On January 19 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 20 of the world’s largest commodity producers, traders, manufacturers, consultants and retailers launched a new partnership with research institutions and banks to monitor deforestation and manage sustainability from farm to customer.
The partnership, led by the GFW team (see the full list below), will focus on building a global decision-support tool to increase transparency and traceability across supply chains. The tool will build on the technology and methods developed by WRI on the Global Forest Watch Commodities platform, which currently allows companies to evaluate supply chain risk through high-resolution maps of tree cover loss, near-real-time deforestation and fire alerts, and analysis of individual mills and farms.
Globally, 366 companies worth $2.9 trillion have committed to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, but they need better information to make good on their commitments. The new tool will not only be a source of information, but a fully operational management system. A company or bank will be able to plot the location of thousands of production mills, farms or municipalities; access alerts and dashboards to track issues such as tree cover loss and fires occurring in those areas; and inform decisions to mitigate or eliminate issues. Key functionality will incorporate agricultural sustainability data and tools into companies’ existing platforms, while keeping their proprietary information secure. Through this new approach, companies and banks will be able to integrate forest monitoring into their core business strategy the same way they track commodity prices or stock markets.
The partnership’s vision over the long term is to draw on its members’ wide-ranging expertise to monitor other areas of sustainability, from water stress to labor and human rights issues. Over the next year, the partners will provide input into the design of the new tool and test it across their supply chains.
GIZ – Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
IDH–The Sustainable Trade Initiative
Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC/IDB)
FMO–Dutch Development Bank
National Wildlife Federation
The Nature Conservancy
World Resources Institute