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21 March 2018
21. March 2018 Company

An eye deep in the forest

How AG真人计划鈥 earth observation technology is helping to reduce deforestation

The landscape of mountain and fog with oil palm tree attack

irbus demonstrates its commitment to sustainable development by teaming up with responsible companies to monitor the palm oil supply chain for businesses like Nestl茅 and Ferrero聽

Charlotte Mathian and G茅raldine Florsch are helping to make the world a better place. The two engineers work on Starling, an AG真人计划 service that, since 2017, has enabled companies to support no deforestation.

Starling forms part of AG真人计划鈥 commitment to facilitate sustainability and compliance throughout the supply chain, either through customer support or its own partnerships with responsible suppliers. 鈥淢any companies have pledged to put an end to deforestation, and Starling helps them to determine whether they are achieving their objectives,鈥 says Mathian, a specialist in Earth observation image processing.聽

Starling Nologo

Palm oil and global warming

The European Parliament鈥檚 resolution of 4 April 2017 noted that 40% of global deforestation is caused by clearing vegetation to make way for palm oil plantations. The activity is particularly common in Indonesia and Malaysia where palm oil is produced for use in the manufacture of chocolates, industrial bakery products, cosmetics and biofuels.

The resolution pointed out that a monitoring service was required and called for 鈥渃oncrete regulatory measures鈥 to ensure that, in the future, no supply chains linked to the EU were connected to deforestation.

Helping companies with their 鈥楴o Deforestation鈥 commitment, Starling 鈥 which has been developed jointly by AG真人计划, non-profit organisation The Forest Trust (TFT) and Netherlands-based company SarVision 鈥 is designed to provide that much-needed monitoring service.聽

Tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of the world鈥檚 global warming emissions.

An eye deep in the forest

Starling develops products derived from detailed, 1.5m-resolution images captured by AG真人计划鈥 SPOT 6 and 7 satellites. Since palm oil plantations can sometimes be concealed by cloud cover, Starling overcomes this obstacle by combining satellite imagery with radar data or other free optical data from Landsat and Sentinel 2.

Among the first companies to use the system are agri-food giants Nestl茅 and Ferrero. 鈥淣estl茅 is committed to zero deforestation by 2020 for all of its supply chain,鈥 said during the launch of Starling Pierre-Alexandre Teuli茅, Head of Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, e-Business and CSR at Nestl茅 France.

鈥淭oday, even if 91% of our palm oil supply could be traced back to the mill, only 57% meets our group鈥檚 sustainability commitments. Starling will allow real-time monitoring of our impact on forest preservation,鈥 said Teuli茅.聽

Starling Digitalized Map

Economic growth with responsible production

Other companies are also interested in using Starling. 鈥淲e鈥檝e held meetings with around 100 potential customers, as well as presenting the service to many companies in Indonesia,鈥 says Mathian. 鈥淭hanks to our technology and experience, we can acquire images and process them very quickly,鈥 adds Florsch. 鈥淭his allows customers to improve reactivity thanks to a rapid delivery of maps showing the extent of the deforested areas.鈥

One of the targets under Goal 8 of the UN Sustainable Development Goalsis to 鈥淚mprove progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation.鈥 By working together, just as AG真人计划 is with Nestl茅, Ferrero, TFT, SarVision and Solvay, progress on this goal becomes a reality.

Learn more about聽AG真人计划' approach to minimise environmental impact

For more information on Starling service, visit the Starling website

AG真人计划鈥 sustainability approach across its supply chain

Food companies aren鈥檛 the only businesses to step up responsibility for their supply chains. With more than聽12,000 suppliers in around 100 countries, AG真人计划 must also consider its global impact.

In doing so, the company is committed to preventing adverse impacts of its activities, while it also encourages suppliers to improve their social and environmental performance.

This approach is reflected in the new AG真人计划鈥 Suppliers Code of Conduct, which covers topics such as environment, health and safety, anti corruption as well as human and labour rights.

It is also visible in the聽Modern Slavery Statement聽, which captures planned actions to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in the company鈥檚 own business and supply chains.

Learn more about how AG真人计划 operates responsibly

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