Financial databases Thomson EIKON, Bloomberg IJGlobal, TradeFinanceAnalytics, company register filings, as well as publicly available company reports, were used to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies in the period 2010-2019 (August). Investments by institutional investors in bonds and shares of the selected companies were identified through Thomson EIKON and Bloomberg at the most recently available filing date in August 2019. This data provides a deal-level dataset of specific relationships between selected companies and any linked financial institution. Of the 195 companies researched, only 103 companies had identifiable financing where the financier, financing amount, and start date were known.
Companies with business activities outside of the forest-risk sector had recorded amounts reduced to more accurately present the proportion of financing that can be reasonably attributed to the forest-risk sector operations of the selected company (see Adjusters). Where available financial information did not specify the purpose of investment or receiving division within the parent company group, reduction factors were individually calculated by comparing a company’s forest-risk sector activities relative to its parent group total activities.
The commercial banks identified in this study were evaluated to determine the strength of any publicly available policies relevant to tropical forest-risk sector investment decision-making, and subsequently scored against a range of criteria incorporating environmental, social and governance standards. Each of the major banks was allocated a score on the scope of its policies and its environmental and social standards. The Forests & Finance Bank Policy Assessment Methodology is based on the Fair Finance Guide (FFG) with a focus on the forest-risk sector. See the Bank Policy Matrix 2018 for more details of the scoring criteria and compiled scores.
The data and assessments presented in this website have not been provided by or authorized by any of the financial institutions or clients concerned. While every attempt has been made to research and present data and assessments accurately and objectively, it is difficult to guarantee complete accuracy. This is not least because of the lack of consistency and transparency in how financial institutions and forest-risk sector clients record key financial and company information. Where there has been ambiguity in source information of financial services, the authors of this website have acted cautiously, resulting in a likely underestimation of the true amounts of finance involved. The authors are committed to correcting any identified errors at the earliest opportunity.
Timeline of updates to the database and bank policy assessments:
Sept 2016: First version of bank policy assessments and database launched, assessing financial services provided to 50 companies for their forest-risk sector production and primary processing activities.
June 2017: Database expanded to cover over 180 companies. Methodology revised to cover entire forest-risk sector supply chains, including trading and manufacturing
December 2018: Database updated and expanded to cover over 190 companies. Bank policy assessments completed for over 30 banks with updated ESG assessment criteria. (see Methodology).
November 2019: Dataset updated with financing information for over 100 companies up to August 2019.
The 195 company groups selected for this study are involved in the supply chains of the pulp and paper, palm oil, rubber or timber sectors in Southeast Asia – collectively referred to as ‘tropical forest-risk sectors’. This list is intended to be a representative sample of companies impacting tropical forests, and is not an exhaustive list of all companies impacting tropical forests. Other factors that led to their selection include the size of the company and land area of operation, access to information on their financing, and known negative impacts of their operations on tropical forests. Please see the Methodology for further information.
Not all of the 195 companies selected for the website are engaged in harmful operations. However, all are engaged in large scale operations in tropical forests that have a high risk of causing deforestation and associated social impacts. Banks that do business with these companies are therefore highly exposed to deforestation risks.
Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Financial databases Thomson EIKON, Bloomberg IJGlobal, TradeFinanceAnalytics, company register filings, as well as publicly available company reports, were used to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies in the period 2010-2018 (June). Investments in bonds and shares of the selected companies were identified through Thomson EIKON and Bloomberg at the most recently available filing date in July 2018. These financial databases provide access to real time market data, news, fundamental data, analytics, trading and messaging tools. Please see the Methodology for further information.
As a first step, we recommend you check whether the bank has any policies governing their financing of tropical forest-risk sectors. Our evaluation of major bank’s policies is available here. If your bank is not included in this evaluation, you could check your bank’s website or ask them directly what policies they have in place to protect forests and people through forest-sector lending. Depending on their response, you might want to ask them to implement a policy, or you might want to find an alternative bank. Our research finds that banks with policies are still financing companies linked to deforestation. Therefore, having a policy is not a guarantee of responsible financing, but may indicate the bank is engaging their clients to improve their performance, or, they may be failing to make sure their policies are being implemented by clients. You are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further assistance.
For our assessment of bank policies, we selected 31 out of 35 financial institutions with the most significant financial exposure to the forest-risk sector in Southeast Asia. The assessments were based only on publicly available information, and each bank was given an opportunity to comment on the draft assessment prior to publication. The assessment scores the bank on the scope of its policy implementation and the environmental, social and governance standards that are expected of their clients. The scores are out of a total of 50 points,
Investors can take a two-pronged approach by addressing 1) the companies directly engaged in tropical forest-risk sectors and 2) the banks financing those companies. For both types of companies, investors should demand full disclosure of risks and application of robust ESG standards and due diligence processes. See page 4 of the Forests & Finance Brochure for more recommendations for investors.
1. The Red Lines assessment is global, whereas forestsfinance.wpengine.com is concerned with Southeast Asia
2. The Red Lines assessment is focused on the pulp and paper industry, whereas forestsfinance.wpengine.com covers all forest-risk commodities in Southeast Asia.
3. The Red Lines assessment is concerned with the whole production supply chain, including pollution from pulp mills etc, whereas forestsfinance.wpengine.com focuses on policies is more concerned with forests and human rights.
4. The Red Lines assessment studied banks that are either known to be the largest financiers of the global pulp and paper industry or involved in one or more projects or companies identified as ‘dodgy deals’, whereas forestsfinance.wpengine.com is potentially interested in any banks with clients involved in Southeast Asian forests.
5. The Red Lines assessment does not give banks a score for their policies, whereas forestsfinance.wpengine.com does.