This article is featured in the 2024 FCLTGlobal Blue Book, a collection of real-world examples of how our members are putting long-term strategies into practice today. We hope that these practical illustrations will inspire others to embrace the mission of focusing capital on the long term. Learn more >>

For companies that set long-term commitments and goals, the outcome in mind may be clear but the journey rarely is. That was the case in 2015 when Bunge set its commitment to be free of deforestation and native vegetation conversion in our value chains in 2025. It was an ambition that would nudge us into new and uncharted territory, but we’ve believed all along that having the right mix of talent, deep supplier relationships with farmers, and industry experience makes Bunge deliver.  

We soon realized that our non-deforestation commitment was part of an even bigger journey to do our part to decarbonize the food, feed, and fuel industries. This goal is now integral to our climate action plan and our long-term business growth strategy. Achieving this requires a company-wide effort and an investment in expertise and resources. Establishing the industry’s most comprehensive monitoring and traceability system for crops across our value chains where deforestation is a greater risk was foundational to the success of our commitment and would unlock significant opportunities in the lower carbon solutions market while strengthening our relationship with key producers around the world.  

We also knew our commitment would not be achieved solely within the walls of Bunge, so we engaged in more robust outreach and support to farmers who would be impacted by our decisions. We worked with our industry peers and our customers to align our approaches so we could achieve sector-wide success. Along our journey, we learned that seemingly small actions could achieve major results. In 2021, Bunge launched an unprecedented initiative in Brazil’s important Cerrado biome to share best practices with grain dealers, with the intention of gaining traceability and monitoring capabilities into our indirect supply chain. Known as the Bunge Sustainable Partnership, the program helps partners implement supply chain verification systems, including satellite and farm-scale images.  

This strategy has yielded highly promising results: At the beginning of 2023, we announced the traceability of over 80 percent of the soybeans acquired indirectly in areas at risk of deforestation in the Cerrado. In addition to the Sustainable Partnership Program becoming a vital instrument toward our goal of deforestation-free supply chains, the initiative also contributed to raising the standards of sustainability and transparency across the indirect soybean acquisition chain in Brazil, influencing the industry as a whole and promoting systemic change toward deforestation-free soy distribution in the country. 

Connecting Our Sustainability Goals 

With increasing focus on ESG initiatives and emission reductions, our early investment in this long-term goal of eliminating deforestation in our supply chains positioned Bunge to respond to stakeholder concerns and investment priorities in a comprehensive, highly impactful way.   

Progress toward our commitment also set the stage for our science-based targets (SBTs) in 2021. These targets are among the most ambitious in our sector and were a natural next step in Bunge’s climate journey. They demonstrate Bunge’s overall commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout our operations. Meeting our SBTs is a foundational part of our business strategy. By meeting our pre-existing non-deforestation commitment, we will be on track to achieve our Scope 3 target.   

These efforts not only help to make our business more sustainable, but they also help our customers – including many of the world’s leading food companies – achieve their commitments as well. What’s more, our ability to provide deforestation-free solutions to our customers enables us to help shape industry-wide solutions to common land use challenges.  

Engaging Farmers and Stakeholders 

Our ability to robustly monitor and trace our crops across the supply chain would not be successful without strong partnerships with farmers. Bunge is steadfast in ensuring farmers are equipped and rewarded for the essential role they play in conserving forests and native vegetation. Our relationships with farmers are built on trust and, over time, we’ve become partners in achieving our non-deforestation commitment. We have also provided resources to support farmers as they expand over previously cleared land.  

We take an active role in some of the most important networks and associations to align best practices for traceability, reporting, certification, and carbon accounting. We offer industry insight through engagement with sustainability-focused initiatives, including the Soft Commodities Forum (SCF), which enables collaboration between agribusiness to identify solutions to eliminate soy-driven deforestation and native vegetation conversion, as well as the Amazon Soybean Moratorium, a globally recognized voluntary commitment prohibiting the purchase of soybeans from designated areas.

Business Progress and Future Vision  

The journey we started on nearly a decade ago was high in ambition and risk, but the long-term approach was executed well and has delivered significant opportunities. Together, our non-deforestation and SBT commitments have strategically positioned Bunge to be the preferred partner for reducing carbon in food, feed, and fuel supply chains. Bunge’s unique expertise and scale within the industry has allowed us to take risks and make an impact, resulting in meaningful real-world results for both the climate transition and our shareholders. 

Bunge’s Focus on Long-term Strategies Helped Transform its Shareholder Base

Allen He

9 August 2023 - Developing a committed shareholder base is crucial to long-term success. Companies with a longer-term-oriented shareholder base can rely on their long-term shareholders to insulate them from short-term pressures. …

Learn More

Integrating sustainability into every business function – from supply chains to employee comp – propels ESG leadership scores

Greg Heckman, Chief Executive Officer

1 March 2023 - In the past two years, company-wide improvements enabled Bunge to take advantage of improved market conditions and generate record earnings, positioning ourselves for long-term success. …

Learn More

Investing for the long term by enabling a whole economy transition

John Graham, President and CEO

28 February 2024 - CPP Investments has committed our portfolio and operations to be net zero of greenhouse gas emissions across all scopes by 2050. A company’s ability to navigate the transition to net zero has an enormous impact on its future value. …

Learn More