SWITZERLAND – Global food and beverages giant, Nestle has confirmed that three-quarters of its agricultural commodities are verified as deforestation-free as it strives to achieve the ‘zero-deforestation’ objective.

The company said 77% of the raw materials across its supply network are sourced from areas not associated with deforestation.

This is part of Nestle’s global commitment to ensure that none of its products would be associated with deforestation by 2020.

To achieve this ambitious goal, the company is using a combination of tools, including certification, supply chain mapping and on-the-ground verification throughout its supply chain.

It also uses satellite imagery from the Starling system, a technology developed through a collaboration between Airbus, Earthworm Foundation and Nestlé to monitor its entire palm oil supply chain.

The company said it plans to roll out the technology in soya sourcing later this year, as well as for pulp and paper.

Starling system enables Nestle better understand ‘where deforestation occurs, what drives it and who is involved’, information vital in verifying compliance and drive transformative actions.

“Innovation and technology like Starling is accelerating our journey towards zero deforestation,” said Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations, Nestlé S.A.

“This is transforming the way we manage deforestation risks in our palm oil supply chain – we are using this tool to hold our suppliers and ourselves accountable.

“We are satisfied with our progress, but there is much more to do. The last miles to go are always the hardest.”

Nestle has also published a Transparency Dashboard that uses Starling data to provide information on deforestation trends observed near the mills it sources from.

By adopting innovative satellite monitoring services, Nestle accelerates its ‘no deforestation’ commitment and transparency across its supply chain.

“Nestlé is the first company to use satellite monitoring across all its palm oil supply chain, accelerating its no deforestation commitment and providing such level of transparency to the public,” said Bastien Sachet, CEO of Earthworm Foundation.

“The data collected through these satellites points out that challenges remain, and no single company can achieve that on its own.

“All businesses that have similar commitments must start monitoring, verifying and most importantly acting on the basis of what these tools reveal to us.

“Eventually, publicly available information about deforestation and supply chains will allow consumers and investors to really see which companies are truly walking the talk.”