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The Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) and Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)’s 'Soft Commodities' Compact

The 'Soft Commodities' Compact is a unique, client-led initiative that aims to mobilise the banking industry to help transform soft commodity supply chains, thereby helping corporate clients to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

Compact Implementation Group

In December 2015, the Compact Implementation Group published an update to the Technical Guidance that supports the Compact. This followed consultation with the CGF as well as with a range of other stakeholders representing civil society, investors and other experts.

The Technical Guidance elaborates on ‘Key Terms’ within the Compact, offers further implementation guidance to banks and recommends Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for banks to consider when reporting on how they are progressing with their implementation of the Compact through to 2020.

The Compact is not intended to be prescriptive, but rather to lead the banking industry in developing market norms that align bank practice with the CGF’s resolution on deforestation. Individual Compact Banks are therefore expected to make their own decisions on if and how to incorporate the Compact’s commitments into their own business practice. It is not the intention either of the BEI as a leadership group of banks, or of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) as host of the Secretariat for the group, to police or audit individual Compact Bank’s progress towards the Compact’s goal. Indeed, efforts to increase transparency around progress Compact Banks are making to implement the Compact are intended to signal Compact Banks’ willingness to work with all of their own relevant stakeholders to improve their individual performance.

All involved recognise that much more work is needed, particularly in light of practical experience gained in the implementation of the Compact. Such experience will inform refinements and updates to this ‘living document’. Compact Banks will continue to benefit from open dialogue with their clients and others to be able to report on their implementation of the Compact.

Compact Banks’ publications of their Soft Commodities Compact implementation approaches

The information below relates to KPI 1 of the Technical Guidance of the BEI’s Soft Commodities Compact. This KPI states that a bank will publish details of its approach to supporting the Soft Commodities Compact. The intention of this KPI is to help Compact Banks in informing their stakeholders on the progress of their implementation of the section of the Soft Commodities Compact that relates to ‘Raising Industry-wide Banking Standards’. This way, stakeholders can access such information more easily, but the BEI does not prescribe a standardised reporting format to Compact Banks.

KPIs of the Compact are described in the Technical Guidance to the Compact. These KPIs, including KPI 1, are intended to be useful and practical, based on in-depth consultation with banks and a range of other stakeholders. However, they will continue to be subject to modification based on the implementation experience of Compact Banks. 


Compact bank

KPI1 material


Approach to Forestry and Logging


BNP Paribas  

Sector policy – Palm oil

Deutsche Bank

Monocultural farming / Palm oil

Environmental and Social Policy Framework

JP Morgan 


Vision and policy: Sustainably successful together

Sustainable palm oil battle has to be won



Société Générale

Annual financial report 2016

Sector policy – Palm oil

Sector policy – forestry and forest products

Sector policy – agriculture, fisheries and food

Standard Chartered





The Technical Guidance, updated in December 2015, is available here.

BEI member Compact adopters

BEI signatories

Non-member banks that have adopted the Compact

Non BEI signatories


Thomas Verhagen, Senior Programme Manager