Soy production is one of the top four drivers of deforestation in the tropics. Soy production area has globally increased 30 percent in the last decade. Brazil is the largest soy producer in the world followed by the US, accounting for 37 and 29 percent of global soy production in 2020, respectively.
Soy produced in the global South is mostly used to feed poultry, pork, and cattle in the global North. In Brazil, soy has been one of the main drivers of recent deforestation in Cerrado biome where its production area increased 2,5 times in the last 20 years. Aidenvironment has been developing a supply chain database including soy production expansion frontiers in the global South (Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco biomes), a real-time soy-linked deforestation monitoring system, data on producer-trader relationship, traders’ sourcing areas, and global soy trading data. Aidenvironment produces real-time analysis on soy’s social and environmental impact and transforms it into actionable information for a diverse range of stakeholders, from producers, traders, investors, companies, and civil society organizations towards zero-deforestation.
Commodities: palm oil, soy, cattle, farmland investments
Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil
Target Audience: financial institutions, asset managers, investors, banks, financial regulators, companies
Date: 2014 to present
In 2014, Aidenvironment with its partners Profundo, Climate Advisers, and Green Century launched Chain Reaction Research (CRR), a program that educates financial sector actors on deforestation as a material financial risk, with a goal to motivate them to integrate sustainability in their investment criteria and demand deforestation-free production from portfolio companies. CRR makes use of a proprietary framework that includes extensive deforestation and supply chain monitoring systems, as well as a model to identify and quantify the business and financial risks associated with deforestation.
Commodities: soy, cattle, cocoa
Geography: Brazil, Paraguay, Ivory Coast
Target Audience: companies across the supply chain (traders, producers), CSOs, NGOs, media
Date: 2018 to present
Rapid Response Deforestation Monitoring System (RRDMS) provides actionable and near real-time reporting on deforestation activities to improve the public availability of deforestation data and act as an accountability system that strengthens the implementation of no-deforestation policies by commodity buyers and producers. The project targets commodity buyers and commodity producers to adopt and implement “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” (NDPE) policies. This gets shape by producing high-quality and credible rapid-response deforestation reports to identify near-real time deforestation and stop detractors in their tracks as deforestation is happening.
Commodities: soy, cattle
Target Audience: financial institutions, asset managers, investors, banks, financial regulators
Date: 2018 to 2021
Since 2018, Aidenvironment has conducted annual benchmark assessments of companies exposed to deforestation risks in the soy and cattle supply chains in Brazil. These benchmark assessments supported the efforts of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Ceres. These two responsible investment networks coordinate collaborative engagement processes to address deforestation driven by soft commodity value chains, including soy and cattle.
Risks in the cattle supply chain
Aidenvironment analyzed companies from three segments of the cattle supply chain: 1) Processors & Meatpackers, 2) Clothing & Apparel and 3) Retail & Food Service. Companies were scored on four sets of pre-defined indicators, including Policy & Strategy; Implementation; Disclosure; and Performance. Each company was systematically analyzed by the information provided to investors on its website.
Risks in the soy supply chain
Aidenvironment conducted a systematic assessment of 50 publicly traded companies with exposure to the Latin American soy supply chain. Aidenvironment developed and reviewed a tailor-made set of benchmarking indicators and scoring methodology. It then assessed the zero-deforestation approaches of these companies on the basis of this methodology.
Benchmark aligned with Accountablilty Framework principles
Aidenvironment conducted annual benchmark studies of influential players in the soy and beef supply chains in 2019 and 2020. Updated in 2019, the benchmark criteria were aligned with the Accountability Framework to reflect best practices on zero-deforestation in commodity value chains. The annual benchmarks monitored companies’ progress against their sustainability commitments and practices, highlighting leaders and laggards in each sector. In 2020, Aidenvironment provided insights based on its in-house knowledge and continuous monitoring of key companies.