In the context of the development of a new piece of research, ZSL is looking for one (or several) consultant(s) to carry out either or both of the following:

  • a systematic literature review of the links between sustainable production practices and financial returns for palm oil producers, processors and traders;
  • an analysis to identify potential links between SPOTT’s ESG data and company financial risk and performance measures.


SPOTT is an online platform ( supporting sustainable commodity production and trade. By tracking transparency, SPOTT incentivises the implementation of corporate best practice. SPOTT assesses commodity producers and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitments related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. SPOTT scores companies annually against sector-specific indicators to benchmark their progress over time. SPOTT is managed by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).  

SPOTT assessments typically cover more than 100 indicators on key ESG issues with a level of detail which is unparalleled among freely available platforms, benchmarks and scorecards. Companies do not report directly to ZSL to inform their SPOTT assessments. Instead, we conduct thorough reviews of their publicly available reports and publications, before contacting each company with its draft assessment. This engagement process means that companies have the opportunity to have a discussion with ZSL, make further public disclosures, and provide feedback ahead of the final review and publication on SPOTT.  

Assessments are carried out annually in a process which can take up to 3.5 months per commodity (up to 100 companies at a time), twice a year.

SPOTT began assessing companies in the palm oil sector in 2014 by targeting the 24 most important palm oil producers, and has since added companies to increase coverage and capture other supply chain segments such as traders (2017) and crushers and refiners (2019).  

Consultant Terms of Reference (ToR): Systematic literature review of the links between sustainable palm oil production practices and financial impacts

Consultant Terms of Reference (ToR): Analysis of links between SPOTT’s ESG data and financial risk and performance measures


To submit a proposal 

  • Interested parties are welcome to submit proposals for either or both of the Terms of Reference.
  • Joint proposals involving multiple consultants will also be considered within the time-frames and budgets specified in the Terms of Reference.
  • Proposals in response to either of these Terms of Reference must be submitted by email to and by midnight (BST) on 25th August 2019.