Supply Chain
Technology Partnerships Bridge Gaps Among Landscapes, Communities, Stakeholders

Private companies increasingly recognize the role they play in global conservation efforts. Technology providers have smartly strategized ways to make business operations more efficient than ever before and aid corporations in meeting their commitments to sustainability.

With millions of acres of land under their purview, organizations that transform the earth’s raw resources into the products we use every day have a responsibility to manage operations to protect natural environments. However, many places have constantly changing, intersectional borders so the lines between production zones and natural environment are not easily identified. Organizational sustainability goals have become key aspects of business strategy, but the logistics of implementing actionable policy across giant supply chains remains a challenge due to various constraints such as logistics and data freshness.

Private companies developing sustainability practices must identify the right partners. This is especially true in the technology space, where the right tools significantly impact business goals and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Innovative technology designed to increase efficiencies and effectiveness has already achieved measurable results for organizations worldwide.

Robotics technology supports forest conservation in Indonesia

In Indonesia, rainforest conservation efforts have surged to protect indigenous species and support local communities that rely on the natural forest resources. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), which headquarters its sourcing operations in Jakarta, identified an opportunity to partner with a trusted technology provider to better manage conservation efforts and play an active role to end deforestation.

MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, is an internationally recognized leader in space robotics, space sensors, satellite payloads and more. The data collected by MDA technology is ideally suited to aid markets that require either broad-area monitoring or targeted surveillance – maritime surveillance, defense and security, land use management, agriculture, disaster management and natural resources management. APP engaged with Canada-based MDA in 2016 to establish a better system to track forest cover loss in conservation areas throughout its plantation properties.

Achieving much-needed visibility into our land-use and forestry practices

Join Leo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, and Tara O'Shea — Planet's Director of Forests and Land Use — for an in-depth look at the quickly evolving technologies shaping supply chain transparency and traceability, at SB'19 Detroit — June 3-6.

MDA’s Forest Alert Service (FAS) is a near-real-time, operational satellite service that uses global, high-resolution surveillance capabilities to monitor forest conditions and identify areas of loss. Focused on protecting natural forest, the service monitors all APP supplier concessions, penetrating cloud and precipitation, to detect subtle forest disturbances in areas as small as 0.5 hectares. MDA delivers near-real-time alerts to APP’s enterprise Geographic Information System, so that APP workers may begin field investigations to assess potential situations in a timely manner.

Image credit: MDA

Three years into the partnership, MDA and APP have made a significant impact on preserving protected land. Via this advanced monitoring program, APP is able to quickly react to forest change due to illegal activities – improving the efficiency of existing forest-protection programs and thus reducing natural forest loss in its suppliers’ protected areas (approximately 600,000 Hectares) from 5-6 percent to 0.14 percent throughout 2018. 

The value of third-party partnerships

Collaboration between stakeholders is imperative to reach organizational sustainability goals. Private organizations, NGOs and government entities have key insights to share with each other and have much to gain by becoming partners.

The rapid growth of digital transformation provides massive opportunities for global companies with deep, complex supply chains to use new detection tools to reduce negative environmental impact and ultimately better serve the communities in which they operate.

Private companies increasingly recognize the role they play in global conservation efforts. Technology providers have smartly strategized ways to make business operations more efficient than ever before and aid corporations in meeting their commitments to sustainability.

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