ZSL, as a sub-grantee alongside Global Canopy, will be launching a revolutionary platform in 2022 bringing together the best data available on corporate exposure to, and reporting on, deforestation and other related environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

The project aims to provide market-leading data to help financial institutions identify risks and find opportunities for sustainable investments to meet the growing demand for responsible financial products in light of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The database will be underpinned by the data collected through ZSL’s SPOTT assessments, Global Canopy’s Forest 500 assessments and the Stockholm Environment Institute, Global Canopy and Neural Alpha’s Trase Supply Chains and Trase Finance data, and will be aligned with the Accountability Framework Initiative and its guidance.

Supported by a five-year grant from the Norwegian government, the resulting data and metrics will provide a more comprehensive view of company performance on deforestation, conversion and associated human rights risks. The dataset will also provide broader coverage of the most exposed forest risk supply chains (in particular: palm oil, soy, timber, pulp, rubber and cattle products) and geographies where corporate performance data on these topics is currently missing. By mapping and integrating data from aligned initiatives and external datasets, more complete and in-depth coverage of corporate performance data will be available.

Financial institutions can play a vital role in addressing deforestation and will be at the forefront of the development of this database. Through participation in a Working Group they will help shape the development of this database, ensuring it is relevant, practicable, readily accessible and able to be integrated into existing platforms and processes. Working Group members include Allianz, AXA, Blackrock, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Fama Investimentos, Federated Hermes, HSBC, Lombard Odier, Santander and Storebrand.

Improved transparency on the exposure of individual companies across key supply chains will give financial institutions the information they need to move towards ensuring their investment portfolios are deforestation-free.

If you would like to learn more about this project and how to get involved please contact spott@zsl.org.