Every two years, Global Canopy 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 bi-annually 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. The Forest 500 were re-selected in 2022.

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 identified. 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.

Read more detail on our 2022 country selection methodology which is available to download. This guides the selection of the most influential companies operating in these jurisdictions.

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. 

Our full 2022 company selection methodology is available to download.

Selecting the Forest 500 financial institutions

Once the 350 companies have been selected, the 150 financial institutions that are providing the most finance to those companies in the form of shareholdings, bondholdings, loans and underwritings are identified. 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.

Our full 2022 financial institution selection methodology is available to download.

How do we assess the Forest 500?

If you would like to find out more about how companies and financial institutions are assessed and ranked, visit our page ‘How do we assess the Forest 500?‘.

For more details, you can also read our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Download the full 2022 selection methodologies