Companies in Action
Archer Daniels Midland incentivizes farmers to participate in sustainable agriculture initiatives. More food companies are recognizing the environmental and financial benefits of supporting their growers’ transition to sustainable farming practices, including those with a focus on water quality. Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has done this by committing to providing a lump-sum or premium incentive to any farmer who participates in its sustainable agriculture programs, focused first on U.S. farmers of corn, wheat and soybean. The programs teach and encourage specific practices, including the use of farm management software to measure and track water quality. To promote participation, ADM offers financial incentives to all farmers, along with grants to local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to support education efforts and adoption of conservation practices. A member of the AgWater Challenge since 2018, ADM has set several targets to track progress and reinforce its commitments to protect fresh water in its agricultural supply chain. Among these are commitments to enroll at least 50 regional Illinois farmers in the Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR) program and to expand the percentage of wheat the company sources from Field to Market farmers.
Walmart announces time-bound chemical footprint reduction goal, a first among US retailers. Increased consumer and investor awareness on the potential human and environmental health impacts of chemicals is encouraging companies to develop a deeper understanding of their chemical footprint, set targets and disclose progress. In 2017, Walmart became the first major retailer to evaluate its chemical footprint using the Chemical Footprint Project framework, a benchmarking tool that helps companies measure and disclose the use of chemicals of high concern throughout their value chain and provide investors and other stakeholders with decision-useful and comparable information. Through its Sustainable Chemistry Commitment, Walmart articulates how it is integrating leading green chemistry principles throughout its business. To do this, the company is asking suppliers to provide full ingredient transparency and advance safer formulation and encouraging the use of leading certifications, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program, the Environmental Working Group verification and Cradle to Cradle certification. Building on this work, the company committed to reducing the chemical footprint in personal care, beauty, baby, pet and household cleaning categories in its U.S stores by 10% by 2022 (from a 2017 baseline).
Apple commits to smart and sustainable manufacturing through strong supply chain management. There is an increased awareness that a company's supply chain does not just impact local ecosystems, it is also often interconnected with other manufacturing partners. Building on this understanding, Apple regularly audits its supply chain using a variety of metrics on the topics of water stewardship, energy efficiency and safer process chemicals, among others. To address pollution and environmental impact challenges across its supply chain, Apple partners with the widely respected Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a nonprofit environmental organization based in Beijing, China that is focused on improving the environmental performance of manufacturing suppliers across the country through brand engagement, improved data transparency and strengthened systems of accountability. In 2019, Apple was recognized by the IPE at the Master Level, a designation earned as a result of the company being ranked No. 1 five years running in the IPE's annual benchmark as a result of the company's engagement with its more than 200 suppliers in China to both track and rectify issues related to water pollution non-compliance. In 2019, Apple joined Blue EcoChain, which offers tools allowing real-time monitoring of environmental compliance for supplier facilities and has committed to bringing all of its existing Chinese suppliers into its Blue EcoChain. These actions to better manage and remediate water pollution at its supplier manufacturing facilities are supported by the company's overall commitment and investment in strong chemical management and the identification of safer chemistries in both its product design and manufacturing phases. Apple's Green Chemistry Advisory Board, a group of the leading toxicologists, researchers and academics, is brought together regularly by the company to review the latest science, discuss existing challenges and review the company's priorities and strategy for safer chemistry.