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Are You Invested in Exploitation?

This report from Friends of the Earth names the top 10 U.S. asset managers invested in palm oil production, including BlackRock, Vanguard, CalPERS, TIAA-CREF and Dimensional Fund Advisors. It shows that none of these firms have clear criteria for disclosing or avoiding risks related to deforestation and land rights, and outlines ways that these and other U.S. investment institutions can take greater responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their investments.

Are You Invested in Exploitation? makes the case for why such investors should quit financing conflict palm oil and commit to human rights. To increase pressure on the top 10 firms, Friends of the Environment is campaigning to urge them to #DefundDeforestation by adopting four pillars of responsibility:

  1. to disclose their exposure to deforestation and land risk in palm oil and other commodities;
  2. to commit to a deforestation and land grab-free investment policy;
  3. to exclude bad actors and advocate for responsible financing; and
  4. to repair the damage and ensure justice for affected communities, and support only companies that restore ecological damage as part of their commitment to forests.

Friends of the Environment also teamed up with shareholder advocacy non-profit As You Sow to create a free online database to allow individual investors to determine their links to tropical deforestation and land grabs. The search platform currently includes 6,500 global mutual funds, and is focused on palm oil-related holdings, but there are plans to expand it to include “all commodified sources of deforestation,” including timber, paper, cattle, soy and sugar.

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