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Palm oil assessments

Founded in 1958, AgroAmerica is a Guatemalan company, with operations in Guatemala, Panama, United States,

  • Landbank (oil palm):
    26,393 hectares
  • Thomson Reuters ticker:
    Private company
  • Bloomberg ticker:
    Private company
  • RSPO member?
    Yes, subsidiaries Agrocaribe and Agroaceite, S.A. are RSPO members
  • Website:

Company assessment: AgroAmerica – November 2018

SPOTT assesses companies against over 100 indicators across ten categories. Click on the icons or bars below to expand each category for further details, scoring and links to reports and sources.

Assessment date:

Total: 63.2% 73 / 115.5
  • Sustainability policy and leadership Sustainability policy and leadership 6 / 6 100%
    • Companies should publish sustainability policies or similar covering their entire supply chain — including third party suppliers — implemented and enforced through high-level leadership that engages with wider industry schemes.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      1. Sustainable palm oil policy or commitment for all its operations?

      The company has various policies covering environmental and social issues

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      2. Policy or commitment applies to direct and third-party suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      3. High-level position of responsibility for sustainability?

      Chief Sustainability Officer who reports to the CEO

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      4. Sustainability report published within last two years?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      No source

      5. Member of multiple industry schemes or other external initiatives to improve sustainability in relation to palm oil?

      CentraRSE, The Sustainability Consortium, Institute of Climate Change (ICC)

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      6. Verification report on compliance with POIG Charter, if a POIG member?

      This indicator is disabled as it is not applicable to this company.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      7. Activities with government, NGOs or academic institutions to improve palm oil sustainability?

      The company is working with WWF to improve agricultural practices and to reduce the use of agrochemicals. It also contributed to the methodology of "Permanent Plots of Forest Measurement in Mangrove" which was implemented by the National Forest Institute of Guatemala to monitor and gather information for decision making for mangrove conservation

  • Landbank, maps and traceability Landbank, maps and traceability 9 / 13 69.2%
    • Companies should publicly report figures on their total landbank and details of different areas under their management. They should also disclose maps of their management areas and provide details on traceability of their products, both to mill and plantation level.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      8. Total land area managed/controlled for oil palm (ha)?

      26,393.1 - This figure is the sum of areas given for the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, Agroaceite and Agropalma

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      9. Total oil palm planted area (ha)?

      22,896.2 - This figure is the sum of areas given for the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, Agroaceite and Agropalma

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      10. Plasma/scheme smallholders planted area (ha)?

      3,901.24 - This figure is the sum of areas given for the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, Agroaceite and Agropalma

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      11. Unplanted (areas designated for future planting) (ha)?

      934.07 - This figure only relates to two of the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe and Agroaceite. The company reports an area not planted for Agropalma of 181.57 ha but it is unclear if this will be planted in the future

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      12. Conservation set-aside area, including HCV area (ha)?

      650.63 - This figure relates to two of the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe and Agroaceite. No areas for conservation are reported for the company's operations in Panama

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      13. Area for infrastructure (ha)?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      14. Number and names of company owned mills?

      4 - The company has 3 mills in Guatemala and one in Panama

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      15. Maps or coordinates of company owned mills?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      16. Number and names of supplier mills?

      The company states that 100% of the CPO and CPKO it produces comes from its 4 mills

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      17. Maps of estates/management units?

      Two of the company's subsidiaries have submitted maps to the RSPO, one in 2014 (which has since reported acquiring land), the other in 2015 (which has not reported acquiring new land). Therefore these maps only represent part of the company's known scope of operations.

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      18. Maps of scheme/plasma smallholders?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      19. Time-bound commitment to achieve 100% traceability to mill level?

      The company states that 100% of the CPO and CPKO it produces comes from its 4 mills

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      20. Time-bound commitment to achieve 100% traceability to plantation level?

      2,020 - The company has a commitment to achieve 100% identity preserved certification by 2020

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      21. Percentage of supply traceable to mill level (above 80%)?

      The company states that 100% of the CPO and CPKO it produces comes from its 4 mills

    • Partial
      1 / 2
      Source

      22. Percentage of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from own mills traceable to plantation level (above 75%)?

      40% - One of the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, has RSPO Identity Preserved certification for one of two estates, and states that it "guarantees full traceability from planting to shipment." This covers an area of 8,968.54 ha, representing 40% of the company's landbank

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      23. Percentage of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from supplier mills traceable to plantation level (above 75%)?

      The company states that 100% of the CPO and CPKO it produces comes from its 4 mills

  • Deforestation and biodiversity Deforestation and biodiversity 8.5 / 10 85%
    • Companies should commit to address deforestation and to set aside areas for conservation. They should report on any activities to manage or restore habitat in their conservation areas, or monitor deforestation in their supply chains. They should also provide evidence of species conservation and biodiversity protection.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      24. Commitment to zero deforestation?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      25. Deforestation commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      26. Criteria for defining deforestation?

