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Projects

To illustrate our broad expertise, covering many different economic sectors, commodities, sustainability themes and countries, this page gives an overview of the different projects executed by Profundo over the years. In the menu, you can filter the projects by thematic area. Each project is described briefly and where available the project portfolio - such as reports, brochures or presentations - is provided. Attention is also given to the exposure generated by the project in the media, in politics and elsewhere.

 

We analyse the financial parameters of companies and assess how companies and their financiers could be affected in different scenarios by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks related to deforestation, climate change emissions, human rights abuses, resource depletion, health impacts and other sustainability issues.
We analyse the various human rights and other sustainability risks in international commodity supply chains and identify what different stakeholders can do to foster sustainable development of value chains in agriculture, forestry, livestock, energy, fisheries and mineral sectors.
We analyse how companies are financed by banks, shareholders and others financiers, to assess what financiers could do to foster sustainable corporate practices. Also, we dig into ownership structures and the schemes companies have set up to minimise tax payments.
We assess and benchmark responsible investment and credit policies of banks and investors and we advise on how policies can be improved and implemented through screening, voting, engagement and exclusion strategies.

October 2022

October 6, 2022
Financial Materiality in Latin American Soy and Beef Supply
This analysis calculates the profit that ten companies generate on their position in the supply chain of Latin American soy and beef. These commodities have a high risk of being linked to deforestation. The analysis can help to better assess the risks of deforestation in the context of highly limited data disclosure. The research was funded by the The Finance Hub, which was created by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to advance sustainable finance.
October 4, 2022
Energy Communities in the EU
This report provides a substantial overview of the financing tools and mechanisms that are currently available to energy communities in the EU. Using detailed examples, the report examines the different opportunities and barriers faced by energy communities when accessing private or public funds. Energy communities need specified support in order to access the funds they need for getting their project off the ground. The recommendations presented will enable local, national and EU leaders to provide access to financing mechanisms, and ultimately make it less difficult for Energy Communities to become an integral part of the energy transition.
October 6, 2022
Insurance investments in fur and exotic leather
This report, commissioned by the Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer (Fair Insurance Guide NL) in cooperation with Bont voor Dieren, analyses investments in four major fashion houses by eight insurance companies that are active in the Netherlands. The study is an update of a 2016 study on the same topic. The study finds that, except for CZ, all insurance companies included in this study invested in at least one of the four selected fashion houses. Together they invested €1.3 billion in fashion houses that use exotic animal skin for clothing, bags and shoes. This is despite the continued use of fur and exotic leather by these fashion houses, and despite the absence of proper transparency, sourcing, or animal welfare policies.

September 2022

September 28, 2022
Dutch investors in TotalEnergies
Dutch investors collectively own $2,1 billion worth of TotalEnergies' shares and bonds. Examples include pension funds ABP, BPL, PMT and PFZW, insurers Aegon and Allianz and ABN AMRO Bank. On Wednesday 28 September, Dutch civil society organisations organised a protest at the offices of oil giant TotalEnergies in The Hague, drawing attention to the problems surrounding the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda. They are calling on investors to get out of TotalEnergies because of this project, which is causing human rights violations and serious environmental pollution.
September 19, 2022
Coal it a day: Time for US banks to stop banking on coal expansion
Major US banks keep pumping billions of dollars into companies that are developing new coal mines, plants, and infrastructure. This is revealed by a new report of Reclaim Finance, with the financial research done by Profundo. While policies adopted by US banks after the Paris agreement are toothless to stop coal expansion, financial research also sheds light on many transactions in support of coal developers after the banks joined the Glasgow Financial Alliance on Net Zero (GFANZ).

August 2022

August 24, 2022
Financiers of the big three Japanese banks
The 3 Japanese banks remain huge financiers of the coal industry worldwide through their support to coal companies listed in the Global Coal Exit List as expanding their coal mining or power capacity. Profundo provided data on the financial institutions providing loans and issuance underwriting services (credit) to the big three Japanese banks, as well as investing in their bonds and shares (investment).

