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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.

January 2023

January 24, 2023
Global banks' energy financing
Just 7% of global banks financing for energy companies went to renewables between 2016 and 2022. Citi and JP Morgan Chase each pumped the most into energy companies but just 2% went to renewables, only 2% of Barclays’ financing of the energy companies examined went to renewables. Royal Bank of Canada is at just 1%, Mizuho 4%, HSBC 5%, and BNP Paribas 7%. The data provided by Profundo for Sierra Club, Fair Finance International, BankTrack and Rainforest Action Network, reveals that banks that are members of GFANZ actually provide less financing for renewable energy, on average, than their counterparts that are not in the alliance.
January 17, 2023
GFANZ financing of fossil fuel expansion
After committing to net zero by joining the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), financial institutions, including HSBC and LGIM have continued pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the companies developing fossil fuels, according to a new report. Financial research was carried out by Profundo.
January 11, 2023
Cross-commodity NDPE approaches in palm oil supply chain
This report analyzes the status of cross-commodity NDPE approaches at every stage of the palm oil supply chain and among financial institutions, the leverage opportunities for implementation, and key challenges ahead.
January 19, 2023
Sustainability policies of Norwegian banks
The sustainability policies of the biggest banks active in Norway 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 Norwegian Fair Finance Guide coalition in the assessments. The assessments show that Norwegian banks score highly on their policies, however more poorly on their implementation and practices.
January 17, 2023
Brand initiatives in Asia’s garment and electronics industries during Covid-19
This report provides an overall picture of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on electronics and garment workers in Asia, the implementation and limitations of brands’ corporate social responsibility initiatives, and to understand how workers and civil society groups can be empowered to hold brands accountable.

December 2022

December 21, 2022
Money flows of DEME (Belgium) in deepseasmining
Profundo investigated the money flows into DEME, a Belgian company that is taking its first steps into deep-sea mining through its subsidiary Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR). These minerals from the deep sea play a major role in the current approach to the energy transition, but also potentially have major consequences for people and planet. Shareholders of DEME include BNP Paribas and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). In addition, KBC, ING, Belfius and BNP Paribas provided loans to DEME, but the banks and the company are not very transparent about this.
December 15, 2022
Syngenta’s IPO: high investment risk
The study shows how impacts of pesticides on human health and the environment pose risks to Syngenta’s business, and therefore to potential investors and lenders. This includes climate risks that could impact its opaque synthetic fertilizer business. Moreover, transparency on Syngenta’s large fertilizer distribution business is lacking, while this activity could be a huge carbon bomb. In total, in a low-risk/high-risk range, the financial risks add up to a value range of USD 28 to 155 billion. This is material versus the intended USD 45 billion market capitalisation.
December 9, 2022
EU migration and asylum funds for third countries
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides an overview of EU funding for asylum and migration in third countries. It considers funding both from the Justice and Home Affairs funds and the external action funds, covering the previous Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) (2014-2020) and the current MFF (2021-2027) funding periods. The study seeks to identify good practice in EU funding, including but not limited to the two country case studies on Afghanistan and Niger. It proposes a set of recommendations to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and transparency of EU funding.
December 6, 2022
Financing Asia's just energy transition
the Central Asian region was collectively dependent on fossil fuels for meeting as much as 97% of their primary energy needs. The study highlights that financial institutions are responsible for contributing to Asia’s reliance on fossil fuels. On average, renewable energy accounts for only 14% of Asian banks’ energy financing over the past six years, with no discernible upward trend. The study first maps the financial flows that have been directed to support Asia’s renewable energy production, then delves into thirteen country cases to assess social, political, legal, geographical, technical, and legislative hurdles, focusing on climate policies, energy market policies and regulations, energy infrastructure, financial sector regulations, policies and practices of financial institutions and social policies. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were formulated for governments, companies, financial regulators, and financial institutions, all key actors in accelerating the just energy transition in Asia.
December 20, 2022
Wintershall (Germany) corporate structure, financing, and entities linked to Russia
This research mapped out the corporate structure of Wintershall, the largest oil and gas actor in Germany, in order to bring to light the subsidiaries and joint ventures conducting business in or having links with Russia. The focus was on Russian entities but also by financial institutions from Europe and other regions, between January 2019 and June 2022 – including external bank finance, and internal inter-company loans, bonds and equity investments. The main investors in Wintershall Dea-bonds are the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, Crédit Agricole (France), Morgan Stanley (United States), BNP Paribas (France) and BlackRock.
December 15, 2022
PAX
Nuclear weapon producers and their financiers
The report details how 306 financial institutions made more than $746 billion available to 24 companies significantly involved in maintaining and modernising the nuclear weapon arsenals of China, France, India, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
December 7, 2022
Power company Karpowership stakeholder analysis
The study reveals that a syndicate of four banks from around the world – Standard Chartered (United Kingdom), Investec Group (South Africa), Isbank (Turkey) and MCB Group (Mauritius) – have provided a US$ 140 million loan to Turkish energy company, Karpowership, in March 2020, concluding that this loan was intended for its Karpowership South Africa project. The report shows that the loans were provided for ‘general corporate purposes’ and will mature in March 2025.
December 5, 2022
DBIO 2022: financial flows into illegal Israeli settlements
Between January 2019 and August 2022, 725 European financial institutions had financial relationships with 50 businesses that are actively involved with Israeli settlements. During the analysed period, USD 171.4 billion was provided in the form of loans and underwritings. As of August 2022, European investors also held USD 115.5 billion in shares and bonds of these companies. The “Don’t Buy into Occupation” (DBIO) coalition is a joint project between 24 Palestinian, regional and European organisations based in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom. The coalition aims to investigate and highlight the financial relationships between business enterprises involved in the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and European financial institutions.