      HCV, forests with significant carbon stores

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      27. Evidence of monitoring deforestation?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      28. Examples of habitat management and/or habitat restoration?

      The company has undertaken reforestation projects and supported mangrove forest management workshops

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      29. Implementing a landscape-level approach to biodiversity conservation?

      The company states "In our recent technical agreement of co-operation with Solidaridad and MARN we committed to protect the environment though a sustainable landscape strategy."

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      30. Commitment to biodiversity conservation?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      31. Commitment to not endanger species of conservation concern, referencing international or national system of species classification?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      32. Commitment to no hunting or only sustainable hunting of species?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      33. Examples of species conservation activities?

      The company has environmental education projects for school children, and supports a nature reserve, and is also involved in protecting iguanas through an iguana reserve

  • HCV, HCS and impact assessments HCV, HCS and impact assessments 10 / 11 90.9%
    • Companies should commit to the High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) approaches, and to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIA). They should develop and publish monitoring and management plans, and provide evidence through SEIA, HCV and HCS assessments, typically published in summary form due to the sensitive nature of certain sites.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      34. Commitment to conduct High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      35. HCV commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      36. Commitment to only use licensed High Conservation Value (HCV) assessors accredited by the HCV Resource Network's Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS)?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      37. High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for planting undertaken prior to January 2015, and associated management and monitoring plans?

      Two HCV assessment summaries are available for planting that took place before 2015, containing management and monitoring recommendations

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      38. High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for all estates planted since January 2015?

      Two NPPs have been submitted since January 2015 (one for Agroaceite, one for Agrocaribe) and their assessment summaries and management plans are available. No new planting has been undertaken in Panama since January 2015

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      39. High Conservation Value (HCV) management and monitoring plans for all estates planted since January 2015?

      Two NPPs have been submitted since January 2015 (one for Agroaceite, one for Agrocaribe) and their assessment summaries and management plans are available. No new planting has been undertaken in Panama since January 2015

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      40. Satisfactory review of all High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments undertaken since January 2015 by the HCV ALS Quality Panel?

      HCV assessments for subsidiary Agroaceite for "Municipalities: Coatepeque, Pajapita and Retalhuleu Departments: San Marcos, Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu" and Agrocaribe for "Guatemala, Izabal" were both satisfactory

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      41. Commitment to the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach?

      The company commits to no development in forests with significant carbon stores, but does not commit to the HCS Approach before all new development

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      42. High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      43. Commitment to conduct social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs)?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      44. Social and environmental impact assessments (SEIAs) undertaken, and associated management and monitoring plans?

      Two NPPs have been submitted since January 2015 and their assessment summaries and management plans are available, one of which (Agrocaribe) includes a summary of the SEIA

  • Peat, fire and GHG emissions Peat, fire and GHG emissions 6.5 / 15 43.3%
    • Companies should commit to protect peatland and undertake best management practices for soils and peat. They should also have policies on zero burning and to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Companies should report their GHG emissions, as well as any fires that occurred in or around their estates, along with plans for managing and monitoring fires.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      45. Commitment to no planting on peat of any depth?

      The company commits to not develop peat but it does not specify depth

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      46. Peat commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

      The company's policy applies to all own operations and all third party suppliers, however they do not have a clear commitment to no planting on peat of any depth

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      47. Commitment to best management practices for soils and peat?

      The company commits to ensure best practices in areas already planted with peat but does not have a similar commitment for soils

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      48. Landbank or planted area on peat?

      0 - The company states it has not developed on peat soils but this data is undated

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      49. Evidence of best management practices for soils and peat?

      The company recycles nutrients within its plantations, and grows ground cover to reduce erosion and weeds, but does not explicitly state that it does not have operations on peat

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      50. Commitment to zero burning?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      51. Zero burning commitment applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      52. Evidence of management and monitoring fires?

      The company reports training on fire management, but does not provide details of fire monitoring activities

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      53. Details/number of hotspots/fires in company estates?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      54. Details/number of hotspots/fires within surrounding landscape/smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      55. Time-bound commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity?

      The company states it has a commitment to become carbon negative in two years, but it is unclear when this commitment was made

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      56. GHG emissions from land use change?

      GHG emissions are reported for subsidiaries Agrocaribe and Agroaceite. No figures could be found for Agropalma

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      57. Methodology used to calculate GHG emissions?

      PalmGHG calculator

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      58. Progress towards commitment to reduce GHG emissions intensity?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      59. Percentage of mills with methane capture (100%)?

      The company has stated it traps methane, but it is not clear if all mills have methane capture

  • Water, chemical and pest management Water, chemical and pest management 8 / 12 66.7%
    • Companies should commit to managing water use and water quality, providing evidence through time-bound reduction plans, policies on toxic chemical use and treatment of palm oil mill effluent (POME).

