea of palm oil production that is certified and can be traced from start to finish.

In 2010, the Group committed to developing a palm oil Carrefour Quality Line in Indonesia, sharing its 18 years of global experience on agricultural quality lines. In August, Carrefour Indonesia actually started the project in association with several local NGOs. This new quality line will provide Indonesian consumers with the possibility to choose products that do not result in further deforestation and that ensure working conditions that comply with the rules of the International Labour Organization.

A long-standing commitment for the preservation of forests and biodiversity


  • Carrefour signed a partnership with WWF France to preserve natural resources and biodiversity.


  • Carrefour invested in the European Commission’s Forest Law Enforcement on Government and Trade action plan aimed at establishing a framework for fighting the illegal sale of wood.


  • Carrefour was the only French retailer to join the RSPO and became a member of the RSPO Executive Board in 2009.

Since 2007:

  • Awareness campaigns on palm oil issues to all own-brand suppliers and inventory of the use of palm oil in its own-brand products.
  • Carrefour has been a member of the Round Table for Responsible Soy.

Since 2008:

  • Carrefour European Purchasing Office’s assortment of outdoor wood furniture consists of FSC-certified products and acacia, a species for which the suppliers are involved in a process of certification with the Global Forest and Trade Network, Vietnam.
  • In 2008, Carrefour France substituted the use of palm oil in its own-brand crisps.


  • Carrefour committed to using certified palm oil in all own-brand products throughout the world by 2015.
  • Carrefour is encouraging its suppliers to use preferably segregated certified palm oil or Greenpalm certificates for all palm oil supply.
  • The Group supported the UN’s “Seal the Deal” campaign calling for an ambitious, fair, and effective deal including forest preservation. Carrefour also signed the Copenhagen Communiqué.
  • The Carrefour Group has increased the percentage of recycled or certified paper for its commercial publications and aims at achieving the target of 100 percent recycled or certified paper for catalogues in the Group in 2012.


  • Carrefour France bought Greenpalm certificates for the equivalent of the total volume of palm oil used in its own-brand products.
  • Carrefour, together with Tetrapak, launched FSC-certified packaging for several of its private brand products including fruit juice and milk. With this action, Carrefour was the first French retailer to deploy FSC beverage cartons on a massive scale.
  • Carrefour welcomed the European Commission’s 2008 proposed legislation to establish rules for those involved in the trade of wood and its byproducts. In 2010, the Group was one of the founders of the Timber Retail Coalition, set up to support the European Commission’s efforts to create EU-wide regulation as a crucial step toward the widespread adoption of responsible timber-sourcing practices.
  • The Carrefour Group announced on the occasion of the Consumer Goods Forum a large-scale collective target for the protection of forest resources: “Zero deforestation” by 2020.
About the Authors
Latapie-Bayro, Sevda

Sevda Latapie-Bayro is CSR manager ar Carrefour.

Carrefour Group

About the Carrefour Group

Over the past 40 years, the Carrefour group has grown to become one of the world’s leading distribution groups. The world’s second-largest retailer and the largest in Europe, the group currently operates four main grocery store formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash&carry and convenience stores. The Carrefour group currently has over 9,500 stores, either company-operated or franchises.

A pioneering entrant in countries such as Brazil (1975) and China (1995), the group currently operates in three major markets: Europe, Latin America and Asia. With a presence in 32 countries, over 57% of group turnover derives from outside France. The group sees strong potential for further international growth in the future, particularly in such large national markets as China, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland and Turkey.

Wherever it has a presence, Carrefour is actively committed to promoting local economic development. Since retail activities are all about contact with people, the group consistently emphasizes local recruitment plus management and staff training on the job wherever they work.
Typically, the Carrefour group will be one of the leading private employers in any country where it operates. Naturally, this is the case for France, where the group was originally founded, but it is also true of such countries as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Italy and Greece. The group also seeks to support local suppliers, with some 90-95% of the products on its shelves sourced locally, depending on the country.

Carrefour Stores

The world’s second-largest retailer and the largest in Europe, the group currently operates four grocery store formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash&carry and convenience stores. The Carrefour group currently has over 9,500 stores, either company-operated or franchises.

  • Hypermarkets, the retail business of today
  • Carrefour market, the ideal supermarket
  • Convenience: always attuned to customer needs
  • Cash & carry: proximity and accessibility for catering professionals
  • E-commerce

(Source: Carrefour Group)

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect CSR Manager's editorial policy.
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