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    Sustainability Solution Guide: How to Choose the Right Provider

    June 10, 2024

    In today's landscape, where companies are under increasing pressure to address emissions from land use and agriculture as part of their sustainability goals, finding the right partner for sustainable agriculture programs is paramount.

    Investing in a sustainability program is akin to investing in any business endeavor – there needs to be a clear return on investment and limited risk involved. Ensuring that sustainability programs deliver real impact, without the risk of greenwashing, is crucial. Finding a partner that understands the unique challenges you face and offers tailored solutions to help you navigate the complexities of sustainability in agriculture is critical for achieving your goals.

    Below are the top criteria that we guide our customers to consider.

    1. Will the program enable your net-zero journey with end-to-end support?

    • What to consider: Companies aiming to address land-based emissions must navigate myriad challenges, including engaging suppliers, interfacing with farmers, and establishing emissions baselines and traceability with limited data. Without a comprehensive solution, there is additional complexity, risk, and cost to assemble the numerous pieces of the puzzle yourself, making it challenging to build a more resilient supply chain and achieve meaningful progress towards net-zero goals.
    • How Indigo Ag helps: Indigo Ag’s full suite of scope 3 solutions is powered by best-in-class capabilities for data collection and measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV). Beyond our technology stack, we offer an end-to-end experience including program design and implementation, comprehensive emissions accounting, and traceability confirmation to make it easy for you to make progress.

      Our technology platform is adaptable for a variety of use cases to help wherever you are in your sustainability sourcing journey, across many industries – from food, feed, fiber, and fuel. We provide companies with:
      • Footprint assessments and baselines for custom sourcing regions
      • Facility-level sourcing recommendations for emissions optimization
      • Field-level carbon intensity scoring, using the GREET calculator, for biofuels tax credit generation
      • Program- and supply shed- emissions factors with disaggregated emissions sources, including removals estimates
      • Water footprinting and other analytics around water usage, water quality, and biodiversity
      • Comparative analysis on program field performance versus a broader region
      • Comprehensive reporting that details environmental impacts, case studies from the field, and program methodology

    • For programs focused on engaging farmers and driving outcomes, we support every element of program design: from establishing baselines and defining the sourcing region to suggesting eligibles practices that optimize mitigation opportunities in the region and farmer incentives to encourage practice adoption. We’ll identify and collaborate with local agribusiness partners to implement programs.
    • Indigo Ag provides onboarding, training, and enablement for agribusinesses across the end-to-end experience: we support farmer outreach and provide software for enrollment, farmer payments, data collection, grain delivery tracking, and traceability confirmation. Indigo Ag also equips our partners with educational materials for technical assistance, reducing friction at every point in the experience to allow farmers to focus on what’s happening in the field.

    2. Is the program structured for on-farm success?

    • What to consider: While promoting regenerative agriculture adoption at scale is top of mind for most climate-committed companies, it is impossible to achieve without farmer buy-in. Ultimately, farmers carry much of the program risk as participation means changing their management strategy. Strong incentives and implementation support are essential tools that will mitigate risk and make sustainable farming accessible and financially viable at scale.

      With varying soil types, weather conditions, and other environmental factors, each farm and agricultural field is unique. What works for one farm may not work for another, and participation will be contingent upon the program making sense for the farmer. Service providers can provide thoughtfully design programs that provide farmers with flexibility and a path to improve.
    • How Indigo Ag helps: Indigo Ag’s programs offer farmers flexibility and opportunities to experiment with practices that best suit their operations. Rather than designing a program around adoption of a single practice, we provide a menu of sustainable practices that a farmer can opt into to be eligible for a program. Optionality will drive widespread and durable adoption of practices.

      Our programs are structured to minimize yield drag and maximize profitability to make sure sustainable farming is financially viable. align farmer incentives with yield to make sustainable farming financially viable. These solutions can be stackable with additional incentives, from government programs and other sources, further easing the adoption process.

    3. Does the program support your existing value chain and enable suppliers to drive change and strengthen supply resilience?

