The partnership will enable Unilever and its suppliers to use the Global Forest Watch Commodities platform to monitor forest cover change around commodity supply areas and processing facilities such as palm oil mills. The partners say that this allows more informed sourcing decisions, and reporting of performance against sustainability commitments.
WRI will not receive financial support from Unilever through the partnership.
Building on Global Forest Watch, GFW Commodities provides a suite of online tools for companies to assess the impact of commodity production on forests using data in near-real time. The partnership will help to expand the suite of tools and analyses currently under development for the GFW Commodities platform and will result in additional data, tools and resources available to all users, the organizations say.
In April 2013, Unilever said it was sourcing more than a third of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, putting the company closer to its target of 100 percent by 2020. Unilever has exceeded the interim milestone of 30 percent it set itself in 2010 when launching its Sustainable Living Plan, which sets a goal for the company to halve its environmental footprint while doubling its size.