July 2022

July 12, 2022
Toxic bonds
Since January 2016, banks underwrote bonds totalling US$2.7 trillion for coal companies and companies leading oil and gas expansion. Underwriting shares and bonds is now the primary way by which banks are helping many fossil fuel companies raise money, making the banking sector complicit in the climate crisis, despite climate initiatives such as the Net Zero Banking Alliance. However, bonds for fossil fuel companies are not a significant source of revenue for major banks, compared to the outsized reputational risk and impact on the planet. “In other words, fossil fuel companies need banks, but banks don’t need fossil fuel companies.” Profundo contributed the financial data.
July 8, 2022
EU deforestation regulation: Implications for the palm oil industry and its financers
This report discusses the EU’s regulation on deforestation-free products and how its requirements will affect the palm oil industry, one of the key commodities driving deforestation. The upcoming law, expected to be implemented in 2023, will have implications for palm oil supply chain actors and their financers.
July 12, 2022
PAX
High-risk arms trade and the financial sector
This study shows that all of the 15 largest banks in Europe provide financial services to arms producers that supply weapons to states where there is a high risk of the weapons being used against civilians, while most of them have policies on human rights in place. The financial research was carried out by Profundo.
July 6, 2022
Dutch pension funds responses to human rights risks
For the Fair Pension Guide we assessed how ten Dutch pension funds deal with human rights’ risks in relation to their investment relationships with extractives companies, using the scoring system methodology developed by Profundo. Results show that while all the pensions funds commit to comply with the OECD guidelines, when it comes to implementation, none of the pension funds demonstrate that they take adequate action in practice.

June 2022

June 16, 2022
Trends in climate finance
This report discusses trends in climate finance which could be relevant for Dutch policymakers to further improve the measurement of mobilized private climate finance. The analysis of (trends in) Dutch mobilization of private finance by public interventions is organized in three parts: Mobilization of private finance for development, Mobilization of private climate finance, Mobilization of private finance for biodiversity. Based on the overview and analysis of relevant developments in this report, recommendations are made to improve the methodologies for measuring the mobilization of private climate finance.
June 8, 2022
Support Fair Finance Guide Sweden 2022
The sustainability policies of the biggest banks active in Sweden are assessed and ranked on themes as climate change, human rights, and transparency, based on the Fair Finance Guide method developed by Profundo. Profundo has supported the Swedish Fair Finance Guide coalition in the assessments. In general Swedish banks have improved their sustainability policies, however none of them restrict financing companies that expand their oil and gas extraction. Following the release of the assessment, one of the banks, Handelsbanken, have announced a new fossil policy including a ban on new finance to oil and gas expansion companies and projects.
June 1, 2022
Benefits of fast transition to electric vehicles
A quick transition to electric vehicles is not only in the interests of the climate and consumers, it is also at the heart of industrial success and financial viability of European automakers. Profundo has analysed financial data of six car manufacturers: three mass market car companies (VW, Stellantis and Toyota) and three premium carmakers (Volvo Cars, Mercedes-Benz and BMW). Conclusions show that car companies would add €800bn to their stock value if they transition faster to electric. This contradicts the car industry narrative that a faster transition to electric vehicles would bring financial strain, job losses and even bankruptcy.
June 1, 2022
Foundational Research for Fair Value Chains and Food Systems
To support the strategy development of Oxfam Novib’s Fair Food Value Chains & Food Systems team, Profundo conducted foundational research to consolidate trends in international trade in agricultural commodities from selected countries to the Netherlands, identify opportunities for food systems transformation, and to map potential alliances across civil society to advocate for fair and just food value chains. The foundational research consists of four key pillars (market research, regulation and policy mapping, alternative food systems typology, and allies mapping), resulting in a set of recommendations to leverage opportunities for Oxfam Novib’s future campaigns on food systems transformation and fair food value chains.
June 13, 2022
Wilmar’s Refineries and Brands Lag in Implementation of ESG Policies
Wilmar International is a high-profile ESG policy leader, and dominates the palm oil supply chain with a nearly 30% share. Wilmar sources only 7% certified sustainable palm oil for its refineries, and is also lagging sustainable sourcing for its own consumer/FMCG brands. Concerns about ESG violations and investor ratings have hampered Wilmar, also due to lack of transparency, the EU proposals on deforestation and supply chain due diligence will hurt Wilmar's investors and banks. This report evaluates financers’ risks and engagement opportunities related to Wilmar.
June 7, 2022
Japanese financial institutions & the energy sector
The research analysed the financing and investment amounts flowing from 190 Japanese financial institutions to coal, oil & gas, nuclear energy and renewable energy in the past five years (January 2016 – June 2021). Data shows that Japanese financial institutions continue to provide massive amounts of funds to fossil fuel companies: these are 19 times higher than to renewables in the studied timespan.
June 1, 2022
Assessment sustainability policy PNO Media
In this research, the sustainability policy of PNO Media, the pension fund for the media and culture sector, is assessed on the basis of the methodology that is also used in the policy research of the Fair Pension Guide. The conclusion is that PNO Media's policy scores poorly, both in relation to the criteria of the methodology used and in relation to the pension funds in the Fair Pension Guide. PNO Media has no policy for the themes of climate change and nature, has no sector-specific policy for the mining sector and the oil and gas sector and scores insufficiently on transparency about responsible investment.
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