ACTIAM employs satellite data to combat deforestation

16 September 2019 , Next step towards sustainable investing

Asset manager ACTIAM has started a collaboration with geodata analytics firm Satelligence. By combining satellite images and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Satelligence will provide ACTIAM with up-to-date information on worldwide deforestation, causes and trends. The cooperation enables ACTIAM to incorporate advanced sustainability information into its investment policies and portfolio management, helping to fight global deforestation.

Focus investment policy: stop deforestation

ACTIAM focuses on three key issues in its investment policy: climate, water and land. The asset manager has set the objective not to contribute to deforestation by 2030. ACTIAM explicitly commits itself to the realization of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Deforestation strongly contributes to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and thus climate change. It is absolutely necessary for asset managers to show more transparency and stimulate a more straightforward investment policy when it comes to deforestation through intensive dialogue with companies being invested in.

Dennis van der Putten, Director Sustainability & Corporate Strategy at ACTIAM: "Combatting deforestation is important to risk management within the investment portfolio and realizing financial and social returns. The availability of data in these domains however, is still at a preliminary stage. With its global scope, Satelligence allows us to make better informed investment decisions, be accountable towards our customers and achieve our targets. ACTIAM envisions a fiduciary responsibility for the financial sector to lead the transition towards a sustainable society. Technology is the most important catalyst for change in the sector."

Artificial Intelligence and deforestation

Satelligence data analytics allow ACTIAM to detect and quantify changes in vegetation cover, caused by plantation expansion or fires in forests, swamps and other natural areas. This detection is based on radar- and optical satellite imagery in combination with Artificial Intelligence.

Niels Wielaard, Managing Director of Satelligence: "the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and others recently indicated that deforestation and other climate-related risks are a major source of financial risk. We help financial institutions identify such risks as deforestation, loss of biodiversity and water scarcity, and, where possible, to mitigate them. Through our collaboration with ACTIAM, we can together demonstrate how measurable progress can be reported and how the financial sector can make a tangible impact visible."

About Satelligence

Satelligence is a satellite-powered geodata analytics company. Using satellite imagery (optical and radar) and Artificial Intelligence, we provide daily insights detecting the global performance of agricultural production and its risks such as deforestation, forest fires and flooding. Satelligence helps producers, traders, consumer goods brands and financial institutions reduce deforestation and other supply chain risks. By pinpointing the highest risk areas, our users can make the right sourcing and investment decisions. And demonstrate progress towards zero deforestation. Our methodologies have been developed in close cooperation with scientists from Wageningen University and others. The Satelligence team operates from offices in Utrecht, Jakarta, Accra and La Paz.