The Short Circuit Project

Palm Oil Done Right

Are you also struggling with the use of palm oil as an ingredient in your product? And with what to tell your end-users and consumers? While palm oil is a great and efficient ingredient, it can also have a devastating impact on nature and communities. We have developed a ready-to-implement approach to do palm oil differently and turn a negative into a positive impact, allowing you to keep using palm oil as a a key ingredient. And best of all, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Tell me more about the Short Circuit Project

The Short Circuit Project is a service developed by Nature^Squared to support companies in realizing a palm oil sector that is climate-proof, full of life, and that benefits the farmers. We do this by linking you directly to farmers. By doubling the income of farmers, we help them to earn a living income and improve their livelihoods. We reward and support farmers to change their farming practices, so their farms become truly regenerative.

The approach works for all kinds of companies, no matter how complex the supply chain. By working volume-based – matching each company to farmers producing the exact volumes palm oil that you need – we enable companies to become fully sustainable at the source, while keeping efficient supply chains intact. By working around the supply chain, we can transform agricultural production systems together. And best of all, we can start today.

The Short Circuit Project is a service developed by Nature^Squared to support companies in making a positive impact on biodiversity, no matter how complex their supply chain. We do this by linking you directly to farmers who produce the volume of materials and ingredients that you need for your products and by paying them double the price to change their farming practices and becoming fully sustainable.

We work through the principle of mass-balance. According to this principle, you have to look at a system as a whole (in our case the agricultural system). This means that even when you don’t know who farms the ingredients for your end products, you can still make a positive impact based on the volume you need. By working around the supply chain, we can transform agricultural production systems together. And best of all, we can start today.

In a business as usual scenario, the palm oil sector is losing

Wherever it’s grown, unless produced according to sustainable practices, palm oil production has a great impact on the environment, including deforestation and destruction of peatlands, adding to some of the greatest challenges facing our planet Earth: climate change and biodiversity loss.

This will have serious consequences for all of us. Many companies source their palm oil from landscapes that can only produce because of the existence of biodiversity and a stable climate. Disruptions in these systems can induce loss of harvests and livelihood opportunities which may translate into higher business risks for companies sourcing from these landscapes. These are severe risks that are not adequately mitigated. Farmers are paid too little to produce in harmony with nature and certifications have not led to significant improvements that are so much needed.

We have a small window of opportunity to act by moving towards regenerative farming systems, so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of the tree of plenty.  What we have lost over the last 100 years in plants and animals, we can regain within 10 years, with the first visible results within 2 years. But only if we focus on the missing link: the farmer. By connecting companies directly to farmers, we enable both actors to become changemakers and to make a positive impact on climate and biodiversity.

40% of all arable lands are already degraded

40%

Around 50% of all deforestation on Indonesia un the first decade of the millennium was related to palm oil production.

50%

Globally, 405 species are threatened by palm oil-related production

100%

So what does a healthy & regenerative production landscapes look like?

How does it work?

The short Circuit Project makes it possible for every company to start making a positive impact now by:
  • Keeping your supply chain intact and connecting you with a group of farmers that produces the volume of ingredients that you need for your end products. As our approach is volume-based, you can still make a positive impact even when you don’t know who farms the palm oil you use.
  • Paying farmers directly for making a positive impact on biodiversity and mitigating climate change. The starting point is to double the price that farmers receive. This creates a substantial financial incentive to produce truly sustainably.
  • Supporting farmers to implement technical landscape solutions to turn oil palm production into a sustainable process that leaves the soil ready for multiple harvests.
In practice, this means that we will perform the following activities:

1. Identifying the volume you need and calculating the biodiversity premium that goes directly to farmers
2. Matching you with a network of farmers that produce the required volume
3. Developing a biodiversity action plan together with farmers, introducing on the ground sustainable interventions
4. Making smart payments, ensuring that the premium ends up at the right farmers
5. Ensuring monitoring and continuous improvement, making adjustments when needed
6. Reporting about the impact that you have made together with the farmers

Based on one simple insight:
Making a positive impact is actually quite cheap

The origin of many products can be traced back to the land. Here, at the start of the supply chain, is where the impact on biodiversity and the environment is the largest while the economic value is the lowest. This offers a huge opportunity! By focusing on the missing link- the farmer – we can make the highest impact on biodiversity restoration at the lowest cost. With less than 0.01% – 1% of retail prices, you can double the income of farmers!

