Under the 2-year partnership, Cargill will use WRI’s agricultural tools — maps, analytics and expertise — to improve its environmental management while WRI will benefit from Cargill’s global insights from working in food and agriculture in 70 countries around the world.
Cargill is joining WRI’s Corporate Consultative Group, the Global Forest Watch Partnership to address deforestation and the Aqueduct Alliance to address water risk.
Initially, efforts to protect forests will focus on two commodity supply chains: soy in Paraguay and palm oil in Indonesia. Global Forest Watch, which combines satellite technology, supply chain information, and new analytical methods to measure forest change, will help Cargill prioritize action areas and improve transparency.
In Paraguay, Cargill works with more than 3,000 farmers in the Atlantic Forest to source soy, and has been building a sustainable soy program there since 2009. WRI’s analysis will assess deforestation risks in Paraguay and across Latin America to help ensure soy is sourced more responsibly.
Cargill has also committed to creating a 100 percent transparent, traceable and sustainable palm supply chain by 2020. Global Forest Watch will help the company implement supply chain policies through its tools and methods to assess deforestation risk by looking at individual palm oil mills and concessions. This includes Global Forest Watch’s recently released weekly GLAD forest clearing alerts, which can help inform sourcing decisions and evaluate deforestation risk.
In addition to forest protection, WRI and Cargill will work together to identify and reduce water risk. This work will support updates to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, which uses a peer-reviewed methodology offering the best-available data to create high-resolution, customizable global maps of water risk. Companies around the world face operational and supply chain risks such as droughts, floods and water supply variability, which can affect their bottom lines. WRI says by working with Cargill it will be able to enhance the data and indicators provided in Aqueduct, and improve current measures of water-related business risk.
Using open source datasets that describe the origin and fate of freshwater nitrogen and phosphorous fluxes, WRI will also work with Cargill to develop a methodology for evaluating water quality impacts on freshwater systems. This methodology will be pilot tested in the US, and will identify opportunities to improve water quality in the communities where Cargill operates and sources.