Press release -
Storebrand Asset Management urges action on deforestation at Bunge AGM
Bunge’s shareholders recently overwhelmingly voted in support of a resolution filed by Storebrand Asset Management and Green Century Capital, calling the company to eliminate deforestation in its supply chain. The resolution received 98,8% of the votes cast at the company’s annual meeting.
During the company’s annual meeting, Jan Erik Saugestad, the CEO of Storebrand Asset Management, emphasized that Bunge’s current policies fail to meet the company’s commitments, and that the company´s deforestation risk in Brazil is 51 percent higher than that of its closest competitor. He stressed that necessary measures must be taken immediately to address the implementation gap, to ensure that Bunge’s no-deforestation goal is reached.
– Continued exposure to such deforestation risk may expose Bunge to material financial risks, including supply chain volatility, constrained access to capital, market access loss and constraints from regulations. As institutional investors, we believe climate change represents one of the greatest systemic risks facing society today. Deforestation alone accounts for approximately 15 percent of global emissions and approximately 70 percent of deforestation is connected to agricultural commodity production. Deforestation has also contributed to the current biodiversity crisis. Agricultural production, however, does not need to result in further deforestation. There is already enough cleared land to expand agricultural production without further destroying forests or other ecosystems, says Saugestad.
The proposal now commits Bunge to issue a report assessing how it could increase the scale, pace and rigor of its efforts to eliminate native vegetation conversion in its soy supply chain. The report should be aligned with the requests outlined in the proposal to:
- Eliminate the conversion of all native vegetation in soy supply chains
- Adopting a best practice supplier non-compliance policy
- Setting a cut-off date for native vegetation conversion
- Participate in industry agreements seeking to curtail native vegetation conversion
Saugestad assured Bunge’s board of directors and stakeholders that Storebrand will continue to engage with Bunge to strengthen its policies for eliminating deforestation, which is critical to limiting climate change to the Paris aligned goal of 1.5°C.
Storebrand Asset Management is a leading Nordic asset manager and a pioneer within the field of sustainable investments. Storebrand has approximately Euro 84 billion AUM and all assets are managed, according to strict sustainability criteria's.