After years of pressure, the company acts to reform its policies on Brazilian soy
Media Contacts: Josh Chetwynd, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-573-5558; Annalisa Tarizzo, email@example.com, 617-482-0800
Boston, April 19, 2021 – Following more than a half-decade of sustained efforts from investors, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM), a Fortune 100 food and agricultural processing company, has agreed to strengthen its no-deforestation policy. Specifically, the decision comes following a shareholder proposal presented by Green Century Capital Management° and Dutch asset management firm Robeco that called on the company to change its practices. With ADM’s new commitment, Green Century and Robeco have withdrawn their proposal.
“We have been pressing ADM for years and are gratified that they’re listening to their shareholders on this vital issue,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “By reforming its agricultural supply chain, the company positions itself as an environmental leader among the major grain companies.”
As part of the company’s revised and expanded commitments, ADM has:
- Added to its no-deforestation policy a goal to eliminate the conversion of native vegetation in its South America soy supply chain, and
- Adopted a revised policy for managing supplier non-compliance.
The company has also announced plans to achieve full traceability of its indirect soy suppliers in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina by the end of 2022; to report on the deforestation-free and conversion-free volumes in its Brazilian soy supply chain in 2021; and a 2030 target date for completely eliminating deforestation in its supply chains.
Historically, the Amazon has been the focus for forest protection in Brazil. However, during the past decade, after hard-won safeguards were secured for the Amazon, soy production moved southward to the Cerrado region, a wooded savanna biome. Some of ADM’s soy sourcing is located in the Cerrado savanna, which has seen 50% more deforestation and native vegetation conversion than the Amazon rainforest since 2008.
“The Cerrado may be less well-known than the Amazon, but it’s just as important an area when it comes to not only protecting Brazil’s biodiversity but also fighting climate change. For those reasons, this agreement is a significant step to get the area the safeguards it needs,” Samuelrich said.
Green Century’s work with ADM dates back to 2015, when the firm worked with the company to establish the first cross-commodity zero deforestation agreement, which covered palm oil and soy. Green Century has been leading a group of global investors engaging ADM on issues related to deforestation since last year. Green Century previously filed shareholder proposals with ADM in 2015 and 2020.
“We commend the company for taking these important steps toward preventing deforestation and native vegetation conversion in its Brazilian soy supply chain,” Samuelrich added.
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2021, the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company comprised 0.00%, 0.18%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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