Because our global business spans the whole of the agricultural processing value chain — from crop sourcing and transportation through finished-product delivery, sales and marketing — and because we have grown rapidly by way of international acquisitions, ADM’s operations intersect with a host of compelling issues and interests, including energy conservation, water-resource management, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, sustainable agriculture, and the livelihoods and working conditions of farming families and farm workers worldwide.
To ensure that our energies and resources are focused on areas where ADM can make the greatest possible impact, our Company teamed with Business for Social Responsibility in 2008 to conduct a thorough review and prioritization of the sustainability issues surrounding our business.
This materiality assessment was informed by a review of our corn, soy and palm supply chains, and by interviews with nearly two dozen outside stakeholders, including not-for-profit organizations, think tanks, government agencies, NGOs, foundations and institutional investors.
The assessment revealed that ADM and its stakeholders would best be served by a concentration on supply chain integrity, water resource management and climate change. In response, our Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC,) comprising senior executives from throughout the company, formed working groups to drive our activities in each of these key focus areas. Additional workgroups have been established to address energy usage and waste-management.