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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.

When you are looking for a specific report, we recommend to go to our Portfolio page.

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.
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 public policies in the economic, tax and environmental domains, which could shape or restrain the sustainable transformation of the corporate and financial world, and propose alternative policies.

September 2018

September 21, 2018
ADM: Matopiba Sourcing Could Link Company to Deforestation
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is a large multinational trader and processor of agricultural commodities. In 2017, it generated USD 60.8 billion in revenue and USD 1.6 billion in net profit and employed over 31,000 people. ADM owns more than 30 silos in Brazil, as well 13 oilseeds processing plants. It also has operations in eight Brazilian ports. ADM sources a portion of its soybeans in the Cerrado, a vast biodiverse savannah region facing high rates of soy expansion and conversion of native vegetation. This could expose ADM to deforestation risks in its supply chain.
September 12, 2018
ESG Lessons from Palm Oil for Soy Supply Chain Investors
Approximately 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions comes from deforestation. Palm oil and soybeans are two of the four main crops driving deforestation, next to other environmental and social problems. Investor awareness regarding the material risks emerging in the palm oil sector has grown, but soyrelated risks are not yet widely recognised. This paper aims to compare the two supply chains and draw lessons for investors in dealing with companies in the soy supply chain.
September 10, 2018
Energy Finance in Japan 2018: Funding Climate Change and Nuclear Risk
The objective of this research project is to identify Japanese financial institutions with no record of financial relationships with Japanese companies engaged in coal development, fossil fuel ownership and nuclear power, while profiling those financial institutions (banks, asset managers and insurance companies) with highest exposure to fossil fuels and nuclear power in Japan.
September 17, 2018
Assessment of the CSR policies of three insurance groups: CZ, Menzis and VGZ
This report for the Fair Insurance Guide assesses, for the first time, the CSR policies of the three insurance groups which the three biggest health insurers, active on the Dutch market, are part of.
September 11, 2018
Complicity in Destruction: How northern consumers and financiers sustain the assault on the Brazilian amazon and its peoples
Profundo identified financial and downstream supply chain relationships of a set of Brazilian ruralistas. Ruralistas are Brazil’s dominant political bloc and their members represent diverse lobbies within the agroindustrial sector. The highly conservative politics and bold agenda that characterizes the ruralista bloc undercuts the Brazilian government’s environmental stewardship policies and its former respect for land rights, with grave consequences for the Amazon rainforest and forest peoples.
September 7, 2018
Cattle-driven Deforestation: A Major Risk to Brazilian Retailers
Cattle ranching in Brazil, home to the world’s second largest herd, remains a major cause of deforestation. This trend continues despite meatpackers and retailers having made commitments to deforestation-free supply chains in the last ten years. This report describes the economic role of the cattle sector in Brazil, key supply chain actors, their role in deforestation, and potential solutions to improve sustainability performance. The supply chain relationships of the top five retailers and meatpackers with Amazon plants expose the Brazilian retail sector to material risk from sourcing unsustainable beef.

July 2018

July 25, 2018
Private Equity Investment in Consumer Goods Industry Could Jeopardize Zero-Deforestation Efforts
Producers of food, detergents and personal care products buy 90% of global palm oil products and have been pushing for No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) policies over the past years. However, the increasing role of private equity in this Fast-Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG) sector could jeopardize zero-deforestation efforts.The unsuccessful bid by Kraft Heinz on Unilever - an FMCG leader in sustainability - was a wake-up call.
July 2, 2018
Draw the Line
Profundo has provided information for the publication Draw the Line. This is a report about shady investments of Dutch banks in palm oil.

June 2018

June 27, 2018
Doing Business with the Occupation
In anticipation of the UN database on business enterprises involved in the Israeli settlement enterprise, this report identifies direct and indirect links between European businesses and selected economic sectors in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law.
June 26, 2018
Land Governance in the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on international responsible business conduct regarding human rights
How can banks improve their identification and management of land governance risks, created by the companies they are financing? In this report, we analysed the normative framework around land governance; the application of the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to a broader group of local (not necessarily indigenous) communities; and the present ESG risk management practices of Dutch banks. The recommendations for improving risk identification and management are relevant for all banks that strive to avoid becoming involved in landgrabbing practices.
June 21, 2018
Shadow Companies Present Palm Oil Investor Risks and Undermine NDPE Efforts
Since 2013, companies, governments, investors and civil society have taken steps to stop deforestation, fires, peatland development, and mitigate labor and human rights risks in the palm oil sector. These transformative actions include the adoption of No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) sourcing policies, sustainable management policies, government moratoria, stop work orders, and supply chain transparency. Chain Reaction Research reports that 74 percent of SE Asia’s palm oil refining capacity is now covered by these NDPE policies. However, deforestation continues and unsustainable palm oil continues to be produced, traded and consumed. Ten companies caused 75 percent of all palm oil-related deforestation in Indonesia in 2017. Together, these companies deforested 40,000 hectares (ha). This paper discusses how the use of related corporate entities and opaque ownership structures contributes to the ‘leakage’ of unsustainable palm oil to global markets.
June 26, 2018
Assessing the response of insurance companies to severe human rights abuses in the extractives sector
This case study ‘Assessing the response of insurance companies to severe human rights abuses in the extractives sector’ evaluates the response of the seven largest insurance groups active in the Netherlands to a selection of ten cases with severe human rights abuses by companies in the extractives sector. Each of the insurance groups is linked with one or more of the selected extractive companies through their investments in shares and bonds of these companies.
June 21, 2018
Power and Influence in the Value Chains of Dutch Retailers
The research analysed the top 5 Dutch retailers (Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl, Aldi, Plus) based on a set of hypotheses regarding their power, policies, trading practices and the environment they operate in. In addition, supply chain links between Southeast Asian seafood producers and Dutch, German and UK retailers have been researched.

May 2018

May 23, 2018
Fair Finance Guide Germany, 2nd update
Using the methodology developed by Profundo together with the civil society organisations collaborating in the Fair Finance Guide International network, the German Fair Finance Guide coalition assessed and ranked the responsible credit and investment policies of the main German banks for the third time. Profundo provided training and advice to support their assessment. Want to learn about Fair Finance Guide? Watch this video: https://youtu.be/zdks3jqmvuw
May 3, 2018
The Financing of Leakage Refiners
Shareholders and Loan Issuers Include International Financial Institutions with Palm Oil Policies. In total, 52 company groups operate as ‘leakage’ refiners. Based on this list of non-NDPE palm oil refiners – or leakage refiners - the financiers of 16 companies servicing leakage markets are analyzed in this paper.
May 15, 2018
Kids marketing of unhealthy food
The Stop Unhealthy Food Marketing to Kids Coalition, active in The Netherlands, fights for the right of every child to grow up in a healthy environment. As a partner of the Coalition, the Dutch Heart Foundation has commissioned Profundo to assess whether the kids marketing policies of food companies and supermarket chains active in The Netherlands meet the standards of the Coalition.
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