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Palm oil assessments

Established in 1923, US based commodity processor and trader ADM also owns palm oil operations

  • Landbank (oil palm):
    13,000 hectares
  • Market cap:
    26,867,000,000 USD
  • Thomson Reuters ticker:
    ADM.A
  • Bloomberg ticker:
    ADM US
  • ISIN:
    US0394831020
  • RSPO member?
    Yes
  • Website:

Company assessment: Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) – 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: 77.3% 81.5 / 105.5
  • 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?

    • 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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      4. Sustainability report published within last two years?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      Member of TFT, UNGC, WBCSD and signatory of the International Trade Centers (ITC) Trade for Sustainable Development Principles (T4SD)

    • 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 has partnered with TFT to help implement its policy and increase traceability of its supply chain and has donated to TFT's Rurality projects in Sabah, and works with other organisations including Solidaridad, and SPVS (Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educa??o Ambiental)

  • Landbank, maps and traceability Landbank, maps and traceability 13 / 15 86.7%
    • 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)?

      13,000

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      9. Total oil palm planted area (ha)?

      5,500

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      2,000

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      0

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      5,500 - HCV areas

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      13. Area for infrastructure (ha)?

    • n/a
      -
      Source

      14. Number and names of company owned mills?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

    • n/a
      -
      Source

      15. Maps or coordinates of company owned mills?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      16. Number and names of supplier mills?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      17. Maps of estates/management units?

      Concession boundaries have been made available to the RSPO and the company declares these represent 100% of their concession sites. Maps are available on GeoRSPO

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

      18. Maps of scheme/plasma smallholders?

      The company only provides a static image file with locations of smallholders. Boundaries of smallholder estates are not available

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      The company has achieved 100% traceability back to plantation

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      The company has achieved 100% traceability back to plantation

    • Yes
      2 / 2
      Source

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

      The company has achieved 100% traceability back to plantation

    • n/a
      -
      No source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

    • Yes
      2 / 2
      Source

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

      The company has achieved 100% traceability back to plantation

  • Deforestation and biodiversity Deforestation and biodiversity 8 / 10 80%
    • 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?

      HCS, HCV

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      27. Evidence of monitoring deforestation?

      The company states it seeks to "verify the field, the opening of areas, and periodically map the properties to monitor compliance with the provisions of the Brazilian Forest Code, and our commitment to non-deforestation and the RSPO" but the methodology and timeframes are unclear

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company has restored riverine buffer zones to protect water courses and wetlands

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • 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?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      33. Examples of species conservation activities?

  • HCV, HCS and impact assessments HCV, HCS and impact assessments 5 / 7 71.4%
    • 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.

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company does not have a commitment to conduct HCV assessments before all new development

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company states "This policy applies across all palm oil supply chains in which ADM operates, from direct suppliers back to the source (plantation and smallholder-sourcing region), and for all companies in which ADM holds an ownership stake" however it does not have a clear commitment to conduct HCV assessments before all new development

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company does not have an explicit commitment itself, but commits through the RSPO NPP as a member of the RSPO

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      The company only has one estate for which it has undertaken an HCV assessment

    • n/a
      -
      Source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has only one estate which has already had an HCV assessment. According to RSPO ACOPs no new planting has occurred since 2015

    • n/a
      -
      Source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has only one estate which has already had an HCV assessment. According to RSPO ACOPs no new planting has occurred since 2015

    • n/a
      -
      Source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has only one estate which has already had an HCV assessment. According to RSPO ACOPs no new planting has occurred since 2015

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • n/a
      -
      Source

      42. High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments?

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no new planting reported since 2016

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company does not have an explicit commitment itself, but commits through the RSPO NPP as a member of the RSPO

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

  • Peat, fire and GHG emissions Peat, fire and GHG emissions 11 / 14 78.6%
    • 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.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      48. Landbank or planted area on peat?

      The company's HCV summary states no peat was found in the area for planting. This covers the company's entire planted area for palm oil

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      49. Evidence of best management practices for soils and 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?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      52. Evidence of management and monitoring fires?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      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?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      2,020 (15%) - The company's 15x20 plan aims for 15% reduction in energy and emissions intensity by 2020. This commitment covers all operations

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      56. GHG emissions from land use change?

