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How do we rank the 500?

Since 2014, Forest 500 has been assessing the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions on the strength and implementation of their commitments on deforestation and human rights every year. Two assessment methodologies are used, one for companies and one for financial institutions, but each assesses the powerbrokers against the best practice for the sector.

How are the Forest 500 assessed?

The 350 companies and 150 financial institutions are assessed on the strength and implementation of their commitments on deforestation and human rights. They are evaluated against the best practice for the sector.

In 2020, the Forest 500 company methodology was aligned with the Common Methodology of the Accountability Framework Initiative. The Accountability Framework Initiative outlines the fundamental best practice for companies operating in forest-risk supply chains, and outlines the key steps needed and key information which companies in forest-risk supply chains should report in their progress to achieving deforestation-free supply chains.

In 2021, the Forest 500 financial institution methodology was brought into closer alignment with the company expectations in the Forest 500 company methodology and Accountability Framework Initiative’s Common Methodology.

Both assessment methodologies are reviewed annually to ensure that they continue to align with the best practice. Through this alignment, the Forest 500 powerbrokers are evaluated against that best practice, meaning they can be held accountable to the commitments they have made, and that the powerbrokers can benchmark their performance against that of others.

How are they assessed?

The Forest 500 assessments use publicly available information, so any information which was available on the company or financial institutions’ website(s) at the time of the assessment period is incorporated in their assessment. All powerbrokers are assessed in their native language where possible, with a team of language consultants working on the assessments alongside the Forest 500 assessment team. 

What are they assessed on?

The Forest 500 companies and financial institutions are assessed for each of the forest-risk commodities they are exposed to in their supply chains or financial portfolios. 

Each powerbroker is assessed on four categories; 

  • Overall Approach, which looks at their high-level approach to deforestation
  • Policy/Commitment Strength, which assesses the strength and scope of their commitments on deforestation
  • Social Considerations, which looks at their commitments on human rights
  • Reporting and Implementation, which assesses them on how they are implementing their commitments on the ground

Companies are assessed on the above for their own supply chains and suppliers, while financial institutions are assessed on the policies they apply to their financing activities.

How are companies and financial institutions scored?

Each company and financial institution receives a total score out of 100, which is then converted into a band out of 5.

This total score is made up of the powerbrokers’ score for ‘Overall Approach’, combined with their commodity-specific scores for ‘Commitment/Policy Strength’, ‘Social Considerations’, and ‘Reporting and Implementation’.
For financial institutions, which are powerbrokers for all commodities, each commodity-specific score is weighted equally in their total score.

Companies are selected as a powerbroker for at least one commodity, but they can also produce or use other forest-risk commodities. If their exposure is not sufficient to be selected as a powerbroker for the other commodities they use, they are still assessed for the additional commodity under the Forest 500 methodology, but the scores are weighted lower for the 'non-powerbroker' commodity to reflect their reduced influence in that supply chain. 

While companies also receive a score for each commodity, the commodity scores for which a company is not a powerbroker are given half the weighting of other commodities in their total score.

For more details, please see the full scoring methodologies for companies and financial institutions here, as well as in our FAQs.

If you are a representative from a company or financial institution and would like to find out more about your assessment, or our methodologies, then please do reach out to the Forest 500 team via email at forest500@globalcanopy.org, or use our contact form