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      60. Time-bound commitment to improve water use per tonne of FFB Processed?

      The company is committed to reducing the use of water by 40-45% by 2019 however the target is not based on intensity

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      61. Time-bound commitment to improve water quality (BOD and COD)?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      62. Progress towards commitment on water use?

      The company reports that the use of Smart Irrigation Technologies has reduced water use by 30%. Agroaceite reports an average reduction of 40% to 45% in water use, however figures are not reported for water use intensity

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      63. Progress towards commitment on water quality (BOD and COD)?

      The company states it has reduced its BOD and COD in effluent output by 80% in the last 10 years, but it does not have a target in place

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      64. Protection of natural waterways through buffer zones?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      65. Evidence of treating palm oil mill effluent (POME)?

      The company only states that in Guatemala it has "projects whose aim is treating the palm oil mill's waste water to generate clean energy, reduce greenhouse gases and obtain suitable water to reuse in irrigation"

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      66. Commitment to minimise the use of chemicals, including pesticides and chemical fertilisers?

      The company has signed an MOU with WWF to improve sustainable agricultural practices and reduce the use of pesticides in areas near the Mesoamerican reef and with high risk of contamination, and the use of fertilisers per tonne used in basic plantings

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      67. No use of paraquat?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      68. No use of World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1A and 1B pesticides?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      69. No use of chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention and Rotterdam Convention?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      70. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      71. Chemical usage per ha or list of chemicals used?

  • Community, land and labour rights Community, land and labour rights 12 / 19.5 61.5%
    • Companies should commit to respect human rights, including those of indigenous peoples and local communities, consulted with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Companies should respect the rights of workers, report relevant workforce data, and comply with health and safety legislation.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      72. Commitment to human rights, referencing the UN Declaration of Human Rights or UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      73. Commitment to human rights applies to scheme smallholders and independent suppliers?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      74. Commitment to respect legal and customary land tenure rights?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      75. Commitment to respect indigenous and local communities' rights, referencing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or ILO 169?

      The company commits to respect indigenous and local communities' rights but does not refer to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or ILO 169

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      76. Commitment to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      77. FPIC commitment applies to independent suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      78. Details of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process available?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      79. Details of process for addressing land conflicts available?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      80. Commitment to mitigate impacts on food security?

      The company has a Nutritional Food Security program, but it does not explicitly commit to ensure food security through assisting with crop diversity and/or food prices

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      81. Commitment to provide essential community services and facilities?

      The company helps provide access to medical care and helps maintain and repair schools, roads and bridges

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      82. Commitment to respect all workers' rights?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      83. Reference to Fundamental ILO Conventions or Free and Fair Labour Principles?

      The company commits to respect the ILO's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      84. tal number of employees?

      4,300

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      85. Percentage or number of temporary employees?

      0 - The company states it does not employ temporary staff

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      86. Percentage or number of women employees?

      16% - Figure relates to all operations

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      87. Commitment to pay minimum wage?

      The company states that it provides a living wage above the minimum wage to all workers. Evidence is given for its operations in Guatemala but not Panama

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      88. Commitment to address occupational health and safety?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      89. Time lost due to work-based injuries?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      90. Number of fatalities as a result of work-based accidents?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      91. Provision of personal protective equipment and pesticide training?

      The company reports workers in one subsidiary receiving training in the responsible use and management of pesticides, and that employees receive appropriate equipment and training in responsible use of agrochemicals

  • Certification standards Certification standards 8 / 16 50%
    • Companies should become members of credible certification standards and report in accordance with all appropriate categories of membership. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) requires members registered as growers to submit data relating to certification targets for their estates, scheme smallholders and independent fresh fruit bunch (FFB) suppliers, via an annual communications of progress (ACOP) report.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      92. Member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?

      Two of the company's subsidiaries are RSPO members, Agroaceite and Agrocaribe. Agroamerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp. is in the process of obtaining group level RSPO certification

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      93. Submitted most recent RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP)?

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      94. Listed all countries and regions in which operates in most recent RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP)?

      The company's subsidiaries that are members of the RSPO both report operating in Guatemala in their 2017 ACOPs

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      95. Time-bound plan for achieving 100% RSPO certification of estates within 5 years or achieved 100% RSPO-certification of estates?

      2,018 - Both of the company's subsidiaries that are RSPO members state that they plan to achieve 100% certification of estates by 2018. The company also states a commitment to achieve full RSPO certification including its operations in Panama by 2020

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      Source

      96. Time-bound plan for achieving 100% RSPO certification of scheme/associated smallholders within 5 years or achieved 100% RSPO-certification of scheme/associated smallholders?

