What is Trase?

Trase is a not-for-profit initiative founded in 2015 by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Global Canopy to bring transparency to deforestation and the agricultural commodity trade.

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The deforestation challenge

The production of beef, soy and palm oil is a crucial source of economic growth for many countries including Brazil and Indonesia. Yet in many places agricultural expansion for these and other commodities is driving deforestation and land-use change, destroying habitats, exacerbating climate change and impacting the rights of local communities.

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How Trase works

Trase combines data on commodity production and trade from many different sources with a unique form of material flow analysis to map supply chains linking consumer markets, via traders, with regions of production. Trase quantifies exposure to deforestation and other environmental impacts for consumer markets sourcing commodities from regions of production.

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Catalysing action

Trase empowers business, government and civil society to transition towards sustainable commodity supply chains by providing open access to data to increase transparency and strengthen accountability, working with business and investor initiatives to reduce exposure to deforestation, and advising governments on the design and implementation of measures to achieve a sustainable commodity trade.

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Changing markets

Trase has worked widely with many businesses, governments and civil society organisations providing practical advice on addressing deforestation linked to commodity imports. By bringing a new level of transparency to the drivers of deforestation, Trase is enabling change across entire export markets.

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Meet the team

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About Trase

Frequently asked questions

What is Trase?

Trase transforms our understanding of globally traded agricultural commodities. It empowers companies, financial institutions, governments and others to address sustainability risks and opportunities by linking supply chain actors and financiers to production landscapes across the world. Trase Supply Chains maps in unprecedented detail the trade links between consumer countries, via trading companies, to the places of production. Trase Insights provides the latest analysis on the sustainability of commodity trade and financing by Trase’s team of experts and partners. Trase supports ForestIQ, a platform for financial institutions to help enable their transition to deforestation-free financial portfolios. The Trase initiative, based on an innovative approach to mapping agricultural supply chains at scale, offers a powerful response to the urgent need for credible information on the traceability and sustainability performance of commodity supply chains, covering entire countries and production systems.

Where is Trase Finance?

Global Canopy, Stockholm Environment Institute and Neural Alpha launched trase.finance in 2020 and ceased its offering in 2023. As the first platform of its kind, it galvanised the interest of the finance sector and other actors in assessing and tackling the role of loans and investments in enabling deforestation. It demonstrated the potential for a new level of transparency in mapping the connections between financiers, asset classes, traders and deforestation. In particular Trase Finance revealed the enormous scale of “indirect” financing exposure to deforestation Demand is growing for more targeted data offerings to support financial institutions to achieve deforestation-free portfolios. We are exploring other ways to meet these needs, including through our collaboration with Forest IQ. For continued access to relevant data on deforestation, biodiversity, and soft commodity supply chains for the finance sector, please have a look at the following resources: Trase (https://www.trase.earth/) Forest IQ (https://forestiq.org/) Responsible Capital (https://www.responsiblecapital.io/)

How does Trase map supply chains?

Trase maps the supply chains of forest-risk commodities, including palm oil, beef, soy and cocoa, in key producing countries. Watch this video to hear Mark Titley explain how Trase does this.

How does Trase calculate deforestation exposure?

Commodity deforestation exposure is a measure of the extent to which supply chain actors (companies, countries, investors) are exposed to commodity deforestation due to their sourcing patterns. This is expressed in terms of an area of deforestation (hectares) that a supply chain actor is exposed to. This is calculated by allocating the commodity deforestation estimated at the jurisdictional level (see above) to supply chains, in proportion to the volumes of commodity traded from that jurisdiction by a particular actor. For all commodities where we have calculated this metric, the name of the commodity replaces the word ‘commodity’. For example, commodity deforestation exposure becomes soy deforestation exposure or cattle deforestation exposure as appropriate.

How does Trase choose commodities and countries to cover?

Trase maps the supply chains of forest-risk commodities in key countries of production. In this video, Jolene Tan explains how Trase selects countries and commodities with the greatest exposure to deforestation.

How reliable is Trase data?

The Trase approach uses data from dozens of different sources including official government data on production, tax, and shipping, as well as data on supply chain logistics freely disclosed by industry associations and on the websites of commodity trading companies. Our aim is to produce the most accurate supply chain maps possible using publicly available or purchasable data. Trase is dedicated to clearly communicating the limitations of the data within our methodologies and in the tool itself. We encourage users to visit our terms of use and review our methods documentation to fully understand the strength of Trase data and the limitations to its use and to contact us directly via info@trase.earth with any questions or feedback.

What commodity supply chains does Trase cover?

Currently, Trase Supply Chains maps the subnational origin of soy, beef, coffee, cocoa, cotton, corn, pork and chicken from Brazil, soy and beef from Paraguay, soy from Argentina and Bolivia, palm oil and wood pulp from Indonesia, shrimp from Ecuador, cocoa from Côte d'Ivoire and coffee from Columbia. Together these commodities make up more than 50% of global trade in commodities linked to deforestation. Trase also maps national level exports of forest-risk commodities from a variety of other tropical countries. We are continuously working to improve the accuracy of our supply chain maps and expand coverage to other commodities and countries.

Why is Trase unique?

Trase’s approach to supply chain mapping allows users to explore the supply chains of internationally traded agricultural commodities, such as palm oil and soy, at scale, from the countries where they are produced to the countries that import them, identifying the key supply chain companies along the way. This information can then be mapped against environmental and social indicators to support improved decision-making around responsible production, sourcing, and investments, as well as monitoring and enforcement. One of the main innovations of Trase is the fact that we map this central portion of global commodity supply chains - from jurisdictions of production to countries of import - for the entire exports of a given commodity.

Can Trase tell me which companies and countries are directly responsible for deforestation?

No. Trase assesses a supply chain actor’s exposure to the reputational, legal, operational, and other risks associated with deforestation. These risks are linked to the amount of deforestation that took place in the jurisdictions (e.g. municipalities) where a forest-risk commodity handled by the company was produced, during a given period. Please read our methods information for more detail on how Trase measures and assesses deforestation-exposure. Trase cannot provide a definitive assessment of the deforestation or other impacts that are associated with a given company because it does not have the details on the transactions between individual producing properties and traders. However, Trase provides a powerful first step in helping to filter and identify the extent to which deforestation in a sourcing region is likely to be linked to a given commodity and locality, helping to inform critical sourcing decisions. It can also guide the investments and monitoring protocols that are needed to make production practices more sustainable.

Get in touch

For more information please contact us at info@trase.earth.

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