Cargill – Green Tigers Index Rankings

2018 SCORE

2016 SCORE



Cargill has 165,364 ha of palm oil. Cargill’s score is stable from 2016 to 2018 scoring both times 58. Cargill is a major player on palm oil, and in July 2014 it announced a NDPE palm oil policy for its own operations and third-party suppliers. This policy was a major step forward for Cargill, and was widely praised by outside experts and NGOs.

But the policy contains some gaps. It does not address the use of hazardous pesticides, such as those banned by the Rotterdam Convention and paraquat, and it does not make any commitments to address mill effluent, a globally significant source of methane pollution.

Cargill policies include no-burning, applying the High Carbon Stock method, protecting High Conservation Value areas, and excluding sourcing from peat regardless of depth.

In September 2014, at the UN Climate Summit in New York, Cargill announced that it would extend its zero-deforestation policy to all its global commodity operations such as cattle, soy, sugar, and cocoa among others. Cargill has yet to publish details on the implementation of this cross-commodity policy. Also, in 2014, Cargill endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests.

But Cargill faces issues for being unresponsive to NGO and researcher inquiries regarding its financial relationships with companies that cause environmental harm and human rights abuses. It took two years of NGO leadership and pressure to finally get Cargill in 2017 to suspend its business relationship with Guatemalan palm oil company Reforestadora de Palmas del Petén, S.A (REPSA) because REPSA was allegedly involved in the murder of local policymaker Rigoberto Lima Choc in 2015 when Choc raised concerns regarding REPSA’s documented 100-mile pollution of the La Pasion River.

Cargill is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.



The company has a forest policy for palm oil produced, traded or processed that applies to its global operations including all subsidiaries and joint ventures. The company also requires its suppliers to follow the policy.



The policy excludes the sourcing of  raw materials or products originating from natural forests including both primary and secondary forests.



The policy specifically excludes the sourcing of raw materials or products originating from High conservation Value (HCV) areas.



The palm oil policy specifically excludes development on peat soil regardless of depth.



The palm oil policy excludes the sourcing  of raw materials and products from developments in High Carbon Stock (HCS) Forests.



The palm oil policy excludes the sourcing of raw materials and products from lands where burning has been used to clear vegetation.



The company has pledged to use (or uses) a third party for compliance verification of its policy.



The company has developed and published a non-compliance procedure that outlines thresholds for the suspension and/or cancellation of contracts with suppliers in breach of the policy.



The company has committed to developing a traceability system that documents palm oil back to the plantation of origin within its entire supply chain.



The company specifically commits (and requires its suppliers to do so) to respect the rights of Indigenous and local communities to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to development on their lands.



The company has programs that support small holders in its supply chain with support that goes beyond purely financial considerations and the palm oil supply chain but addresses longer term development.



The company has policy to reduce the environmental and health impacts of chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers.




Date by which the company aims to achieve full traceability to plantation for its entire supply chain.

Full points are given if this date is by 2018. Half points are given if the date is 2019 or 2020. No points are given if the date is after 2020, no date is given or if the company does not commit to full traceability to plantations including for its third party suppliers.



The company or the relevant third party publishes detailed processes and results of the policy verification assessments.



The company has established and published an accessible and transparent grievance and dispute resolution mechanism.



The company reports on its progress towards meeting its policy goals at least annually against measurable indicators.



The company has published the  names or  detailed locations (that allow for coordinates to be obtained) of all palm oil mills in its supply chain.



Points are deducted for the following (occurring since January 1, 2015). There is public evidence that since January 1, 2015 the company has in its own operations not met criteria 1.C, 1.D, 1.E or 1.J (or uses palm oil from protected areas). Or the company has sourced from suppliers that have not met these criteria. Or the company had its RSPO license revoked or suspended since that date. Or there is evidence of significant workers rights violations or social conflicts.


See all of the rankings of major palm oil and soy companies on their adherence to forest conservation requirements on the Green Tiger and Green Jaguar index.