We take a proactive approach to monitoring the risk of deforestation across our plantations and amongst our Cameroon Outgrower Programme smallholders by engaging third-party verification. This follows the Group’s No Deforestation policy (since December 2018) across all our land, and the implementation of an integrated landscape management approach in consultation with key environmental and social organisations.
Corrie MacColl aligns with the GPSNR definition of deforestation – Loss of natural forest as a result of: i) conversion to agriculture or other non-forest land use; ii) conversion to a tree plantation; or iii) severe and sustained degradation.
We have engaged MapHubs, an independent satellite imagery service, to verify our no deforestation status annually. This started with a review last year dating back to our No Deforestation commitment in Dec 2018, followed by our first annual monitoring. For the year July-June 2020/21, MapHubs analysed any potential deforestation by reviewing Planet quarterly images from Dec 2019-May 2020 to identify remaining forest and compared it against a June 2021 Planet monthly mosaic and Sentinel-2/Landsat medium resolution imagery. The results of the report demonstrate that Corrie MacColl has upheld our commitment to No Deforestation over this period. There were few cases of smallholder deforestation on subsistence basis recorded in the estates, and Corrie MacColl representatives will continue to engage with local communities to emphasize the benefits of no deforestation.
The No Deforestation policy and external MapHubs verification also applies to our Cameroon Outgrower Programme. As part of the onboarding process, MapHubs are provided with the coordinates of all smallholder land and subsequently analyse deforestation by reviewing Planet quarterly image from Dec 2018 and comparing it against Planet monthly mosaic and Sentinel-2/Landsat medium resolution imagery at the time of the onboarding assessment. Going forward, the data will be reviewed on a 5 year basis.
Furthermore, Corrie MacColl’s progress across sustainability KPIs in line with our sustainability-linked loan with Deutsche Bank, including No Deforestation, is reviewed annually by an external global consulting firm, ERM. Read more about the loan and sustainability review, and ERM’s appointment here.