What value does the Tools for Transformation (T4T) system bring to business?
Tools for Transformation (T4T) has been created by global non-profit The Forest Trust in collaboration with key players in the palm oil industry, including Cargill, Fuji Oil, IOI, Louis Dreyfus Company, Nestlé and Wilmar, T4T helps refineries and mills navigate their way to NDPE best practice, promoting greater collaboration through the supply chain. Since 2011, TFT has been on the ground with our member’s palm oil suppliers in Malaysia and Indonesia. After speaking to our members and their suppliers, we found that:
- Awareness among suppliers was low regarding NDPE requirements and how to adhere to them
- The reach of face-to-face engagements was limited by the sheer number of suppliers in the supply chain
- Members needed data to benchmark practices in their supply chain against their NDPE policies and evaluate areas to concentrate resources for improvement
What are the components of T4T and how do they work?
Co-developed by TFT and its members, Tools for Transformation comprises of four components:
- A paid questionnaire comprising of about 30 questions on environmental and social practices, guided by NDPE principles. Effectively, a self-diagnosis tool for suppliers
- Paid action plans that tell mills and plantations where they need to improve to meet their buyer’s NDPE policies
- Free resources on how to achieve compliance with their buyer’s NDPE policies
- Paid analytics that aggregate supply chain data and tell buyers (brands, refiners and producers) where they need to focus their transformation efforts
What kinds of data does T4T produce?
The system produces two types of data:
- Aggregated supply chain data for producers and brands
- Individual data on mills and plantations, which allows them access to information to close gaps. This data is private to the supplier, unless they decide to share it with their buyers
What is unique about the system?
T4T is a way of using technology to take supplier engagement to the next level. It is not meant to be a replacement for face-to-face engagement, but rather it is meant to supplement it. It has been tested with more than 70 palm oil mills and plantations, and is now being used with about 300 suppliers (mills and plantations) and seven refineries across Malaysia and Indonesia. Tools for Transformation can give refineries, mills and plantations:
- Easy access to information to enable greater transparency and scale up industry-wide transformation
- A bottom up approach to empower suppliers to transform