November 2022

November 30, 2022
JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva Unlikely compliant with upcoming EU deforestation Law
The report analyzes the potential deforestation in the supply chains of JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva that would not be compliant with the upcoming EU Law. Since the meatpackers do not monitor all indirect supply, they cannot guarantee compliance with the upcoming EU Deforestation law. Thus, meatpackers, leather operators, and FMCGs may face legal and reputational risks.
November 22, 2022
Banking on thin ice
This report provides an overview of the financial relationships between 10 major Nordic banks and the fossil fuel industry, as well as the policies the banks have in place to regulate their links to the industry.
November 14, 2022
Support Fair Finance Guide Brazil 2022
The sustainability policies of the 8 biggest banks active in Brazil 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 Brazilian Fair Finance Guide coalition in the assessments. The assessment shows a general improvement in the results: all the banks assessed had a grade increase. However, the average score of 38% and a minimum of 31% are low compared to banks in other countries.
November 9, 2022
Traceability in Brazilian cattle and soy supply chains
This report discusses the traceability requirement of the new EU regulation on deforestation-free products and the feasibility of its implementation in cattle and soy supply chains in Brazil. Traceability is crucial to ensure that commodity production is not linked to deforestation or forest degradation.
November 7, 2022
Profiting from the construction and hotel boom in Qatar (FIFA World cup 2022)
Almost half (47%) of the financing to construction and hospitality companies active in Qatar is provided by European banks, pension funds and insurance companies. Billions of dollars have been spent on these projects and multimillion profits have been made by the contracted and subcontracted companies. But the migrant workers, whose labour is key to the success of the FIFA World cup 2022, are not benefitting from this.

Report: No questions asked: Profiting from the construction and hotel boom in Qatar

AMwatch: Storebrand after criticism for Qatar investments: "Getting good documentation requires a lot of effort"

AMWatch: Storebrand after criticism for Qatar investments: "Getting good documentation requires a lot of effort"

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: AP Pension divests from Vinci after it is linked to labour rights abuses on Qatar World Cup projects

Business & Human rights Resource Centre: Qatar 2022: Report examines investments in construction & hotel sectors in emirate, issues recommendations to financial institutions on engaging with clients & investees on labour rights; incl co. responses

Citywire: Exklusiv: Das sagen deutsche Asset Manager zu ihren Katar-Investments

Citywire: Investors accused of ignoring human rights violations in World Cup building boom

Citywire: Katar-WM: Wie verdienten Investoren am Bauboom?

