The scorecard assesses 22 of the largest soy traders on their actions to end soy-driven deforestation, conversion and human rights abuses
The Soy Traders Scorecard assesses 22 companies involved in the trading of soy on the commitments they have made and the actions they have taken to ensure that there is no destruction of nature or human rights abuse in their supply chains.
WHO WAS ASSESSED?
Companies were selected based on their potential exposure to deforestation/conversion risk. This was measured by estimated volumes of soy exported from key producing countries (Brazil, US, Argentina and Paraguay, which together represented 84% of global soy production in 2020), and estimations of deforestation risk linked to soy from these areas by trase.earth.
WHAT DATA WAS COLLECTED?
Developed and delivered in partnership with Global Canopy, surveys were sent to companies for self-reporting, with questions focused on deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems. The surveys were pre-populated with data that companies publicly reported and has been collected as part of the Forest 500 assessments, and/or volumes and deforestation risk estimations from trase.earth. Further guidance on company commitments and actions for their implementation can be found in the Accountability Framework.
Companies were invited to review, update and add to the information before publication and were provided detailed guidance on how to do so.
Only nine of the traders responded and provided supplementary information. The commitments of those that didn’t respond were identified based on publicly available information collected by Forest 500 where possible and additional desk-based research.
This section focuses on the commitments made by the traders on deforestation and conversion, the traceability of their soy supply, and human rights abuses in their supply chains, and whether these commitments cover all of their operations and procurement.
Protection of forests and other natural ecosystems - 53.33%
Soy traders must have a time-bound commitment to zero deforestation and conversion in their supply chains, with a cutoff date of 2020 at the latest (in alignment with the New York Declaration on Forests and target 15.2 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals). This commitment should apply to all geographies in which the company operates and to the entire corporate group. The commitment should have a clear target date for full implementation, which should be as soon as possible but no later than 2025, and interim milestones.
Respect for human rights - 26.67%
As deforestation and conversion go hand in hand with human rights abuses, soy traders must commit to respecting internationally recognized human rights, with particular focus on securing the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples and local communities before any activity that may affect their rights, lands, resources, territories, livelihoods and food security. These commitments should apply to all geographies in which the company operates and to the entire corporate group.
Traceability - 20%
While traceability alone does not guarantee sustainability, it can help companies understand and improve the sustainability of their own supply chain, and extend support beyond their own supply chain. Soy traders should commit to tracing their supply chain to the farm level in order to be able to verify compliance with their commitments. The commitment should apply to all sourcing in all geographies and the entire corporate group. It should have a clear target date for achievement, which should be as soon as possible but no later than 2025.
Focusing on how the traders implement their commitments throughout their supply chain, this section looks at indicators such as conducting supply chain-wide risk assessments, monitoring suppliers, and verifying compliance and progress.
Company systems and processes - 6.06%
To embed their commitment into their operations and decision-making, traders must develop effective internal processes and systems. Traders must establish senior leadership responsibility and accountability for deforestation/conversion matters, including at CEO and/or board level. To enable grievances to be addressed early and remediated directly, all companies should establish an effective grievance mechanism that is readily accessible to individuals and communities.
Supply chain assessment - 6.06%
Soy traders must transparently identify deforestation and conversion as a business risk, and conduct regular risk assessments covering all volumes of soy produced and sourced by the company. Soy traders must also ensure that all of their operations and sourcing comply with any relevant laws and should conduct assessments to ensure that this is the case.
Managing for supply chain compliance - 57.58%
Traders must have robust supplier management and engagement systems to ensure progress towards zero-deforestation and conversion commitments and resolve issues promptly and effectively. They must: embed deforestation and conversion criteria into trading and procurement decisions; publish clear criteria for exclusion of non-compliant suppliers; and engage with non-compliant suppliers to set action plans to improve. Prior to any land development or acquisition, companies must conduct or support suppliers to conduct social and environmental impact assessments in alignment with Accountability Framework guidance. Companies must provide remedy to (or require and support all suppliers that own or manage land to provide remedy to) any harms in case of negative social impacts associated with the company's prior actions or land management practices and restore any land converted after the cutoff date. This is in line with international human rights laws, national laws and many voluntary commitments which affirm the right to an effective remedy when adverse impacts to human rights occur.
Supplier requirements - 12.12%
Soy traders should require that their suppliers take action across their entire operations (and not only on the volumes supplied to the trader) to eliminate deforestation, conversion, and human rights abuse from soy production. Action to move supplier practices as a whole prevent leakage and cascade best practices up the supply chain.
Monitoring and verification - 18.18%
Soy traders must diligently monitor direct and indirect suppliers—including farms of origin—against deforestation and conversion requirements. Monitoring protocols should be fully transparent and third-party verified, and civil society organizations should participate in their development.
This scoring section looks at whether the traders report on their progress towards their deforestation/conversion or traceability commitments.
Outcomes: deforestation and conversion - 75%
Soy traders must act swiftly to achieve their commitments and reduce the volume of soy produced on converted land to zero. They must have robust, independently verified processes to measure their progress, and report this publicly and clearly.
Outcomes: traceability - 25%
Soy traders must publicly report on the traceability of their supply chains, clearly demonstrating the proportion of their volumes that are traceable, and the level. They must strive to reach 100% traceability to the farm as soon as possible.
Increasing transparency of soy supply chains is critical in ensuring that they are free from deforestation/conversion and human rights risks. This scoring section assesses whether traders are transparent on their exposure to deforestation through soy.
Company information and exposure - 72.73%
It is critical that soy traders increase their transparency on key pieces of company information to enable stakeholders to understand their exposure to deforestation and conversion risk. This includes volumes sourced by subnational area, supplier lists and location, and further information pertaining to the company’s operations.
Certification - 9.09%
If soy traders use certification schemes—either third-party schemes or their own—this must be made publicly available in full. This includes making the company’s own standards publicly available in their entirety, as well as disclosing percentages of volumes covered by certification schemes.
Policy advocacy - 9.09%
In addition to bold actions within and beyond their own supply chains, traders should advocate for regulatory frameworks that enable progress towards supply chains free of deforestation, conversion, and human rights abuses. Traders should be transparent about any political contributions and campaign expenditures in all relevant jurisdictions.
Survey Response - 9.09%
Did the company respond to the scorecard survey?
The final scoring section considers whether the soy traders collaborate or partner with other stakeholders on improving the sustainability of soy production and procurement beyond their own supply chains.
Collaborate for change - 100%
Soy traders should constructively participate in collaborative initiatives in both producer and consumer countries to support large-scale change for deforestation- and conversion-free soy. This participation should go beyond commitments for the company's own supply chain, by requiring company participation with demonstrable action intended to increase the sustainability of the wider soy industry.