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How do we identify the 500?

Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies with the greatest influence on tropical deforestation, based on their exposure to forest-risk commodities, and the 150 financial institutions which are providing the most finance to them. These are the Forest 500 powerbrokers, and they are re-selected every two years to ensure that the most influential companies and financial institutions are being assessed on the strength and implementation of their commitments on deforestation and human rights.

How are the Forest 500 identified?

Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and the 150 financial institutions providing the most finance to them.

The selection of the Forest 500 is based on two criteria: (1) risk of being linked to tropical deforestation through involvement in or potential exposure to forest risk commodity supply (FRC) chains; and (2) influence within the political economy of tropical deforestation. Forest 500 focuses on the six highest forest-risk commodities; soy, beef, leather, palm, timber, and pulp and paper.

Selecting the Forest 500 companies

To identify the 350 companies with the most influence in these six commodity supply chains, first the key producing and trading countries are selected. This guides the selection of the most influential companies operating in these jurisdictions. Producing countries are those in which the largest areas of tropical forest are located but that are losing this forest cover at a rapid rate and high volume, due to expanding commodity production. Trading countries are those importing the largest value of commodities from these producer countries. More detail on our 2020 country selection methodology is available here.

Companies are selected based on a variety of different metrics which indicate their exposure to forest-risk commodities and thus to deforestation risk. This can include data like the scale of their commodity production areas, the volume of commodities they process or trade, and their market share within global manufacturing and retail sectors. The Forest 500 includes companies operating at different stages of the supply chain, producers, processors, traders, manufacturers, and retailers. 

The companies currently featured on our ‘Rankings’ and ‘Data’ pages, were selected using our 2020 selection methodology. You can find more detail on our 2020 company selection methodology here.

If you’re looking for our 2022 country and company selection methodologies, for the assessments which are currently being conducted, you can find more detail on our selection methodologies here.

Selecting the Forest 500 financial institutions

Once the 350 companies have been identified, the 150 financial institutions that are providing the most finance to those companies in the form of shareholdings, bondholdings loans and underwritings. They are the banks, pension funds, asset managers, and other financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk - and those with the greatest power to transform commodity supply chains.

The financial institutions currently featured on our ‘Rankings’ and ‘Data’ pages, were selected using our 2020 selection methodology. You can find more detail on our 2020 financial institution selection methodology here.

If you’re looking for our 2022 selection methodology, for the assessments which are currently being conducted, you can find more detail on our selection methodologies here.

Want to find out more on how we assess the Forest 500?

If you would like to find out more about how companies and financial institutions are assessed and ranked, you can find more here.

If you are being assessed by Forest 500 in our 2022 assessments, you can notify the assessment team of publicly accessible links on your website which have been updated within our 2022 assessment period (mid-May to November 2022).
 
If you’re a company, please use this form.
 
If you’re a financial institution, please use this form.