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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.

June 2021

June 29, 2021
Insurance companies’ responses to human rights abuses in the extractive industry: A case study for the Fair Insurance Guide Netherlands
This study, commissioned by the Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer (Dutch Fair Insurance Guide), examines how the nine largest insurance companies deal with human rights violations committed by the companies in which they invest. For a selection of eleven long-standing and severe human rights violations by companies in the extractive industry, the financial links between the insurers and the companies were identified, and the response by the insurers was assessed.
June 22, 2021
Not in This Together: How supermarkets became pandemic winners while women workers are losing out
For this Oxfam report, Profundo analyzed key financial information for the 16 listed and privately owned supermarkets that are the focus of Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes/Prices campaign across the four consumer countries (Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US), with the objective of understanding how COVID-19 affected the financial performance and shareholder payouts of global supermarkets.
June 23, 2021
The Sugarcane Value Chain in Latin America and Asia: Main Actors, Market Mechanisms, Labour Issues and Opportunities
This research project aims to inform the strategic development of the new CNV Internationaal programme and on developing lobby activities in its current programme in relation to the sugar sector, by identifying market dynamics, key actors, financiers, price setting, and social and environmental issues in a selection of producing countries. Geographically, the research focusses on five in Latin American countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru) and three countries in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam).
June 15, 2021
FMCGs, Retail Earn 66% of Gross Profits in Palm Oil Value Chain
The palm oil value chain contains a number of stakeholder groups, such as smallholders, large plantations, refineries, the fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) industry, the oleochemical and pharmaceutical industry, and the retail and food service sector. In every step of the chain, palm oil is further processed or is embedded in products which contain other ingredients, like hazelnut pasta or shampoo. Transparency on the distribution of financial benefits producing and processing palm oil is crucial. Transparency could enable stakeholders’ discussions on the fairness of costs and expenses related to ESG and zero-deforestation policies, the cost of re-forestation/restoration, monitoring, and verification.
June 3, 2021
Dutch Wood Pellet Imports: Is Dutch Biomass Burning Contributing to Forest Loss in Baltic States?
For this research project, commissioned by Greenpeace Netherlands, Profundo analysed Dutch imports of wood pellets for biomass from Estonia and Latvia, and their possible links to deforestation in these countries. The report shows that deforestation and Estonia and Latvia has increased in recent years, and exports of wood pellets are increasing as well. The research moreover suggests that it is very difficult to exclude the possibility that the rapidly increasing demand for biomass in the Netherlands is directly or indirectly contributing to deforestation in Estonia and Latvia.

May 2021

May 31, 2021
OMV: Climate and financial risks
This report, commissioned by Greenpeace Austria, estimates the impacts of a 1.5 degree climate scenario on Austrian oil and gas company OMV. A 1.5 degree scenario might wipe out 100% of equity value and 22% of debt value. The current investment trend in non-fossil does not generate a visible and sustainable value. However, a new direction scenario including ending new investments in fossil fuel expansion and 100% of free cash flow into renewables and circular, could prevent debt restructuring, and create EUR 19.5 billion more value than in OMV’s business-as-usual strategy.
May 19, 2021
The macho state: coercion, patriarchy and resistance
This essay, which is published as part of the Transnational Institute’s State of Power 2021, looks at gender-based violence (GBV) as one of the key functions of the police in Latin America while drawing parallels with the patriarchal justice system in Europe and its mechanisms of omission as acts of coercion.
May 7, 2021
Oil Palm Expansion in Peninsular Malaysia Is Guided by Non-Transparency
Malaysia is the world’s second largest palm oil producer, after Indonesia. Peninsular Malaysia accounts for more than 12 percent of world production and produces approximately half of Malaysia’s palm oil. It also hosts a large number of forests rich in biodiversity and large carbon stock. How are Peninsular Malaysia’s forests protected from more deforestation for oil palm? What more can main corporate players in the palm oil supply chain do to stop deforestation? This report sheds a light on deforestation monitoring in Peninsular Malaysia.
May 21, 2021
Financing less meat and more plants: A case study on the crucial role Dutch banks can play in the protein transition
This report, commissioned by the Dutch Fair Bank Guide, investigates the role that banks can play in the transition towards a food system less dependent on animal protein and more based on plant-based and alternative sources of protein. It draws on the recent literature and expert interviews to identify key possibilities and barriers, as well as the steps that banks could take to advance the protein transition.
May 18, 2021
Plastic Waste Makers Index: Revealing the source of the single-use plastics crisis
This report offers an unprecedented glimpse into the small number of petrochemicals companies, and their financial backers, generating almost all single-use plastic waste globally. For the research project, which was commissioned by Minderoo Foundation, Profundo has investigated the financing of polymer producers.

April 2021

April 29, 2021
Development aid funds for agroecology
For this project, commissioned by Both Ends, Profundo has investigated Dutch Official Development Aid (ODA) resources related to food and agriculture spent since 2010 and the extent to which they have been (or continue to be) supportive of agroecology. The report presents an overview of the Dutch ODA policies on agriculture and food security in the past decade and how these relate to agroecology, an in-depth assessment of the actual funding flows contributing to agroecological transformation, and and key recommendations on how an agroecological transition could be stimulated more strongly through ODA incentives by the Dutch government.
April 12, 2021
Alternative Route for German Palm Oil Diesel 2022-2026
This report analyses the deforestation and GHG emission consequences of a German phasing-out of palm oil in 2022 versus a linear phasing out in 2022-2026.

March 2021

March 31, 2021
Key Cerrado Deforesters in 2020 Linked to the Clearing of More Than 110,000 Hectares
The Cerrado biome, a vast, biodiverse tropical savannah in Brazil, is under threat from commodity-driven deforestation. Soy expansion and cattle ranching are direct drivers of forest loss in the Cerrado. This report presents new data on specific actors linked to Cerrado deforestation in 2020, including the quantified risk exposure of the largest soy traders, meatpackers, and retailers. Financiers with forest policies are exposed to material risks in their portfolios.
March 24, 2021
Banking on Climate Chaos 2021
The 12th edition of the most comprehensive report on fossil fuel bank financing documents an alarming disconnect between the global scientific consensus on climate change and the continued practices of the world’s largest banks. This year’s report, titled Banking on Climate Chaos 2021, expands its focus from 35 to 60 of the world’s largest banks and reveals that in the 5 years since the Paris Agreement was adopted, these banks have pumped over USD 3.8 trillion into the fossil fuel industry. The report also concludes that fossil fuel financing was higher in 2020 than in 2016, a trend that stands in direct opposition to the Agreement’s stated goal of rapidly reducing carbon emissions with the aim to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius.
March 11, 2021
Voting behaviour of large investors in Germany, Japan, and Norway
This research project was carried out by Profundo on behalf of three Fair Finance coalitions: Germany, Japan, and Norway. The research assesses the voting behaviour of large investors on a selection of shareholder resolutions related to climate change, human rights, social and governance issues, all proposed during the 2019 or 2020 AGM seasons.
March 25, 2021
Bondholders of JBIC and JICA
Profundo has carried out financial research for the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) on the bondholders of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
March 22, 2021
Update analysis sustainability benchmarks 2021
This note contains an update of a comparison of nine leading sustainability benchmarks for banks and insurance companies that was carried out by Profundo in 2018. The note expands on the earlier analysis by assessing for each benchmark to what extent the concrete financing and investment practices of financial institutions are taken into account.
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