An Audacious Plan to Save the World’s Most Vital Forests

Canopy Funded $60M to Advance Low-Carbon Next Gen Supply Chains

Monday, April 17, 2023: Vancouver — Today, a plan to save the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests was given a massive capacity boost, designed to unlock widespread transformation of the paper, packaging, and fashion viscose supply chains. Canopy, a solutions-driven non-profit that has partnered with over 900 global brands, from H&M Group and Zara, to Penguin Random House, Stella McCartney, and LVMH, will receive $60 million in funding from The Audacious Project to catalyze the commercial production of low-carbon and circular solutions across the globe. Such a move will have planetary impacts for the climate and biodiversity.

“The audacious work being done by Canopy is not only transforming carbon-intensive supply chains at a critical juncture for our planet, but with a network of engaged and willing partners, some truly exciting and innovative solutions can now be delivered at scale,” said Anna Verghese, Executive Director at The Audacious Project. “We are excited about the change they will catalyze over the coming years with this surge in support.”

Housed at TED, The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that drives social impact on a grand scale. Every year, they select a group of bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges. This year, Canopy was one of the selectees for its critical work in advancing vital forest-free supply chains.

Canopy will utilize the funds to accelerate the commercial-scale production of low-impact and circular clothing, paper, and packaging solutions that don’t rely on pulp from Ancient and Endangered Forests. These Next Gen Solutions are derived from what is usually landfilled (waste textile, waste food scraps), or burned (agricultural residues), to create new fabrics, paper, pulp, and packaging. Next Gen alternatives have on average 95% to 130% less GHG emissions, 88% to 100% less land use impacts, and 5x lower impact on biodiversity.

By 2033, Canopy’s work will:

  • Unlock over 60,000,000 tonnes of low-carbon NextGen fibre production;
  • Avoid 1.3 billion tonnes of emissions (almost twice the annual emissions of Germany);
  • Divert nearly 800 million tonnes of agricultural residue and waste textiles from being burned or landfilled (equivalent to the weight of 76,000 Eiffel towers); and
  • Completely eliminate the use of Ancient and Endangered Forests in the paper, packaging, and fashion viscose supply chains.

“We are very proud to be included in this year’s group of Audacious grantees and believe that Canopy’s creative, collaborative, and transformative work will be key in driving supply chain change at scale and, in turn, provide a reprieve to critical forests that are under current and future threats, within the next decade and beyond,” said Canopy’s Executive Founder and Executive Director, Nicole Rycroft. 

“We are very glad to see Canopy’s leadership and commitment to find scalable solutions for the industry being recognised. Moving towards more sustainable alternatives for our materials and packaging plays a crucial role in our journey towards circularity. Innovative low-carbon solutions, such as regenerated cellulosic fibers from waste textiles or agricultural residues, are showing the potential to reduce our impact on climate and protect forests, so no Ancient and Endangered Forests are put at risk to make fashion. Together with Canopy and other industry leaders, we want to use our size and scale to continue driving demand for low-carbon material solutions while building scalability faster,” said Leyla Ertur, Head of Sustainability H&M Group.

Conserving and restoring forests has been identified as a major part of the solution to the growing climate crisis. Forests are a massive carbon sink, absorbing a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 yearly – 1.5 times more carbon than the United States emits annually. Despite this, over five billion trees are cut down yearly for paper, packaging, and fashion fabrics alone, many from the world’s oldest, most carbon- and biodiversity-rich forests.

Additional information about Canopy’s plan is available here.

Read more quotes from our partners here.

About Canopy
Canopy is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species, and climate. Canopy has collaborated with more than 900 companies to develop cutting-edge environmental policies that transform unsustainable supply chains, spark innovative solutions, and protect our world’s remaining Ancient and Endangered Forests.

About The Audacious Project
Launched in April 2018, The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that is catalyzing social impact on a grand scale. Housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, and with support from leading social impact advisor The Bridgespan Group, The Audacious Project convenes funders and social entrepreneurs with the goal of supporting bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges. The funding collective is made up of respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, MacKenzie Scott, Skoll Foundation, Valhalla Foundation, and more.

Each year The Audacious Project supports a new cohort. The 2023 grantees are CAMFED, Canopy, Clean Slate Initiative, Global Fishing Watch, Innovative Genomics Institute, Jan Sahas’ Migrants Resilience Collaborative, ReNew2030, Restore Local, Think of Us, and Upstream USA.

Media Contact:

Mike Hudema
Canopy Communications Director