Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, Louis Dreyfus Company, Mondelēz, Olam, Procter & Gamble and Unilever among 80+ groups using GFW Pro to see and prevent deforestation in their supply chains
UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS (June 11, 2019) – The world lost 12 million hectares of forest in 2018. As nearly 40 percent of deforestation is commodity-driven, this represents major legal and reputational risks for companies, and material risks for investors. So why is it so hard for companies to stop deforestation? Commodities like palm oil, cocoa, beef and soy may change hands dozens of times from the moment they are harvested until they end up in candy bars, toothpaste or baby formula, making deforestation tracking a very complex puzzle. Today, it is finally possible for a company or bank of any size to analyze and manage deforestation risk using GFW Pro.
Led by the World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch team, GFW Pro (pro.globalforestwatch.org) is the most comprehensive global platform to track deforestation risk within the supply chain. Any user can securely upload locations of farms, production facilities or an entire investment portfolio, then analyze risks using GFW data like near-real-time deforestation alerts, fires, proximity to national parks and indigenous lands, intact forests and more. In all, GFW Pro uses more than 30 data sets from partners like Google, University of Maryland and many others to determine deforestation risk and help prioritize action.
The system can be applied to any agricultural commodity, anywhere in the world, from palm oil and soy, to cocoa, beef, sugar, coffee, rubber, timber and more. GFW Pro’s other unique feature is the ability to upload thousands of locations at one time. Users can share insights with management and can report on progress over time to external stakeholders.
“GFW Pro leaves no one behind. If we expect to achieve transparent and sustainable commodity supply chains at a truly global scale, we must have a system that is accessible to global players, intermediaries, and local actors alike,” said Luiz Amaral, Director of Global Solutions for Commodities & Finance at WRI, who co-led the development of GFW Pro. “In addition to helping multinationals, it is designed to equip even the smallest banks, trading companies and agricultural producers– who often lack resources - with the ability to assess their risks, monitor and report progress.”
Nearly 80 companies and organizations helped build and test GFW Pro. Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), Mondelēz International, Olam, The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), and Unilever are some of the companies already using GFW Pro to track commodities at thousands of sites. Financial institutions from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Invest to local banks in Paraguay are using the site to assess loans to farmers and traders. Other users include membership associations, NGOs and certification bodies.
“The GFW Pro system was developed so that any commodity company or financial institution can perform complex geospatial data analysis, without specialized staff or systems,” said Jane Lloyd, Product Manager for Global Forest Watch Commodities and Finance at WRI, who co-led the development of GFW Pro. “A publicly available, web-based system that performs this type of curated analysis at such scale is unprecedented.”
GFW Pro was designed in collaboration with leading technology, data, NGO, service provider and private sector partners to meet industry needs. In the long term, companies that manage forests can benefit from a more secure and sustainable supply of materials, while preserving ecosystems that make agriculture more productive.
Cargill has committed to eliminating deforestation from its agricultural supply chains. With the help of GFW Pro, Cargill has now mapped and assessed forest cover change in 77,145 cocoa farms covering 188,065 hectares, establishing a baseline that indicates where the cocoa comes from, which areas may be at risk of deforestation and how to mitigate this risk through specific interventions.
“GFW Pro helps bring Cargill’s vision of transparent and traceable cocoa supply chains to light. With this system, we can collaborate directly with our partners to measure and monitor deforestation risk.”
-Taco Terheijden, Sustainability Director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
GAR’s GIS supply chain sustainability team is responsible for analyzing spatial information of over 400 mills that supply six refineries within GAR’s Indonesia operations. Before GFW Pro, this process entailed creating individual maps for each of the mills they purchase from, overlaying these areas with other maps of importance and monitoring for changes in land-use by overlaying satellite images to manually spot problems.
“As a GIS Specialist working for GAR’s supply chain sustainability team, my team and I are tasked with analyzing spatial information of over 400 mills that supply the six refineries that GAR operates in Indonesia. With GFW Pro we now have instant analysis, interactive graphics, access to historical trends and most importantly, an accelerated monitoring process.”
-Syarafina Yuliandri, Supply Chain Specialist, GAR
IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin American and the Caribbean through the private sector. GFW Pro provides us a tool that helps support our monitoring of sensitive investments where deforestation risks are a concern. We also see it as a key value added service in defining at a local level strategic approaches to improving land management, bringing together various stakeholders including banks, agribusiness companies and associations and public sector agencies.
“Moving from a document-based monitoring effort to GFW Pro has been a night to day improvement. Now in just an instant with GFW Pro, our clients can unlock answers to questions that were previously inaccessible. Our banks can quickly find out if their client’s farm is in good legal standing, or potentially located in a risky or illegal area.”