Your results

  1. You can ensure that your products have a genuine positive impact on biodiversity, climate and the livelihoods of farmers.
  2. You can communicate about the impact being made on the ground to your consumers and stakeholders.
  3. You can differentiate your business based on your biodiversity efforts – solely 5% of businesses report about ecological boundaries and 0,258% align their products and operations to these limits.
  4. You are better placed to mitigate risks by practicing responsible stewardship – every year we wait longer, costs $1000 billion to restore the ecosystem.
  5. You can accelerate your efforts towards becoming a sustainable brand and strengthen your contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6, SDG 10, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 15)

Get on board

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    The three pillars of the Short Circuit Project

    SCALABLE

    Volume-based

    Connecting companies with farmers who produce the volume of raw ingredients that you need for your products. The more your company produces, the more you help expand the source of biodiverse farming.

    SIMPLE

    Mass Balance

    By cutting short the supply chain, we make real and immediate impact based on the volume you need. As with green energy, it is about the total flow that makes up a system which is why we go beyond individual chains. You ensure the financial flows, we do the rest.

    AFFORDABLE

    Low cost – high impact

    By working volume-based and interfacing directly with farmers, we don’t have to map entire supply chains or implement expansive chain of custody systems. We keep costs low and spend the money on making positive impact straight away.

    Join the Short Circuit Project

    It is clear that our planet is under duress. The Short Circuit Project is an approach for any company that wants to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The UN declared the years 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and The Short Circuit Project allows you to to step up your efforts and to become part of the solution. If you feel that you are not getting anywhere with current approaches, we can help you make a positive impact now: realizing your potential as an important change agent.

    The Short Circuit approach is currently piloting with two companies. The results are promising. Sustainable farming practices have resulted in increased vegetation cover, improved water infiltration, and healthier soils. We are now ready to expand and start working with new customers.

    For our first clients, MVO Nederland can offer a co-funding of 10,000 euros*. * conditions apply

     

    “Thanks to the short circuit method, we have an accessible way of making a positive impact in our supply chain. It enables us to give back to those that are fundamental to creating our products: the farmers” – Erik de Groot, founder Iron Roots

    It is clear that our planet is under duress. The Short Circuit Project is an approach for any company that wants to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The UN declared the years 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and The Short Circuit Project allows you to to step up your efforts and to become part of the solution. If you feel that you are not getting anywhere with current approaches, we can help you make a positive impact now: realizing your potential as an important change agent.

    “Thanks to the short circuit method, we have an accessible way of making a positive impact in our supply chain. It enables us to give back to those that are fundamental to creating our products: the farmers” – Erik de Groot, founder Iron Roots

    Easy to control and adjust the system!

    Together with ChainPoint – the industry leader in software for sustainable supply chains – we are ready to unlock a tailor-made platform for clients that require high volumes and high flexibility.

    Together we can secure and monitor all steps necessary in your supply chain and provide you with access to all the relevant data with just a click of your mouse.

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    Iris Visser

    Project coordinator

    Daan Groot

    Director

    Joost Hoff

    Business Sustainability Specialist

    Wiebe Draijer

    Farmers based organizations & certification expert, specialized in cocoa

    Robin Boogaards

    Sustainable entrepreneur – Tailored-by

    Marije Bakker

    Business management & operations

    Joost Geuke

    Sustainability expert – specialized in palm oil

    Johan Zandbergen

    Supply chain & software specialist

    Jesper Feenstra

    Regreening specialist

    Alexandra Meijer

    Business & communication specialist

    Erik Groot

    Sustainable entrepreneur – Iron Roots

    Tom Kools

    Project manager agroforesty & sustainability - Verstegen Spices & Sauces

    ABOUT

    The Short Circuit Project is an initiative of Nature^Squared (VOF De Natuurverdubbelaars).

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