Profundo conducts research on various sustainability issues such as water scarcity, waste management, climate change, tax evasion, biodiversity, human rights encompassing a wide range of sectors/companies such as mining, oil and gas, weapons, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. Therefore, we believe that ESG underlines all our research offerings and responsible investments are our expectation from the society at large.
The most common formats of our research include:
In a CSR profile of a company, we describe its organisational structure, subsidiaries, products and markets. We analyse its CSR policy and gather information on possible controversial activities and products. We expand a CSR profile with an analysis of the financiers of the company, the subsidies received and the taxes the company pays.
In a study of a commodity chain or an industry (such as the biofuel industry, the electricity sector or the arms industry), we analyse who the major and influential players are. We examine trading and investment relationships, map controversial activities, and analyse the role banks and other financial institutions have.
We seek opportunities to improve the contribution of commodity chains and industries to a sustainable development of producing countries, and to reduce the damage done to people and environment. We advise NGOs about strategic options to address businesses, financiers and governments on their responsibilities.
- Financial analysis of companies or projects
For a specific company or project (a dam, paper plant or coal-fired power station), we research in what way financial institutions - such as banks, pension funds, insurers, asset managers, development banks and export credit agencies - are involved in its financing. We map all investment schemes - loans, credits, guarantees, shares, bonds, etc. - in order to determine where opportunities arise for influencing. Additionally, we advise NGOs how to point these financiers to their responsibilities.
- Ranking investors in an industry
We research in what way financial institutions - such as banks, pension funds, insurers, asset managers, development banks and export credit agencies - are involved in financing controversial industries (such as the palm oil sector, coal mining industry or cluster munition manufacturers). Also, we can research the financing of companies that conduct business with an oppressive regime.
Research can be aimed at financial institutions from a specific country or at the largest investors worldwide. We map all investment and financing schemes, or only their controversial financial products and investment schemes (commodity investments, derivatives, etc.). This research will result in a ranking of financial institutions.
- Social cost-benefit analysis
We make a social cost-benefit analysis of policy intentions, proposed investment projects, or complete economic sectors, in which the economic benefits are weighed against the external costs for people, environment and society.
- Assessment of responsible investment and financing policies
We compare responsible investment and financing policies of financial institutions with international standards, conventions and guidelines, on many sustainability issues (from climate to labour rights, from biodiversity to corruption). In this analysis, we also include tools that financial institutions use to implement their policies (voting, engagement, covenants in loan contracts, exclusion lists, etc.). Thus, we analyse what actions financial institutions take to support sustainable economic development. This kind of analysis can result in a ranking of financial institutions, but also offers strategic starting points for NGOs to confront financiers with the promises they made in their policies.