Introduction

We would like to invite you to our third AI for Sustainable Finance Seminar. The series is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners in this emerging interdisciplinary field to come together and explore new methods, datasets, and research questions. It is also an opportunity to share updates with colleagues and network with your peers. The seminars are organised by The Alan Turing Institute Sustainable Finance Theme.

The second seminar will take place on the 22nd July at 3pm UK time, it will be followed by wider network updates and discussion chaired by Dr Ben Caldecott.

The seminar will be given by Dr Philip Curtis, co-founder of the start-up Juniata Analytics that is developing a system to help food businesses measure and report the environmental and social impacts of their supply chains. Juniata Analytics provides consulting services and is currently finishing a project with ReFED, a think tank dedicated to reducing food waste, to deliver a first of its kind food waste tracking model and solutions prioritization tool.

About the event

Just over a quarter of global forest loss is due to deforestation through permanent land use change for the production of commodities, including beef, soy, palm oil, and wood fiber. Tracking deforestation associated with soft commodity supply chains is a large and growing area of interest for financial institutions exposed to those sectors. Global maps of forest loss depict the scale and magnitude of forest disturbance, yet companies, governments, and nongovernmental organizations need to distinguish permanent conversion (i.e., deforestation) from temporary loss from forestry or wildfire.

Using satellite imagery, a forest loss classification model has been developed to determine a spatial attribution of forest disturbance to the dominant drivers of land cover and land use change over the period 2001 to 2015. Results indicate that 27% of global forest loss can be attributed to deforestation through permanent land use change for commodity production. Dr Curtis will present this research, share findings, and we’ll explore how this can be used by financial institutions.

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