    • What to consider: Enabling suppliers is the best way for companies to address and account for their Scope 3 emissions at scale. Sustainable agriculture initiatives represent an opportunity to enhance collaboration and co-investment with stakeholders in your supply chain. Working with your specific value chain helps to establish physical traceability of low-carbon intensity crops and grow resilient crops that enhance supply surety.
    • How Indigo Ag helps: Indigo Ag works with an extensive network of agribusiness partners and processors to execute sustainability programs and we are constantly growing our network to position your existing partners to thrive. Indigo Ag’s agribusiness-facing software equips partners to bring programs to life, at scale, and track deliveries for program crops to facilitate traceability needed for reporting. Sustainability efforts must be collaborative; we can work with multiple players across a value chain to jointly invest in programs and contribute to a shared sustainability vision, while ensuring that all engaged parties make claims appropriately. In addition, these regenerative programs build up resiliency in supply.

    Hear directly from an agribusiness partner on their experience partnering with Indigo

    4. Is the program’s science rigorous and trustworthy to alleviate greenwashing concerns?

    • What to consider: Investing in sustainability is not a risk-free endeavor; despite a company’s best intentions, greenwashing can erode consumer and investor trust. Rigorous, science-backed solutions provide credibility and assurance that sustainability claims are legitimate. Companies can demonstrate your commitment to science-based impact by investing in projects with validated methodologies to build credibility and trust amongst your stakeholders. Quantifying nature-based systems is inherently challenging, even using the most rigorous methodologies. But programs that transparently disclose model uncertainty (and how it is estimated) in reported outcomes help companies have confidence about the impact they generate and claim. With driving nature-based removals (i.e., soil carbon sequestration) as an expectation for achieving Science Based Targets Initiative’s Forestry Land and Agriculture (FLAG) targets, companies should prioritize programs that deliver high-quality removals and manage permanence.
    • How Indigo Ag helps: As we’ve demonstrated through three issuances of verified carbon credits by the Climate Action Reserve, our transparent methodology for quantifying environmental emissions and removals has been validated and proven at scale. Powered by the leading biogeochemical model DayCent-CR, Indigo Ag’s modelled outcomes meet the highest standards of quality and integrity so companies using our solutions can have confidence in reporting. While we’ve continually lowered the burden on farmers for data collection, we consistently deliver high accuracy outputs by calibrating our models and remote sensing algorithms with ground-truth data that we’ve aggregated from a collection of hundreds of thousands of soil samples. Read more about Indigo Ag’s carbon quantification model.

    5. Does the provider have policy expertise and can they deliver solutions aligned with evolving standards and guidance?

    • What to consider: Rapidly evolving policy landscapes and shifting standards can pose challenges for companies navigating sustainability initiatives within their supply chains; yet, investing in action now is critical for companies to achieve goals. Across the voluntary carbon market and broader sustainability standards, more rigor and transparency are becoming commonplace. As guidance continues to evolve, companies must have confidence that a program will remain compatible with standards in the future. Partnering with a provider who possesses policy expertise will future-proof your sustainability efforts.
    • How Indigo Ag helps: As active contributors and thought leaders within numerous standards bodies and NGOs, Indigo Ag stays at the forefront of evolving guidance that influences project design and reporting requirements. Indigo Ag’s value chain programs are designed to exceed current standards (such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Land Sector & Removals Interim Guidance) to be prepared as the industry continues to mature. We follow rigorous protocols for our carbon offset programs, which include soil sampling and monitoring permanence for 100 years, and our value chain programs are accordingly adaptable to incorporate these features to mitigate risks and meet standards as they evolve. You can rely on Indigo Ag for expertise in designing programs and reporting on impact.

    Asked yourself these 5 questions, ready to see what Indigo can do for you?

    Over the past five years, Indigo Ag has been at the forefront of delivering verified GHG impact and low-carbon crops to major customers across various industries. Through our tailored sustainability programs, we have enabled companies with extensive agriculture supply chains to achieve their goals and drive co-benefits. Our track record speaks for itself, as we continue to drive meaningful change in agriculture by providing comprehensive solutions backed by rigorous science and real-world impact.

    Partner with Indigo Ag and join the ranks of companies leading the way towards a more sustainable future. Speak to a member of our team to see our solution in action.

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