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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 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.

August 2019

August 1, 2019
Glencore Agriculture Exposes Canadian Pension Funds to Deforestation Risks
Glencore Agriculture is an agricultural commodity trading company that operates in corn, cotton, soy, and grains markets. This report assesses Glencore Agriculture’s exposure to deforestation risks in Brazil’s soy supply chain.

July 2019

July 29, 2019
Labour Rights and Human Rights in Forest Certification Standards
An analysis of FSC and PEFC adherence to the UN Guiding Principles, ILO Fundamental Conventions and OECD Guidelines
July 9, 2019
28 Percent of Indonesia’s Palm Oil Landbank Is Stranded
In 2017, CRR reported 6.1 million hectares (ha) of forest and peatland remained on oil palm concessions, land that can be considered “stranded assets." This update discusses figures and trends in the palm oil industry since 2017 and argues that oil palm development on forest and peatland will remain economically unviable for the foreseeable future.
July 22, 2019
Cargill’s New Policies Insufficient to Fully Mitigate Deforestation Risks in Brazil
Cargill is the largest privately-held company in the United States and the second largest soy exporter in Brazil. In April 2018, Chain Reaction Research (CRR) concluded that Cargill’s 2030 zero-deforestation deadline allowed its Brazilian suppliers to continue deforesting the Cerrado. This report assesses Cargill’s current deforestation risks in Brazil’s soy supply chain, given recent changes in corporate policies, market conditions and deforestation trends.
July 8, 2019
AXA: Financing War Crimes
The Global insurer’s involvement in the illegal Israeli Occupation. This report by consumer watchdog SumOfUs reveals AXA’s investments in Israeli banks which in turn directly finance illegal Israeli settlements. It also highlights the ways in which Elbit Systems profits from supplying the Israeli military with a variety of banned and controversial weapons, as well as technologies used to sustain the occupation.

June 2019

June 25, 2019
Innovating South-South Cooperation
Innovating South-South Cooperation - Policies, Challenges and Prospects Profundo researcher Ward Warmerdam has written a chapter in this book. The book deals with the evolving aid architecture and mounting development challenges caused by recent food, financial and energy crises, which demand an urgent and critical review of existing aid modalities, policy-making and forums for international cooperation. Ward Warmerdam has written about how China defines and implements SSC in practice, as well as a historical analysis of these definitions and practice, and a comparison with UN definitions
June 6, 2019
Controversial Arms Trade and investments of Dutch banks
This report focused on the investments of Dutch banks in controversial arms trade.
June 11, 2019
Setting the bar for deforestation-free soy in Europe
This report presents a benchmark for Voluntary Standard Systems (VSS) which comply with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. These are guidelines drafted by the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation as minimum criteria for the sourcing of soy, to avoid illegal deforestation and other sustainability risks.
June 3, 2019
The Neglected Risk: Why deforestation risk should matter to Chinese financial institutions
Given the important role of Chinese demand in soy production, and of Chinese financial institutions in financing and investing in the soy value chain, CDP sought to better understand the investment and lending decisions of the Chinese financial institutions involved. This research examined the financial flows from Chinese financial institutions to companies participating in the soy supply chain, identified major players, and estimated the volume of investment exposed to deforestation risk.

May 2019

May 29, 2019
Second and Third Periodic Evaluation of the Indonesia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreements
The main goal of the Periodic Evaluation (PE) is to assure - through evaluation by an independent third party - that the Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) is functioning as described in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), thereby enhancing the credibility of the FLEGT licences. The experts will conduct audits and evaluations using a documented evidence-based methodology to check compliance and system failures that might have occurred.
May 13, 2019
Fair Finance Guide Germany, 3rd 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 21, 2019
Fool's Gold
This briefing sheds light on those European financial institutions which provide the largest support to key European coal power utilities, and reveals the ranking of the eight financial institutions most exposed to coal. These investors and creditors cannot keep such highcarbon assets in their portfolios without taking action, and have only two responsible options: exclude or engage forcefully.
May 9, 2019
Deforestation-Driven Reputation Risk Could Become Material for FMCGs
Many fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have publicly committed to a 2020 deadline to end deforestation in their supply chains. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that most FMCGs will not meet this deadline. NGO campaigns indicate increasing reputation risks for the sector. For an FMCG company, business risks related to tropical deforestation, such as market access risk, stranded asset risk, and the risk of higher costs of capital, contribute to only a small deviation in the total share value. However, reputation risk may become a much stronger value driver for them. This study explores the scientific knowledge on valuing this reputation risk.

April 2019

April 30, 2019
European Soy Monitor
This report provides insights on the use of certified and deforestation-free soy in the EU-28 member states, Norway and Switzerland (EU+). As the second largest importer of soy, Europe has a responsibility to solve the sustainability issues connected to its soy consumption.
April 15, 2019
GPA’s (Casino Group) Beef Supply Chain Exposed to Deforestation Risks
Casino Group is a French multi-banner food retailer, with a controlling share in Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) in Brazil. This report analyses GPA’s deforestation risk exposure based on beef samples collected through store visits. Chain Reaction Research (CRR) visited 50 GPA supermarkets in five Brazilian cities and inspected 500 randomly selected beef products. Data from the product labels establishes supply chain links between supermarkets and slaughterhouses located in the Legal Amazon.
April 1, 2019
Brazilian State of Tocantins: A Hotspot for Cerrado Deforestation
The Brazilian state of Tocantins is the latest hotspot for soy- and cattle related deforestation. In 2018, more land was cleared here than in any other state of the Brazilian Cerrado, a large tropical savanna biome that covers more than 20 percent of Brazil. Overall Cerrado deforestation rates have declined in recent years, but Tocantins continues to see high rates of forest loss. Soy sourced from Tocantins carries a high risk of being connected with legal and illegal land clearing. A close monitoring of the implementation of zero-deforestation commitments may mitigate risks for traders, investors and end-users of agricultural commodities from Tocantins.
April 5, 2019
Fair Finance Guide Thailand
Using the methodology developed by Profundo together with the civil society organisations collaborating in the Fair Finance Guide International network, the Thai Fair Finance Guide coalition assessed and ranked the responsible credit and investment policies of the main Thais banks for the first time. Profundo provided training and advice to support their assessment. Want to learn about Fair Finance Guide? Watch this video: https://youtu.be/zdks3jqmvuw
April 1, 2019
Belgian Arms bootcamp
Profundo researchers participated in the Belgian #EUarms bootcamp, organised by Lighthouse Reports and Bellingcat. In cooperation with Belgian journalists from Knack, Le Soir and VRT, the bootcamp investigated the sales of Belgian arms across the world, including to Saudi Arabia. The team used open-source intelligence to trace the arms in the conflict in Yemen.

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