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: Value chains and human rights

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.

October 2018

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.

September 2018

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 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.

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.

December 2017

December 22, 2017
Deforestation in Brazilian Soy Supply Chain
This paper explores the existence and extent of market access risk and financial consequences in the soy supply chain due to weak sustainability performance. With pressure on commodity traders increasing to adopt and strengthen zero-deforestation, also soy producers involved in legal deforestation face increasing market access risk.
December 6, 2017
Fair Bank Guide Netherlands: Transparency and Accountability on the Loan Portfolio of Dutch Banks
The objective of the research is to assess the level of transparency of Dutch banking groups about their contribution to the development of a sustainable society, and to encourage them to become more transparent, now and in the future.
December 14, 2017
Fair Bank Guide Netherlands: Dutch banks finance importers of granite
The aim of this research is to show which Dutch banks are involved in the financing of Dutch importers of granite. The results of the research project are presented to the banks, and they will be used to support the realization of the ICSR covenant on natural stone.

November 2017

November 17, 2017
Shipbreaking in South Asia
Factsheet on local stakeholders, needs and potential intervention areas
November 8, 2017
Fair Finance Guide Norway - 1st update
Using the methodology developed by Profundo together with the civil society organisations collaborating in the Fair Finance Guide International network, the Norwegian Fair Finance Guide coalition assessed and ranked the responsible credit and investment policies of the main Norwegian banks for the second time. Profundo provided training and advice to support their assessment. Want to learn about Fair Finance Guide? Watch this video:
November 16, 2017
Fair Finance Guide Sweden - 3rd update
Using the methodology developed by Profundo together with the civil society organisations collaborating in the Fair Finance Guide International network, the Swedish Fair Finance Guide coalition assessed and ranked the responsible credit and investment policies of the main Swedish banks for the fourth time. Profundo provided training and advice to support their assessment. Want to learn about Fair Finance Guide? Watch this video:
November 1, 2017
NDPE Sourcing Policies Cover 74 Percent of Southeast Asia’s Refining Capacity
The palm oil industry’s transformation towards sustainability gained traction in 2013 when major Southeast Asian palm oil traders/refiners began to embrace ‘No Deforestation No Peat No Exploitation’ (NDPE) sourcing policies. Through such policies, these firms require their suppliers to refrain from clearing forests and peatlands for new oil palm plantations. However, unsustainable practices continue to take place.

October 2017

October 19, 2017
Fair Bank Guide Netherlands: Banks, work on fire safety of stables!!
The three biggest bank groups of The Netherlands - ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank - finance companies where 150,000 pigs and chickens died in fires this summer, according to research by the Fair Bank Guide. The Fair Bank Guide has called on banks to take measures in order to avoid such disasters.

April 2017

April 24, 2017
Demand Driven Value Chain Analysis in Rwanda
This project consisted of a value chain analysis in six districts in North West Rwanda, in order to promote agricultural productivity, create opportunities for inclusive poverty reduction and stimulate sustainable development. Profundo assessed which crops would have the best potential to meet these different objectives. Partially based on our recommendations, Dutch development organisation SNV is now implementing the HortInvest Rwanda project.

November 2016

November 30, 2016
The Great Palm Oil Scandal
This report investigates labour exploitation on plantations in Indonesia that provide palm oil to Wilmar, which is the world’s largest processor and merchandiser of palm and lauric (palm kernel) oils and controls over 43% of the global palm oil trade.

June 2016

June 23, 2016
Scoping Study on Possible Activities of the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM)
This study was commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to scope potential opportunities for the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) to help stimulate the responsible sourcing of 3TG (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold) minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
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