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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.

February 2021

February 15, 2021
The likely impact of COVID-19 on the achievement of SDG 8
In this research, commissioned by ILO, Profundo has carried out a survey of the views of trade union leaders globally on the implications of COVID-19 on SDG8 and the Decent Work Agenda. The findings of this research offer a mixed picture of positive and negative prospects. Overall, there is consensus that progress towards SDG 8 was already lagging before the global outbreak. In this context, according to the survey respondents, the COVID-19 pandemic will relegate the implementation of SDG 8. At the same time, however, aspects such as securing safer working environments and stimulating employment creation will be prioritised.

January 2021

January 19, 2021
China, the Second-Largest Palm Oil Importer, Lags in NDPE Commitments, Transparency
China is a key market for palm oil (PO), palm kernel oil (PKO) and derivatives from Indonesia and Malaysia. This paper maps the role of the Chinese market and Chinese actors along the palm oil supply chain, from upstream production to midstream trading to downstream consumption, as well as the position of Chinese financial institutions in these different segments.
January 7, 2021
Bankrolling Plastics - The banks that fund plastic packages pollution
This report analyses the finance banks provided to key companies along the plastics supply chain. The report finds that between January 2015 and September 2019, banks provided loans and underwriting of more than USD 1.7 trillion (equivalent to Russia’s GDP) to forty key plastic chain actors. This includes all lending to those companies within this fixed time period.
January 8, 2021
Chain Reaction Research Applies TCFD-aligned Framework to Assess Deforestation Risks
In 2017, the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released its recommendations for climate-related disclosures in financial filings. The TCFD has since become the de facto global standard for the financial sector to report on climate change risks. This paper presents a framework for assessing deforestation-related risks in agricultural commodity supply chains that is aligned with the TCFD principles. The framework is based on CRR’s seven years of experience in the palm oil, soy, beef, and farmland sectors.

December 2020

December 18, 2020
Domestic Banks Finance 74% of Brazilian Beef & Soy
The beef and soy sectors have been two of the major drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado biomes in recent years. Financial institutions with exposure to these sectors may be inadvertently contributing to climate change and biodiversity loss. As global stakeholders react to these threats, financial institutions may become increasingly more exposed to financial risks. This report, using Forests & Finance data, shows who is financing these two sectors.
December 9, 2020
Controversial arms trade and investments of insurers
For this case study by the Dutch Fair Insurance Guide (EVW), Profundo has researched the investments of the nine largest Dutch insurers in arms companies that supply arms to countries that are currently in armed conflict, or that seriously violate human rights.
December 8, 2020
South Korean Companies Have Outsized Impact on Palm Oil Leakage Market
This report discusses the role of South Korean companies in the worldwide palm oil market and the country’s position as an owner of oil palm concessions, a buyer of palm oil products, and a financier of palm oil operations. The analysis highlights the country’s role in the palm oil “leakage market," which trades unsustainable palm oil from growers and producers that are not compliant with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies.
December 3, 2020
JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva: Material Financial Risk from Deforestation in Beef Supply Chains
JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva are the largest meat processors in Brazil, dominating beef processing and exports. The cattle industry is the main driver of deforestation in Brazil. This report, which builds on CRR’s earlier JBS analysis, assesses the companies’ exposure to deforestation and analyses their market, reputation, and technology risks. CRR has located and monitored 1,545 direct suppliers and 3,164 indirect suppliers that are connected to the top three meatpackers in seven states in the Cerrado and Amazon biomes.
December 10, 2020
Five Years Lost: How Finance is Blowing the Paris Carbon Budget
Profundo has carried out financial research for this report, which exposes the banks and investors that are providing financing to the fossil fuel companies developing large-scale, contested coal, oil and gas expansion projects. 12 case studies in the report highlight the immense environmental damage, violation of Indigenous rights, negative health impacts, human rights concerns and expected CO2 emissions caused by each of the projects.
December 8, 2020
South Korean Companies Have Outsized Impact on Palm Oil Leakage Market
This report discusses the role of South Korean companies in the worldwide palm oil market and the country’s position as an owner of oil palm concessions, a buyer of palm oil products, and a financier of palm oil operations. The analysis highlights the country’s role in the palm oil “leakage market,” which trades unsustainable palm oil from growers and producers that are not compliant with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies.
December 3, 2020
Fair Insurance Guide Germany, 2nd update
The German Fair Finance Guide coalition has for the second time assessed the responsible investment policy of the largest German insurance companies, based on the Fair Finance Guide methodology. This methodology was developed by Profundo, together with the NGOs participating in the Fair Finance International (FFI) network. Profundo has advised the German Fair Finance Guide coalition in the course of this assessment.

November 2020

November 17, 2020
Monitoring the Sustainability Status of the Dutch Coffee Sector: Tracking Progress Beyond Certification
Commissioned by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), this research assesses options for a more comprehensive monitoring of the Dutch coffee sustainability status. The previous approach of measuring progress based on the market share of certified coffee is perceived as not adequately accounting for the increasingly diversified sustainability strategies chosen by sector actors. The report identifies options for and barriers to a broadened approach to monitoring progress and impacts.
November 12, 2020
A Just Energy Transition for Africa - Mapping the impacts of ECAs active in the energy sector in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda
This report examines, from the perspective of communities in African countries affected by energy projects supported by export credit insurance, the best way to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius on the one hand and to promote access to energy in these countries on the other. In addition, it analyses the question of what the role of public financial institutions such as export credit insurers could be in promoting a green energy future in countries in Africa.
November 5, 2020
The dark side of Neste's biofuel production
This study, commissioned by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), investigates the unsustainable practices linked to Neste's palm oil supply chain. Neste is the world's largest producer biofuel biodiesel and jet biofuel, while stressing its commitment to sustainability. The study finds that companies in its supply chain can be connected to at least 10,000 ha of deforestation, an area the size of Paris, in the period from January 2019 to June 2020, and around 13,000 fire alerts in 2019.
November 12, 2020
2020 Global Coal Exit List
Profundo has provided data to Urgewald for the 2020 Global Coal Exit List.
November 9, 2020
The EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative: A portfolio and thematic analysis
Profundo has been commissioned by Counter Balance to evaluate the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) of the European Investment Bank (EIB), a series of financing projects carried out since 2016 under the European Union’s External Lending Mandate (ELM) in the Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans regions, with the stated objective of supporting the economic resilience of refugees, migrants, host and transit communities and communities of origin as part of the EU’s strategic response to the migration crisis.
November 2, 2020
Financing of Arms Companies – Policies and Practices of Swiss Banks
For the Swiss Bündnis für ein Verbot von Kriegsgeschäften, Profundo has carried out research into the financing of arms companies by three major Swiss banks: Credit Suisse, the Swiss National Bank, and UBS.
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