All of Nestlé’s palm oil supply chain to be 100% satellite monitored

Nestlé has taken a bold step and committed to 100 percent satellite monitoring of its palm oil supply chain

TFT is pleased to announce that its member Nestlé has taken a bold step and committed to 100 percent satellite monitoring of its palm oil supply chain by the end of 2018 through Starling. Nestlé becomes the first global company to sign up to Starling’s new and intuitive online platform that offers round-the-clock deforestation monitoring.

Starling is an independent satellite verification system that provides unprecedented monitoring of supply chains in near real-time, helping companies verify their No Deforestation commitments. It combines eight different satellite constellations to produce land cover maps with over 90 percent accuracy and uses a mixture of radar and optical monitoring to provide evidence-based forest cover change.

“Eight years ago, when we began the No Deforestation journey with Nestlé, there were no tools for them to effectively monitor forest loss in their supply chain and provide assurance that their No Deforestation commitment was being met. Today that is no longer the case,” Rob McWilliam, senior manager and TFT’s lead on Starling, said. “Starling is the result of an innovative collaboration that started in 2016 with Airbus, businesses and TFT. Through pilots with businesses implemented around the world over the last two years we’ve developed the platform to provide information that allows direct action to be taken on deforestation and to have supply chains monitored.”

“Over the past 12 months, new users have adopted Starling and the service has now expanded to cover more regions of Asia, Africa and America. Continual improvements during this time strengthened our understanding of each region’s particularities and helped refine the service, allowing it to be fully adapted to users’ needs. The Starling Global Platform being released today is the result.”

The Starling Platform is designed to empower users, not only by giving access to high quality forest information across global supply chains, but also by transforming raw data into action by enabling them to measure the impact of actions taken to end deforestation. It also offers an effective means for results to be shared openly to increase both trust and transparency between companies, civil society and the public.

The mix of technology, field experience and analytics built into the system was designed to detect early warning signals and identify hot spots. Early warnings identify potential deforestation indicators (such as cocoa growing under forest canopy) which can guide proactive actions, and hot spots as areas at high-risk of deforestation. This all aims to optimize the resources available by focusing them where the biggest impact can be made and then linking them to specific suppliers where action needs to be taken on the ground.

“The idea since the beginning has been to create a practical tool that equips companies that use raw materials to accelerate the transformation of their supply chains towards meeting their No Deforestation goals. With accurate facts about what happens in their supply chains, businesses can now proactively discuss and solve deforestation issues as they happen and do something about it rapidly, rather than sit in reactive mode, waiting for an NGO to pick up the issues and campaign – as it is very much the case today – which takes a long time and is often too late for the forest,” added McWilliam.

Starling’s interactive dashboard allows users to upload public or private supply chain information, which is maintained securely, to monitor if deforestation is occurring within their sourcing areas of interest. Users are then able to produce reports to share with suppliers, other external stakeholders or the public.

Services provided include base mapping, forest cover monitoring and 30 years of historical forest change data. Together, this toolkit equips Nestlé and other users with all they need to identify if deforestation is occurring, easily decide where and when to take action, and to engage with their suppliers to stop it.

Throughout the pilot phase Nestlé accessed maps and monitoring results covering over three million hectares and is working with suppliers to address deforestation detected. Now, by committing to monitor 100 percent of its palm oil supply chain, spanning hundreds of suppliers globally, the company will be in a prime position to accurately monitor its No Deforestation commitment and work with suppliers to make sure they are No Deforestation compliant.

Nestlé will also implement Starling over 200 million hectares in key pulp and paper producing regions globally and work with suppliers to achieve responsible sourcing requirements in both natural and plantation forests.

“An added advantage of Starling is the depth and flexibility it provides that helps share the effort of monitoring land use change and deforestation amongst all actors; particularly between companies and civil society,” Bastien Sachet, TFT’s CEO, said. “It’s built on a platform that allows every user to access information that is relevant to them and share results from that monitoring publicly.”

About Starling

Starling is a service created by Airbus, The Forest Trust (TFT) and SarVision that uses a combination of high resolution imagery in order to provide monitoring of land cover change, focusing on forest cover loss. Starling is a private and independent verification tool that allows companies to verify the implementation of their No Deforestation policy. Find out more at www.starling-verification.com