Partnership will focus on water management and land use, and also support work to reduce food loss and greenhouse gas emissions

MINNEAPOLIS/WASHINGTON (April 30, 2020)—Even during this unprecedented time, the importance of accelerating and scaling sustainable business and farming practices is top of mind for food and agriculture companies around the globe. To help businesses achieve the sustainability efforts needed to feed a rapidly growing population, Cargill is contributing $2 million USD to the next phase of its partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI). The two global entities will combine their expertise to accelerate the development and improvement of tools, including Global Forest Watch and a new Water Management Toolkit, for sustainable business operations.

Water Management Toolkit

  • WRI and Cargill are codeveloping scientifically based methodologies that will enable companies to set targets based on the water issues specific to their operations and agricultural value chains. The team will take the learnings and best practices from their experience building Cargill’s strategy and share with other businesses and organizations.
  • This water strategy guide, along with data from the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas and the Aqueduct Food tool, will become part of a new Water Management Toolkit that businesses across industries can use to prioritize action in their operations and supply chains. This model will allow us to address shared water challenges and promote sustainable water use within planetary boundaries across the industry.

“Water is a key priority for Cargill because it is such a critical input to agriculture,” said Truke Smoor, director of water at Cargill. “We believe we have an important leadership role in working with partners, like WRI, and across our value chain to accelerate sustainable water solutions that protect water quality and quantity and promote access to clean water.”

Global Forest Watch

  • Global Forest Watch, a compilation of maps created with satellite data, cloud computing and human inputs, helps businesses understand and monitor deforestation in near-real time. Since Global Forest Watch’s launch in 2014, 2.5 million individuals have visited the Global Forest Watch website and the app has over 15,000 downloads.
  • Cargill is using data and products of the Global Forest Watch Pro platform in its cocoa supply chain. The company has assessed forest cover change in over 153,000 cocoa farms covering more than 385,000 hectares of cocoa farm area in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, representing respectively 88% and 71% of its total direct sourcing networks in these countries. With Cargill’s extended contribution, WRI will add new data to existing maps and offer on-the-ground user support to enhance Global Forest Watch Pro.

“WRI creates industry-leading tools that businesses rely on to set and execute ambitious, science-based sustainability strategies,” said Craig Hanson, vice president of Food, Forests, Water and the Ocean at WRI. “As a business that works towards a more sustainable operation each day, we find Cargill’s experience to be invaluable. Cargill’s grant will enable many more businesses to have access to the tools and resources they need to manage and improve their own sustainability programs.”

In addition to water management and land use, Cargill is contributing to the development of WRI’s industry leading protocols to reduce food loss and waste, and measure greenhouse gas emissions for land use change, which will bring long-term value to companies’ operations across the globe.

“No single organization holds the secret to more sustainable business practices – it’s a joint effort. Cargill’s goal is to work with others to understand best practices, create new tools, and offer access to resources, as well as to learn and share,” said Michelle Grogg, vice president of global corporate responsibility at Cargill. “We believe agriculture is how we will improve the social, economic and environmental circumstances of our communities and suppliers, and we’re glad to work with WRI to maximize these efforts for all.”


Lauren Zelin, Media Director, WRI,
Cargill: April Nelson,