-Colin McKee, Lead Environmental and Social Officer, IDB Invest
The ISEAL Alliance is a global membership association for sustainability standards, whose members represent more than 20 percent of the combined share of the marketed commodities for forestry, palm oil, cocoa and coffee. Members participated in the GFW Pro pilot period to help build capacity and identify spatial analyses that could improve overall risk management.
“ISEAL members including Better Cotton Initiative, Bonsucro, Fairtrade International, Global Coffee Platform and Rainforest Alliance have used GFW Pro to explore how they can better identify areas of deforestation risk and develop management strategies. The ability to simply identify sensitive areas, like protected areas and primary forests, and to receive alerts when deforestation is recognized, is very useful for the voluntary sustainability standards community.”
-Elizabeth Kennedy, Senior Advisor for Impacts, ISEAL Association
LDC is actively using GFW Pro to map soy sourcing facilities, set baselines, understand risk areas and prioritize action in high-risk locations.
“We were able to use GFW Pro together with farmers in Paraguay to help audit sustainability schemes for soy production. We constantly watch for deforestation alerts from GFW Pro and review high risk locations every six months.”
Mondelēz International was an inaugural supporter of GFW Pro because we believe in the power of one tool to converge the entire industry in the fight against deforestation in commodities. In palm oil, GFW Pro helps us to more easily understand where deforestation is occurring, identify if our suppliers are linked, and take action to drive out bad practices. In cocoa, we aim to leverage GFW Pro across our global cocoa sustainability program, Cocoa Life, and currently map 90,000+ farms to analyze forest cover, improve on-the-ground program decisions and help farmers grow more cocoa on less land while sharing an interactive version of our mapped farms with the public on cocoalife.org.
“The fight against deforestation is not won yet, but GFW Pro gives us at Mondelēz International, and indeed the entire industry, a powerful means to fight it smarter, see where our efforts are bearing fruit, and course correct where needed. We continue to strengthen our partnership with GFW, work alongside our partners to further leverage the tool within our business and advocate for mainstream adoption of GFW Pro across the commodities sector as we push the boundaries in the fight against deforestation.”
-Jonathan Horrell, Director Global Sustainability, Mondelēz International
In 2018, Olam bought palm oil from just thirteen direct suppliers, but the supply chain is mapped to connect with more than 1,200 mills located in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, PNG and Solomon Islands. Using GFW Pro, Olam mapped and input over 1,000 locations for palm sourcing and identified that half of the supply was at risk. They now use the tool to review risks of all locations on a monthly basis, to publish a quarterly traceability dashboard and to engage suppliers directly on supply chain monitoring.
“Olam is actively monitoring over 1,000 palm oil mills using GFW Pro, which has enabled us to identify those that are at high risk and use the analysis to engage and request action from both our direct and indirect suppliers. Active monitoring with GFW Pro means we can tackle issues early, and better deliver on our Olam Sustainable Palm Oil Policy commitments.”
-Laila Wilfred, Assistant Manager Sustainability at Olam International Limited
Proforest supports companies and governments to implement their commitments to the responsible production and sourcing of agricultural commodities and forest products. Proforest has used GFW Pro to provide deforestation risk assessment for clients’ oil palm supply bases, mapping and assessing their risk for over 1,800 locations and creating a prioritization strategy.
“By providing a risk assessment platform that we can regularly refer to, the GFW Pro system has helped our team standardize risk assessment to streamline ongoing collaborations. GFW Pro has given us a reliable base for engagement and planning of responsible sourcing strategies.”
To date, P&G has used GFW Pro to map over 1,200 palm oil mills. Results showed that approximately seven percent of the mills in its supply chain were located within high risk areas. GFW Pro enabled P&G to prioritize and inform engagement with multi-stakeholder community for sustainable sourcing, understanding that most of these high-risk mills were third-party mills used by their direct suppliers.
“GFW Pro has enabled us to renew our strategy and update P&G’s responsible palm sourcing policy, issued in January 2019. We are now assessing mills to ensure our supply chain management is prioritized and we are addressing up-to-date risk areas.”
-Kuan-Chun Lee, Principal Scientist in the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, P&G
Unilever sustainable sourcing analysts have been using the GFW tool to assess risks across the palm oil supply chain, which includes over 1,600 mills spread across 19 countries and four continents.
“By benchmarking mill risk analysis against the Universal Mill List, GFW Pro gives us greater visibility of the mills in our supply chain. Crucially, it also provides both near real time deforestation awareness based on satellite alerts, as well as an indication of future risk based on nearby stocks of primary forest and protected areas, which safeguard globally important biodiversity and lock away huge quantities of forest carbon.”
-Petronella Meekers, Global Head of Sustainable Sourcing, Unilever
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