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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.

December 2018

December 18, 2018
Foreign Farmland Investors in Brazil Linked to 423,000 Hectares of Deforestation
Brazil is one of the top target countries for farmland investment deals, because of the potential for high yields and productivity. Following the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, institutional investors, including pension funds, university endowments and private equity, invested heavily in newly formed rural real estate corporations. This paper describes the linkages between foreign investments in Brazilian farmland and the deforestation of this farmland since 2000, with a focus on Matopiba, the region consisting of the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia.
December 13, 2018
Fair Bank Guide Netherlands, 17th update
The Fair Bank Guide is a consumer's tool. More and more consumers consider it of great importance that their bank invests in a sustainable way. The Fair Bank Guide website (www.eerlijkebankwijzer.nl) tries to involve consumers in realising the Fair Bank Guide's goals.
December 5, 2018
Coal Exit
Profundo provided the financial data for the Global Coal Developers list, published by Urgewald on coalexit.org, in cooperation with Banktrack, Les Amis de la Terre, RAN and Re:Common. The financial data concern the loans and underwritings to, and the bondholdings and shareholdings of 120 coal plant developing companies worldwide.
December 3, 2018
Insuring Coal No More, The 2018 Scorecard on Insurance, Coal and Climate Change
This report ranks world’s 24 biggest insurers on their policies towards fossil fuel (more specifically on coal), underwriting and investing, and other initiatives to tackle the climate change. In Europe, most major insurers have by now taken action on coal. In the US, none of the nine leading insurers assessed have taken any action on coal. Companies like AIG, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and Berkshire Hathaway continue to underwrite and invest in the industry. Asia-Pacific insurers also continue to insure and invest in coal, although there are the first signs of change
December 14, 2018
Deforestation Risk in Colombia: Beef and Dairy Sectors May Expose Investors
During the last two years, Colombia, the world’s second most biodiverse country, has seen rapidly increasing deforestation. This report from Chain Reaction Research discusses the political changes that led to this surge in deforestation. It then focuses on the cattle supply chain, the most important sector exposing investors to deforestation risk in Colombia.
December 11, 2018
USD 11B Loans to Palm Oil Industry: ESG Issues May Create Indirect Risks for Bank Investors
Since the palm oil sector is capital intensive and needs long-term financing, palm oil companies depend on bank loans. By investing in banks that provide loans to the palm oil industry, investors may indirectly face deforestation-related risks. Loans to a selection of 105 companies involved in the entire palm oil supply chain were analysed. The top 10 banks financing the palm oil sector were identified. Finally, the main investors of the top 10 banks are listed.
December 3, 2018
Worldwide Investments in cluster munitions: a shared responsibility
This is the 9th edition of Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions. This report shows that two major US arms producers that featured in the 2017 edition of the report, Textron and Orbital ATK, have declared publicly that they no longer produce any cluster munitions. Orbital ATK even declared publicly that cluster munitions have no place in the arsenal of a modern army. These developments are at least partly the result of the pressure from the financial sector.

