Driven by an increasing global demand for food, energy, and wood-based materials, the world’s most ecologically important forests and the biodiversity that they contain are quickly disappearing. One of the primary strategies adopted by WWF to combat various drivers of deforestation is to support standards and certification of soft commodity production practices.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the original commodities eco-certification, establishing the model for today’s expansive multi-stakeholder certification landscape. Since the establishment of FSC, WWF has identified 15 priority commodity industries, and the financial sectors that support them, as key actors in global environmental conservation. WWF has convened private sector stakeholders to establish sustainability standards for each sector.
This research internship is jointly offered by the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and the International Finance Program of WWF to provide qualified candidate with a unique opportunity to work at the cutting edge of corporate & non-profit partnerships. The candidate will assist the research for WWF’s publications and projects with corporate partners. In exchange, the candidate will gain invaluable experience toward his/her sustainability career through this internship.
The Global Forest & Trade Network
Formed in 1991 with a vision to mainstream environmentally and socially responsible forestry and forest products, the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF's initiative to eliminate illegal logging and improve the management of world's valuable and threatened forests. By facilitating trade linkages between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry, the GFTN creates market conditions that help conserve the world's forests while providing economic and social benefits for the business and people that depend on them. Today, the GFTN works with over 200 companies in 24 countries around the world. More information on GFTN is available at http://gftn.panda.org
International Finance Program
WWF’s International Finance Program engages directly with investment banks, asset managers, and other major financial institutions in order to improve understanding of environmental risk and develop new products for global food and agriculture industries. In so doing, the team supports the Markets Transformation Initiative in tipping markets for WWF’s 15 priority commodities in the agriculture, forestry, and marine sectors.
WWF Mission and Value
It is part of every staff member's terms of reference to contribute to WWF's mission & values.
WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
- Conserving the world's biological diversity
- Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
- Reducing pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF's core values: Passionate & Optimistic; Challenging & Inspiring; Credible & Accountable; Persevering & Delivering Results.
Scope of Work
To engage with the GFTN/WWF in a mutually meaningful way that is in accordance with the professional aspirations of the internship candidate. This collaboration should provide not only usable collateral and materials for the GFTN/WWF, but also valuable work experience toward the candidate’s professional development.
More specifically, the intern will
- Understand WWF’s market-based approach to conservation in a global context, as well as other WWF network’s conservation efforts
- Acquire familiarity with sustainability standards for forest commodities
- Acquire familiarity with companies’ sustainability policies and financial institutions’ social and environmental safeguard policies
- Gain insights into the business case for adopting sustainability standards
- Acquire first-hand experience in the role that non-profits and private sector plays in conservation and sustainability
- Gain experience in non-profit advocacy research and publishing
- Acquire experience in working in a cross-cultural work environment
1) Assist the research and writing for an upcoming WWF publication on the business case for FSC certification
- Research available literature, drawing on internal and external sources and experts, on forest certification cost-benefit analysis and draft a literature review for publishing as a core section of the upcoming report
- Help organize and manage internal and external collaborators, as well as graduate student research teams, to ensure project coordination and quality of outputs
- In consultation with WWF experts and corporate partners, collect information and draft case studies demonstrating the business case for companies to pursue FSC
2) Research and update the Bank Policy Benchmarking Tool. WWF has developed a robust, MS Excel-based tool to allow partner banks to anonymously benchmark their sensitive sector policies against their peers. The tool covers 14+ sectors and 24 banks, producing graphical outputs on relative performance. Developed two years ago, WWF is now seeking to refresh the tool for deployment with Credit Suisse, while conceiving of appropriate models to deploy the tool more broadly. The intern will specifically assist WWF by:
- Reviewing the sector policies of relevant banks, in particular those who have updated their policies in the past two years, and updating/refreshing the tool as appropriate.
- Producing outputs and basic analyses of those outputs for Credit Suisse.
- After gaining familiarity with the tool, brainstorming with WWF on the most appropriate ways to deploy the tool going forward.
3) Assist other research projects as requested.
The intern will report research progress to Karen Mo (GFTN) and Joshua Levin (IFP) on a weekly basis and consult with them about any project-related issues on a timely manner.
Schedule: This is an unpaid internship for 2014. The intern is expected to work for minimum 20 hours per week. The duration of the internship is negotiable.
Unpaid for credit. For all unpaid internships, applicants must be enrolled in school and be able to obtain academic course credit from their university.
R&D Specialist, GFTN