Prompted by a growing number of reports stressing the negative impacts of palm oil production, financial experts first called upon the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) back in 2013, given our collaborative conservation work with the industry. These signals raised awareness of the need for more responsible investment in sectors with high deforestation risks.

Since then, SPOTT has grown to provide detailed Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) assessments of 50 palm oil companies. SPOTT assessments focus on what producers and traders publicly disclose their operations and sustainability commitments. ZSL is now expanding SPOTT to assess timber, pulp and paper companies in October 2017.

The Responsible Investor Awards recognise those who contribute to promoting and developing investment best practice. For its 2017 edition, Responsible Investor magazine inaugurated a new award for Innovation and Industry Leadership. This new award came with a special category for service providers. It includes non-profit organisations, acknowledging that the sector can benefit from external research.

SPOTT is shortlisted for this new award and the results will be revealed on 6 June 2017. Making the shortlist of this award is a welcome signal of an ever growing interest from asset owners, asset managers and banks. Together with other financial service providers, they have been showing increased care in ensuring that their investment decisions do not negatively impact the environment and local communities.

The SPOTT team hopes that this encourages more users to engage with us on their commodity sectors practice.

*Update 06/06/2017: the SPOTT team congratulates IIGCC and 2° Investing Initiative (2°ii) for their work and for winning the award, and CDP for being chosen as a runner up.