Research and advice for civil society organizations
How do we make companies and banks more sustainable?
Profundo aims to make a practical contribution to sustainability and social justice through profound research and advice. Quality comes first, with a focus on the needs of our clients.
Download our brochure: Brochure Profundo diensten maatschappelijke organisaties or read more here:
A company's CSR profile
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 can expand a CSR profile with an analysis of the financiers of the company, the subsidies received and the taxes the company pays.
Analysis of a chain or industry
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 civil society organisations 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 civil society organisations 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.
Portfolio analysis of a financial institution
We analyse the financial involvement of a bank or another financial institution in financing controversial industries or companies. The research may result in a portfolio overview and recommendations about how to approach the financial institution.
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 civil society organisations to confront financiers with the promises they made in their policies.
- Fair Bank Guide: consumer website that assesses the responsible financing policies of the largest Dutch banks
Public policy analysis
We analyse the social and environmental consequences of the existing policies of governments and semi-governmental institutions (such as development banks), and assess proposed policy changes in economic, financial and fiscal matters. From there, we develop viable proposals governments can use to improve Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in commodity chains and the financial sector.
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.
Mapping of subsidies and tax evasion
We map government grants for investments and business activities that are harmful to peopleand the environment. We also examine the way in which businesses devise plans for tax avoidance, resulting in loss of income for authorities (in developing countries).
Campaign advice and evaluation
Based on our knowledge of economic relationships and change processes in industries and chains, we advise civil society organisations how to set up campaigns. In this, we look for new possibilities to influence businesses, e.g. through their financiers and customers, and governments. We also evaluate completed campaigns for civil society organisations, looking at which strategies, outcomes and achieved results.
- Advice on a campaign to increase the contribution of uranium mining to a sustainable development in Zambia and Malawi
- Evaluation of a long-term project to improve the Corporate Social Responsibility of Dutch companies operating abroad
Workshops and training courses
We provide workshops or training courses for NGO campaigners and lobbyists in all of our areas of expertise. With a training we increase the understanding of economic relations and options for change, to the benefit of the effectiveness and goal-orientation of campaigns.
Researching international investments
We research trends in international investment and trade relationships, the drivers behind these trends and their consequences for biodiversity and sustainable development.
Cash flow analysis
In a cash flow analysis all of a company's present and future cash flows are monitored. This kind of report shows the origin of the incoming money and it also focuses on costs and investment projects on which money is spent: Does the money mainly come from the company's operational activities, or did the company enjoy a single bonus or do they have large loans?All of the business information, including future plans, will be thouroughly analysed. Thus both the present as well as the future liquidity of a company may be reported. A cash flow analysis shows whether a company has sufficient money to finance an intended project, or that new external financing - such as loans or emissions- is required.