WASHINGTON, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Cargill and World Resources Institute (WRI) today announced a new 2-year partnership to work across value chains to better manage deforestation and water risk. This partnership brings WRI's cutting-edge tools to the agriculture sector on a global scale. By working together, Cargill will leverage WRI's world class maps, analytical tools and expertise, while WRI will benefit from Cargill's global insights from working in food and agriculture in 70 countries around the world.
Initially, efforts to protect forests will focus on two commodity supply chains: soy in Paraguay and palm oil in Indonesia. Global Forest Watch will be a critical resource for prioritizing action areas and improving transparency. Global Forest Watch combines satellite technology, supply chain information, and new analytical methods to measure forest change.
In Paraguay, Cargill works with over 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 be a critical tool for implementing supply chain policies through its tools and methods to assess deforestation risk by looking at individual palm oil mills and concessions. Global Forest Watch's recently released weekly GLAD forest clearing alerts will be useful for informing sourcing decisions and evaluating deforestation risk faster than ever before.
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 robust, 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. Working with Cargill will allow WRI 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 United States, and will identify opportunities to improve water quality in the communities where Cargill operates and sources.
Finally, Cargill will join the Skoll Global Threats Fund to support WRI's Water Program in the development of the world's first Global Water-Food Security Analyzer. The project aims to leverage existing information and science to manage environmental and economic risk associated with agriculture globally. The Global Water-Food Security Analyzer will be freely available to the private and public sectors, providing global data on water and climate risks to agricultural production and commodities, as well as the associated economic, environmental, health, and geopolitical impacts.
"This partnership exemplifies our vision for a more sustainable and food-secure future," said Al Johnson, Cargill Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety. "Working in collaboration with NGOs and others on land use and water resources is part of our commitment to be a trusted sustainability partner to our customers and communities. It underscores our ongoing efforts to finding practical solutions to environmental and social challenges."
"It is through high-impact partnerships like this that WRI is able to put our world-class tools and expertise to work, scaling impact across global value chains to address today's most vexing issues," said Kevin Moss, Global Director, Business Center, WRI. "There's so much to be gained from better management of water risk and deforestation in company supply chains: better profits and better health for people and ecosystems. By working with Cargill to address deforestation and water risk, we can scale positive change well beyond one value chain. Partnerships such as this are critically important to our shared goals of protecting water resources and ending deforestation."
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. (www.cargill.com)
About World Resources Institute
WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and more. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Our work focuses on six critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water, and cities and transport. (www.wri.org)
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SOURCE World Resources Institute; Cargill