Since 2015, our partnership has combined WRI’s cutting-edge tools for business with Cargill’s insights and expertise from working with food and agriculture communities in over 70 countries around the world. WRI and Cargill’s shared values include the application of standardized accounting, science-based methodologies and the development of open-source tools to accelerate progress across industries and help deliver on global sustainability goals.

Read on to learn more about the 2022- 2024 scope and ambitions of our partnership:

Forest Monitoring Designed for Action

Global Forest Watch (GFW) has become one of the most critical global tools for monitoring deforestation in near-real time. To achieve global deforestation commitments, we need to ensure all actors along the supply chain have access and support to utilize its capabilities. For example, roughly 35-40% of the soy volume produced in Brazil comes from intermediate traders and cooperatives which, unlike the top 8 commodity traders, are not being monitored for deforestation. With Cargill’s support, WRI will expand GFW access to a greater number of stakeholders in the supply chain, including farmer cooperatives and smaller traders.

Additionally, Cargill is supporting WRI’s research and development of Land & Carbon Lab datasets that go beyond forests and deforestation to help manage supply chain risks outside of forests to enhance sustainable agriculture. The work will include support for increasing impact in Africa with new methods of GHG emissions monitoring, increased ability for supply chain actors to manage large portfolios of cocoa farm data, prioritize deforestation risk areas and access accountable deforestation alerts, farm data, prioritize deforestation risk areas, and access accountable deforestation alerts

Measuring and Assessing the Land Resource Gap

There is significant momentum building to tackle our global land resource gap. Many institutions are planning and/or implementing programs to influence farming, food production, nature conservation and restoration to improve global supply chains and boost the sustainability of our food systems.

Cargill is supporting WRI to measure and assess the impact of sustainable land-based interventions to understand which are most impactful and effective. Quantitative estimates such as this ensure we use limited resources most efficiently.

Accounting for Linkages Between Water Quality, Scarcity and Food

As food and beverage companies increasingly set more ambitious water targets, common data and accounting methods for tracking improvements in water quality are lacking. Recognizing this gap and the need for more standardized guidance, WRI will partner with companies, consultants and NGOs to develop and publish an approach for assessing the water quality benefits of agricultural water stewardship activities. Cargill is among the supporters and pilot testers of this work.

Additionally, as companies increasingly set contextual enterprise water targets and lean into collective action to accomplish basin goals, stakeholders need greater clarity on how to allocate benefits of collective activities among other basin and supply chain actors. WRI and partners like Cargill will embark on a multistakeholder process to coalesce around shared principles and publish a new standard. Cargill has committed to restoring 600 billion liters of water by 2030; these targets are based on the best available science and were developed in close partnership with WRI in 2020.

Cargill is also supporting WRI and partners on activities related to the Science-Based Target Network (SBTN) Freshwater Hub and next-generation Aqueduct water risk data, analysis and tools. Cargill is a member of WRI’s Aqueduct Alliance, which brings together leading companies, governments and foundations to gain strategic guidance and industry insight from WRI’s Aqueduct team and water stewardship activities. Together, WRI and Cargill are working to identify and reduce water risk and understand the linkages between water quality, water scarcity and food production.

Accounting for Climate Impacts of Land Use

Cargill is among the supporters of WRI’s continued development of  Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s new Land Sector and Removals Guidance, that will advise companies on how to account for land sector activities and CO2 removal in corporate greenhouse gas inventories across scopes 1, 2, and 3. Cargill has signed on to pilot test the new guidance and is working with the GHG Protocol team to discuss innovative new ways to overcome the accounting challenges and identify data, tools and sector-specific guidance needed to support scope 3 (corporate value chain) land sector accounting.

Reducing Methane Emissions

Cargill is also supporting WRI’s agricultural methane reduction work. WRI’s Agriculture Methane Accelerator will bridge solutions and policy to scale adoption of the technologies and practices that will reduce methane from food and agricultural systems, addressing a critical gap in current global methane reduction efforts – which predominantly focus on fossil fuel related methane emissions.

Corporate Consultative Group (CCG)

Cargill further supports WRI’s innovation and open-source tools and knowledge products through their unrestricted CCG Membership dues.

The CCG brings together ~35 global companies to advance business practices that mitigate climate risks and support sustainable growth. Membership engagement is a two-way street. WRI connects member companies to trusted experts, science-based data, research and tools to measure and manage results. In turn, CCG membership dues provide philanthropic, unrestricted support of WRI.

Learn more about Cargill


Cover image credit: James Baltz / Unsplash