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Projects
: Equity analysis

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.

June 2019

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 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 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.

February 2019

February 5, 2019
Carrefour May Face Financial Risks from Deforestation-Linked Beef Sourcing in Brazil
Carrefour SA holds a majority share in Atacadão SA/Carrefour Brasil, the largest retailer in Brazil. Carrefour’s size makes it a major buyer of Brazilian beef and may expose it to deforestation risks, as cattle contributes to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. This report analyses Carrefour’s deforestation risk exposure based on samples collected through store visits. Chain Reaction Research (CRR) visited 48 Carrefour supermarkets in five Brazilian cities, and inspected 480 randomly selected frozen beef products. Data from the product labels establishes supply chain links between Carrefour supermarkets and slaughterhouses located in the Legal Amazon.

January 2019

January 25, 2019
AAK Lags in Implementation of NDPE Best Practices
AAK is a vegetable oils producer, with its headquarters in Malmö, Sweden. The company has 20 production facilities worldwide, sales offices in more than 25 countries and a total workforce of 3,500 employees. In 2017, its revenue was equivalent to USD 3.2 billion in 2017. Within the world’s palm oil supply chain, AAK is positioned midstream between the largest palm oil refiners/traders and the largest consumer goods companies. The company’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) strategy relies on meaningful action from the traders and refiners that supply AAK with refined palm oil. This approach fails to follow industry best practices.

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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

June 2018

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.
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