E24: Passivt eierskap gir også skitt på hendene

El Salto: BBVA y Santander, primeros ganadores del Mundial de Qatar

Enorm: FIFA WM Katar 2022: Menschen- und Arbeitsrechte im Abseits

euobserver: How EU banks underwrote the Qatar World Cup

Fair Finance International: Big European financial institutions invest heavily but turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in Qatar

FinansWatch: Framtiden i våre hender om Qatar-rapport: – Den sår tvil om hvor aktivt eierskap finansinstitusjonene har

finews.asia: World Cup: Did Investors Ignore Human Rights Abuses?

NRK: Oljefondet har investert milliarder i hotellkjede som får Qatar-kritikk

NRK: Oljefondet har investert milliarder i hotellkjede som får Qatar-kritikk

NRK: Oljefondet har milliarder i Qatar-hotellkjede – flere partier krever svar fra regjeringen

VRT: Arbeiders op WK-werven van Besix getuigden over misbruik in rapport, hoofdsponsor Rode Duivels reageert

ZDF: Deutsche Banken verdienen an Katars Bauboom

November 1, 2022
Dutch Fair Insurance Guide, 7th update
This is the 7th update of the policy assessment of the Dutch Fair Insurance Guide. In this report the policies of sixteen insurance companies in the Netherlands regard to a.o. climate change, health, nature, human rights, and animal welfare have been analysed and scored.
November 24, 2022
Follow the Money IV
The report provides an overview of how funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and Internal Security Fund- Borders and Visa (ISF-BV) was used outside the European Union (EU) during 2014-2020, presents an analysis of the provisions for external spending from the 2021-2027 AMIF and 2021-2027 Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI), and offers key recommendations for Member States and the European Commission to improve transparency and accountability on the use of internal affairs funding to support asylum and migration external dimension policies. An overall conclusion is that, of all AMIF and ISF-BV funding, only a small amount was spent outside the EU. However, the breakdown reveals that a significant amount of Union Actions, one of the categories of funding under direct management, was spent outside the EU, with 61% of AMIF funds and 39% of ISF-BV in this category having been dedicated to spending outside the EU.
November 15, 2022
Financing of fossil fuel companies in Africa
The report identifies 200 companies that are exploring or developing new fossil fuel reserves or developing new fossil infrastructure such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, pipelines or gas- and coal-fired power plants in Africa - and the banks and investors behind these companies. The results show that oil, gas and coal companies are exploring or developing new fossil fuel reserves in 48 African countries, 89% of new LNG capacity in Africa is planned for export, and international investors hold over US$ 109 billion in companies driving fossil fuel expansion in Africa.
November 10, 2022
Training and support Southern African Fair Finance coalition
Profundo has trained and supported the South African Fair Finance coalition in assessing the sustainability level of the investment policies of Development Finance Institutions active in South Africa, using the Fair Finance Guide (FFG) methodology. The training covered the role of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in financing different sectors and the way they operate; the relationship between DFIs and other private financial institutions; the possibilities for civil society organisations to influence the financial sector and more particularly DFIs; how the Fair Finance Guide (FFG) methodology assesses financial institutions and can be used to influence their sustainability policies and practices.
November 10, 2022
Global Oil & Gas Exit List 2022
GOGEL is a tool that makes it possible to systematically assess whether companies are in line with the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions scenario. The 2022 analysis finds that 96% of upstream oil and gas companies are still expanding their operations.
November 9, 2022
GFANZ forest-risk investment trends
Asset managers who are part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) retain forest-risk investments worth an estimated $8.5 billion. The analysis finds that there has only been a three percent reduction by its members in investments that are at risk of contributing to the clearing of the world's climate critical forests. Asset management giants BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Deutsche Bank and ABP all appear to have increased their reported exposure to ‘forest-risk’ investments between September 2021 and September 2022.
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