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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

The 'Soft Commodities' Compact was a company-led initiative that worked with the banking industry to help transform soft commodity supply chains.


How the Compact worked 

Soft Commodities Compact Infographic

In support of the Consumer Goods Forum’s 2010 resolution on zero net deforestation, banks in the Compact set out to reduce deforestation in the supply chains of their client base in four soft commodity supply chains: palm oil, timber products, soy and beef.

Two overarching strategies were applied to achieve the zero net deforestation goal:

  1. Develop banking practices that support finance for initiatives that shift commodity production to sustainable practices.
  2. Raise standards used by the banking industry in their relationships with clients that are involved in these commodities (see Technical Guidance).

Banks who adopted the Compact made their own decisions on if and how to incorporate the Compact’s solutions into their own business practices. This flexibility allowed banks to prioritise the actions most relevant to their own particular business contexts.

Download the infographic


Bank approaches to implementation

Technical guidance was developed to serve as a how-to guide for banks wanting to support the Compact. Elaborating on key terms within the Compact, it offered implementation direction to banks and recommended key performance indicators (KPIs) for banks to consider when reporting on progress.

Download the Technical Guidance

Using the Technical Guidance and their own methods, Compact banks have adopted more stringent policies and reported progress. The relevant links and documents can be found in the below table. 


Compact bank

Relevant links and documents for the 'Soft Commodities' Compact


'Soft Commodities' Compact Progress Report December 2019

Approach to Forestry and Logging

Environmental Social Governance Report 2017

BNP Paribas  

Sector policy – Palm oil

Sector Policy – Agriculture

Deutsche Bank

'Soft Commodities' Compact Progress Report

Monocultural farming / Palm oil

Environmental and Social Policy Framework

Managing environmental and social risks

JP Morgan 

'Soft Commodities' Compact Report

Environmental and Social Policy Framework

Lloyds Banking Group

External Sector Statements

NatWest Group 

ESE statement

NatWest Group and the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact


2019 progress report

Declaration on deforestation in Brazil


Climate Finance Report 2019 - June 2020

General sustainability policy

'Soft Commodities' Sector Policy

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 'Soft Commodities' Compact


Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework


Our position – financing agribusiness

Banking beyond deforestation – click here to access the full report and business summary.