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

      57. Methodology used to calculate GHG emissions?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      58. Progress towards commitment to reduce GHG emissions intensity?

      The company achieved a 16% reduction in 2017

    • n/a
      -
      No source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

  • Water, chemical and pest management Water, chemical and pest management 8.5 / 11 77.3%
    • 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).

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      2,018 (15%) - The company states it is committed to a 15% reduction in water intensity by 2018 from a 2008 baseline

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      62. Progress towards commitment on water use?

      The company has out achieved its target to reduce water use by 15%, reducing use by 24% in 2016 and 17% in 2017

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      64. Protection of natural waterways through buffer zones?

    • n/a
      -
      No source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

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

      The company states measures taken to reduce its fertiliser use but a clear commitment to reduce chemical use could not be found

    • 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?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

  • Community, land and labour rights Community, land and labour rights 17 / 19.5 87.2%
    • 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?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      77. FPIC commitment applies to independent suppliers?

      The company states "This policy and applies across all palm oil supply chains in which ADM operates, from direct suppliers back to the source (plantation and smallholder-sourcing region), and for all companies in which ADM holds an ownership stake"

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      The FPIC process is detailed in the SEIA/HCV assessment for the company's one estate

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      79. Details of process for addressing land conflicts available?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      80. Commitment to mitigate impacts on food security?

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      81. Commitment to provide essential community services and facilities?

      The ADM Cares social investment program aims to improve the quality of life in ADM communities through education, improving schools and universities and other facilities, but no specific examples could be found

    • 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?

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

      84. Total number of employees?

      32,462 - Total number of employees globally

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      85. Percentage or number of temporary employees?

      1,261 (3.9%) - Number of seasonal employees

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      86. Percentage or number of women employees?

      22.5%

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      87. Commitment to pay minimum wage?

      The company commits to pay minimum wage but no evidence is provided

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      88. Commitment to address occupational health and safety?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      89. Time lost due to work-based injuries?

      0.184 - Lost Workday Incident Rate

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

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

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      91. Provision of personal protective equipment and pesticide training?

      The company states protective clothing is required for workers applying chemicals, but does not mention training on handling of chemicals

  • Certification standards Certification standards 3.5 / 12 29.2%
    • 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.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      2,007

    • 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)?

      Brazil (Para state)

    • 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?

      2,020 - This has increased from a previous target of 2018

    • Yes
      0.5 / 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?

      2,020

    • Yes
      0.5 / 0.5
      Source

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

      2,014 - The company states "All major palm oil facilities have been RSPO certified and are able to meet existing customer demand for RSPO certified products"

    • No
      0 / 0.5
      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?

      The company acquired its Brazilian operation in 2011, which is yet to be RSPO certified

    • n/a
      -
      Source

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

      This indicator is disabled as the company has no mills

    • No
      0 / 2
      Source

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

      0 (0%)

    • No
      0 / 2
      Source

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

      0 (0%)

    • n/a
      -
      Source

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

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

    • No
      0 / 2
      Source

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

      0 (0%)

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

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

    • 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.

    • No
      0 / 1
      Source

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

      The company sources ISCC certified palm oil but is not certified itself

  • Smallholders and suppliers Smallholders and suppliers 3.5 / 5 70%
    • 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.

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      108. Programme to support scheme smallholders?

      The company supports scheme and associated smallholders with technical assistance (farming and harvesting best practices) and fiscal/legal support. It is planning specific training to identify the local biodiversity within its smallholder farms and means to preserve it

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      270

    • n/a
      -
      No source

      110. Programme to support independent smallholders?

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

    • n/a
      -
      No source

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

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

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

      The company uses the Engagement for Policy Implementation (EPI) tool for supplier engagement and is working with suppliers to adopt No-Deforestation principles and values

    • Partial
      0.5 / 1
      Source

      113. Suspension or exclusion criteria for suppliers?

      The company states it will remove suppliers who do not make progress in adopting No DPE principles and practices but no further details are given

    • No
      0 / 1
      No source

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

  • Governance and grievances Governance and grievances 6 / 6 100%
    • 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?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

      117. Own grievance or complaints system?

    • Yes
      1 / 1
      Source

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

    • Yes
      2 / 2
      Source

      119. Details of grievances disclosed?

Media monitor: Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

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: Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

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.
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