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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.

May 2021

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.

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.

February 2021

February 25, 2021
Pension funds and land grab – an inconvenient truth
Profundo has carried out financial research for this case study by the Dutch Fair Pension Guide, which focuses on the involvement of Dutch pension funds in land grabbing controversies.
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.
February 17, 2021
Animal welfare risks for financial institutions in the soy and beef sectors
Animal welfare risks occur in different links in the soy and beef supply chains, from the farmers producing these commodities to mid- and downstream buyers in domestic and overseas markets such as China and Europe. In this research, Profundo investigated the financial involvement of European financial institutions in the international soy and beef supply chains originating in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.

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.
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