      The company's subsidiaries that are members of the RSPO report having only independent smallholder suppliers (Agrocaribe) or no smallholder suppliers (Agroaceite). However, Agrocaribe also reports having 9.74 ha under scheme/plasma smallholders that is uncertified, so the status of all Agrocaribe's smallholder suppliers is unclear, and it gives no target for achieving certification

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      97. Year expected to achieve 100% RSPO certification of all palm product processing facilities?

      2,018 - This relates to one of the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, and therefore it is unclear whether this accounts for all palm product processing across the whole company

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      No source

      98. RSPO-certified within three years of joining the RSPO or by November 2010, for companies joining prior to finalisation of the RSPO certification systems in November 2007?

    • Partial
      1 / 2
      Source

      99. Percentage of mills RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

      1 (25%)

    • Partial
      1 / 2
      Source

      100. Percentage of area (ha) RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

      10,177 (45.6%) - This figure relates to one of the company's subsidiaries, as reported in its 2017 ACOP. However, the RSPO website reports that this subsidiary's certified production area is 9,036 ha

    • No
      0 / 2
      Source

      101. Percentage of scheme/associated smallholders (ha) RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

      0 (0%) - The company's subsidiary Agrocaribe reports having no land certified under scheme/plasma smallholders, but 9.74 ha uncertified

    • No
      0 / 2
      Source

      102. Percentage of FFB supply (tonnes) from independent FFB suppliers that is RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

      0% - One of the company's subsidiaries, Agrocaribe, reports receiving FFB supplies from independent smallholders, but none of this is certified

    • Partial
      1.5 / 2
      Source

      103. Percentage of all palm oil and oil palm products handled/traded/processed (tonnes) that are RSPO-certified (above 75%)?

      62% - The company's subsidiary Agrocaribe reports 62% of the palm oil and palm oil products it handles/produces/trades is certified

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      104. Sells or processes/trades RSPO-certified palm oil through Segregated or Identity Preserved supply chains?

      The company's subsidiary Agrocaribe sells RSPO-certified palm oil through Identity Preserved supply chains, in addition to conventional CSPO and CSPK

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      105. Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certified (100%)?

      This indicator is disabled as it is not applicable to this company.

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      106. Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certified?

      This indicator is disabled as it is not applicable to this company.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      107. Certified under voluntary sustainability certification scheme (e.g. ISCC, SAN, RSB, etc.)?

      The company's subsidiaries Agrocaribe and Agroaceite are Rainforest Alliance certified for oil palm, among other certifications reported by the company, some of which apply to its banana operations

  • Smallholders and suppliers Smallholders and suppliers 1 / 7 14.3%
    • Companies should report details of any programmes or schemes to support both schemed and independent smallholders, as well as criteria to assess suppliers on compliance with company policies, and in what cases suppliers should be suspended or excluded due to non-compliance.

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      108. Programme to support scheme smallholders?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      109. Number or percentage of scheme smallholders involved in programme?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      110. Programme to support independent smallholders?

      The company's subsidiary Agrocaribe reports that it supports independent smallholder groups by providing technical assistance and support to achieve RSPO certification

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      111. Number or percentage of independent smallholders involved in programme?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      112. Process used to prioritise, assess and/or engage suppliers on compliance with company's policy and/or legal requirements?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      113. Suspension or exclusion criteria for suppliers?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      114. Percentage of suppliers assessed and/or engaged on compliance with company requirements?

  • Governance and grievances Governance and grievances 4 / 6 66.7%
    • Companies should operate in an ethical manner at all levels, providing accessible channels and clear procedures for both employees and external stakeholders to raise any grievance or complaint with the company, as well as allowing for whistleblowing.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      115. Commitment to ethical conduct and prohibition of corruption?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      116. Whistleblowing procedure?

      The company has an ethics reporting line which offers a secure and confidential route, via an external company, to submit questions or complaints by phone, email, or online

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      117. Own grievance or complaints system?

      The company has an ethics reporting line which also allows stakeholders to report issues around the company's internal policies and laws

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      118. Grievance or complaints system is accessible to internal and external stakeholders?

    • No
      0 / 2
      No source

      119. Details of grievances disclosed?

Media monitor: AgroAmerica

SPOTT monitors global media sources for coverage of assessed companies. The media monitor gathers reports about specific activities related to the assessment indicator categories. ZSL does not assess the validity of media coverage, but users can explore the media monitor to provide context on implementation, and infer risks associated with reported operations on the ground.

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Research protocols: AgroAmerica

Research protocols guide how ZSL conducts SPOTT assessments and allocates scores to ensure a fair and consistent approach, setting the expectations for companies on how they should publish ESG data. The full palm oil indicator framework contains 119 indicators across 10 categories, aligned with corporate reporting initiatives.

SPOTT is a ZSL initiative.
Zoological Society of London (ZSL)