Managing Deforestation Risk Across the End-To-End Supply Chain


Deforestation is at the forefront of supply chain issues: forest fires are raging in the Amazon, there is public outcry on social media, and brands are committing to stop sourcing from Brazil in response. Consumers, businesses, governments, and investors are all looking to find out who's to blame. The conversation has put a massive spotlight on the role the private sector can play in environmental responsibility and halting the deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest. The first question every company has to ask is “Do we source from the Amazon?” It’s a simple question, but not one to which everyone has a clear answer. That's because agricultural supply chains are fragmented, with multiple tiers separating brands from the soy farms and cattle ranches that contribute directly to deforestation in the Amazon. The good news is that there is an established process for ensuring that deforestation isn't a problem in your supply chain. There are three steps every responsible brand, manufacturer, and investor should take to make sure we're not contributing to global deforestation: discovery, benchmarking, and verification.

Who supplies your raw materials? Where do they source them? There are the necessary first questions to assess your exposure to deforestation, and the only way to open the door to a productive collaboration with suppliers to tackle any issues as they come up. With Sourcemap, the process is as simple as inviting colleagues to Linkedin.

Now that you’ve identified who is in your supply chain you can begin asking them questions about how they operate, their environmental policies, and the commitments they have made to mitigate the risk of deforestation. Engage and benchmark these suppliers against each other and work directly with those underperforming or those that don’t provide enough information to satisfy your supplier code of conduct. Our supplier benchmarks automatically calculate scores to provide useful feedback for buyers and suppliers alike. 

It's not enough to get supplier self-reported data: ensuring a deforestation-free supply chain means verifying that the data you collected from around the world is authentic. Sourcemap verifies transactions down to the farm using built-in algorithms that ensure complete and accurate reporting. Geo-data is compared against the latest satellite imagery and known biodiversity hotspots. The outcome is a risk scorecard for each supplier that drives more efficient and effective audits.

Maintaining an ongoing supply chain discovery, benchmarking and verification process is the only way to manage the risk of deforestation. The good news is that you can manage the entire process in software with Sourcemap. Now is the time to ensure your supply chain does not contribute to deforestation, and build a supply chain you can be proud of. Contact us for a demo.