Finance and the frontlines

Banks and investors enable forestry and agribusiness companies to expand operations into the world’s remaining tropical forest ecosystems. This is driving the destruction of forests and peatlands and violating Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities' rights.

Cargill: Violating Indigenous Peoples’ And Traditional Communities’ Rights In Brazil

Cargill is one of the world’s largest agricultural companies. It is financed by major banks despite failing to meet zero deforestation by 2020 commitments and an extensive legacy of rights abuses.

Based in the U.S., Cargill exports soy from Brazil and increases deforestation rates as they expand operations into the Brazilian Amazon and the Cerrado. Their many port developments threaten the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous and traditional communities. The latest soy expansion project involves a proposed river port in Abaetetuba, Pará, located on the Amazon river. If built, the port is expected to cause serious damage to the river ecosystem, impacting fishing communities.

The issues in Cargill’s latest plans are part of a long track record of continued failures to clean up its supply chains or to comply with national laws on Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Yet since 2019, Cargill has received US$473 million in credit for its soy operations. Cargill is financed by BNP Paribas, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, MUFG, UBS, and others. These banks are lagging behind international best practices on environment and human rights.


Royal Golden Eagle: Mystery Owners Of Global Pulp Expansion Threatening Forests

Companies allegedly under common control of Singaporean-based pulp and paper producer, RGE Group, are driving deforestation in Indonesia. Without policies applied to the entire corporate group, RGE’s creditors issue billions in sustainability loans while exposed to deforestation risks, leaving communities vulnerable.


JBS: Climate Chaos And Exploitation In The Amazon

JBS is the largest meatpacker in the world and a major Amazon deforester. Banks like Bradesco, Bank of America and Mizuho have enabled JBS by providing US$718 million in forest-risk beef credit. Banks should implement policies to end complicity in JBS’s destruction.


Sinar Mas Group: Destroying Orangutan And Chimpanzee Habitats In Indonesia And Liberia For Palm Oil

Sinar Mas Group’s pulp and palm oil supply chains are linked to egregious rights abuses, greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation. Despite failing to end deforestation, SMG remains the largest recipient of finance for tropical forest-risk commodities receiving US$ 20 billion in credit since 2019.


Where is the money coming from?

Forest-risk commodities are financed by banks and investors from around the world. This includes financiers from both producer and consumer countries. Here you can see which countries provide the most finance to forest-risk sectors. Credit and Shareholding covers the period January 2016 to September 2023.

Which banks & investors contribute most to the problem?

This research maps financial flows from banks and investors to 300 companies driving tropical deforestation. Use the drop-down menu to explore the rankings of banks providing credit and underwriting (2016-2023 September) and investors holding bonds and shares (September 2023).

How do the bank & investor policies stack up?

See how the largest banks and investors enabling forest-risk commodity sectors in the worlds’ tropical forest biomes score. We assessed the strength of their Environmental, Social and Governance policies for key forest-risk sectors. View by banks or investors, ordered by the size of their credit to, or investment in forest-risk sectors.

Our demands to the financial sector

Governments and financial institutions need to act now to address the climate and biodiversity crises. To achieve this, we call on the financial sector to adopt and implement these five principles:

Halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
Respect and prioritize the rights of Indigenous Peoples, women and local communities.
Foster a Just Transition.
Ensure ecosystem integrity.
Align institutional objectives across sectors, issues, and instruments.
Tell your government and the world’s biggest financial institutions to stop financing deforestation and rights abuses in tropical forest biomes.
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Press Contact

Laurel Sutherlin
Senior Communiations Strategist
+1 (415) 246-0161