AAK implements satellite monitoring globally to support zero deforestation

AAK has taken another step in delivering on its sustainability commitments by partnering with sustainability tech companies Earthqualizer and Satelligence that provide satellite data. The partnerships will allow AAK to monitor its global supply base for palm oil with improved accuracy and in real time. This will also bring forth the opportunity to earlier detect signs of deforestation, and take immediate action.

Johan Westman, president and CEO of AAK, commented: “This new innovative monitoring technology is an important part of AAK’s sustainability strategy and by 2025, our goal is that 100% of the palm oil that we source should be 100% verified deforestation-free. As co-founder of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), AAK’s ambition is to play a leading role in transforming the palm oil industry towards sustainability. By investing in these partnerships, we will contribute to the full visibility and verification of deforestation-free supply chains.”

Earthqualizer deploys a risk management tool that screens and monitors compliance with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies among palm oil refineries, mills, and plantations. The tool is “particular effective”, AAK claimed, because of its scope which includes the verifying of parent company ownership.

Satelligence helps companies achieve a deforestation-free sourcing and production of palm oil, cocoa, coffee, soy, and other commodities. Building on artificial intelligence, satellite technology, and supply chain data, the company provides daily insights into the global performance of agricultural production and supply chain risks. Satelligence maps and monitors forests, planted palm areas, deforestation, and fire impact.

“With insights from satellite monitoring and compliance data from risk assessments, we are able to more quickly identify risks of deforestation and conversion of peatlands so that we can engage with suppliers to take appropriate actions leading to measurable progress towards our commitment. The two systems cover our global supply base for palm, and we are already seeing the benefits of our monitoring activities,” Anne Mette Olesen, chief strategy and sustainability officer for AAK, concluded.

Aide from committing to deforestation-free and conversion-free palm and soy supply chains by 2025, AAK has signed up to set binding targets for CO2 emissions reductions to be approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Towards the end of 2020, the company also signed the global Sustainable Coconut Charter, which aims to improve farmer livelihoods, lessen the carbon footprint of coconuts, and improve supply to meet rising global demand.