Projects Newforesight

Assisting the Index Initiative in ranking sustainability performances of Agricultural Commodity Traders

Recognizing the potential of the private sector to contribute to the sustainable development agenda, the Index Initiative’s mission is to inspire and challenge companies to serve as agents of positive change. As a strategy to fulfil this goal, the II develops indices that rank the leading companies in specific industries, which are believed to have the greatest potential to contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their initial focus is on: Agricultural Commodity Traders, Chemicals, Mobile Telecommunications Services, Oil & Gas, and Seafood. The function of each index is two-fold; on the one end, it helps clarify societal expectations with regards to the industry’s contribution to sustainable development; on the other end, it allows to monitor and compare to what extent companies are meeting these expectations. This provides them with an incentive to have greater positive impact by encouraging a “race to the top” of the index.

As a result of its proven track record in improving the sustainability of agro-commodity value chains, NewForesight was asked to lead the analysis in the domain of Agricultural Commodity Traders. An in-depth study was conducted across five commodities – cocoa, cotton, palm oil, rice, and soy – focusing on the trade dynamics that characterize them.
For each of these crops the Index Initiative wished to ascertain key metrics related to production, trade and overall market dynamics, the state of sustainability in the sector and existing sustainability initiatives, and finally develop an overview and analysis of the role of the main commodity traders throughout the different value chains.

Work delivered
Following a period of extensive desk research, NewForesight has prepared six reports (one per commodity) that will be used by the Index Initiative to understand how to develop the index. In addition, we delivered a high-level synthesis of findings and a conclusion highlighting the impact of commodity traders on the SDGs.


Index Initiative:

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NewForesight’s contribution to the Index Initiative study on the role of the private sector in the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here