November 2018

November 29, 2018
BrasilAgro: 5,069 Hectares of Cerrado Forest at Imminent Risk
This report builds on Chain Reaction Research’s (CRR) company profile on BrasilAgro, published in November 2017. It showed that from 2012 to 2017, BrasilAgro had cleared 21,690 ha of native vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. BrasilAgro has faced the risk of losing clients with zero-deforestation commitments, as well as an overvaluation of its land portfolio. This update report shows the continuation of deforestation on BrasilAgro farms since November 2017, and the associated business and financial risks.
November 23, 2018
Banques Françaises, les fossiles raflent la mise
The countries, parties to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, have agreed to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C, and to try to keep it below 1.5°C. Despite the urgent need to act, the measures taken since then are not sufficient to meet these objectives. In the pace of current emissions, we risk exceeding 1.5°C in the coming decades. In 2016 and 2017, the most important French banks (BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société General, BPCE, La Banque Postale and Crédit Mutuel-CIC) have invested € 42.9 billion in fossil fuels and only 11.8 billion euros in renewable energy.
November 21, 2018
Leakage Risks in India, 58 Percent of Palm Oil Imports Not Covered by NDPE Policies
Large palm oil refiners have adopted sourcing policies that require their suppliers to refrain from clearing forests, using peatland or exploiting people. A November 2017 analysis by Chain Reaction Research showed that 74 percent of Indonesian and Malaysian refining capacity is covered by such No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies. This report looks at palm oil use in India and Pakistan. It assesses whether these countries are a ‘leakage’ market for unsustainably produced palm oil, who the main palm oil processors are and whether their activities are covered by NDPE policies.
November 27, 2018
Still Undermining our Future?
This study examines the changes since the Paris Agreement on climate change (December 2015) in the lending and investment patterns of Dutch financial institutions, when it comes to renewable energy and fossil fuels. It shows that individual banks and insurance companies are staying far behind in the average trend towards increasing renewable energy financing.
November 22, 2018
Fair Bank Guide Sweden - Lägg om växeln
This report provides an overview of the investments and loans of the seven largest banks in the energy sector in 2016 and 2017, the years after the Paris Agreement. Within the framework of the climate agreement, money flows must change to become sustainable. The aim was to see whether the agreement had an effect on the loans and investments of the banks in the energy sector. That is why it is compared with the 2009-2014 figures
November 15, 2018
Carbon footprint of Japanese financial institutions
The objective of this study was to estimate the carbon footprint of 15 Japanese financial institutions (both banking groups and insurance companies) through their shareholdings in the top 50 CO2 emitters in Japan. This research first identified the estimated C02 equivalent emissions of the top 50 CO2 emitters in Japan. It then identified the proportions of investments in these companies by the 15 selected financial institutions. Finally, the attributable estimated C02 equivalent emissions per financial institution was calculated as the proportion of the emissions on the basis of their percentage stake in the top 50 CO2 emitters.

October 2018

October 29, 2018
SLC Agrícola: Planned Deforestation Could Contradict Buyers’ ESG Policies
This report, which builds on the company profile on SLC Agrícola published by Chain Reaction Research in September 2017, reviews the company’s sustainability and business risks in the last year. The initial report showed that from 2011 to 2017, SLC Agrícola cleared 39,887 ha of land of its original vegetation, of which 30,000 ha was classified as Cerrado forest. SLC Agrícola faced potential risks of losing clients with zero-deforestation commitments, as well as an overvaluation of its land portfolio. This update discusses relevant developments that have taken place since.
October 9, 2018
Assessing the response of Dutch banks to severe human rights abuses in the extractive industry
Operations of the extractive industry are often characterised by severe human rights risks and abuses/violations. This report lists which banks have extended loans to five companies that caused or contributed to severe human rights abuses. The selected cases show a lack of progress in mitigating the negative impact and in providing remedy to the victims. As long as no remedy has been provided, the FBG will consider these cases as ongoing cases.
October 22, 2018
Cencosud: 35 Beef Products Link Retailer to High-Risk Amazon Slaughterhouses
Cencosud is a multi-brand retailer in South America, headquartered in Chile. The company is the fourth largest supermarket chain in Brazil, after Carrefour, GPA (Pão de Açúcar) and Walmart. Cencosud’s position in the beef supply chain may expose it to deforestation risks through the beef it sources from slaughterhouses, as cattle is a major driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
October 2, 2018
Cerrado Deforestation Disrupts Water Systems and Poses Business Risks for Soy Producers
The Cerrado biome, covering over 20 percent of Brazil’s terrain, is a savannah region with high biodiversity and an important function for the water systems in Brazil. The region has experienced significant soy expansion during the last two decades. Soy expansion has been most prevalent in Matopiba, consisting of the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia. This paper analyses the impacts of the soy sector on deforestation and water availability, and how water issues in turn can impact soy production. It investigates how the water impacts within the region may translate into business risks for soy companies operating in the Cerrado.
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