How we work on Sustainable Finance

Photo: Shutterstock

The main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are agricultural expansion, logging and mineral extraction. Unsustainable business practices linked to these value chains pose the greatest risk to rainforests.

Meanwhile, financial institutions play a key role as shareholders and financiers of companies in forest-risk value chains. As such, they are uniquely positioned to influence these companies to adopt more responsible policies and practices.

Therefore, RFN works directly with key companies, and investors with financial links to these companies, to promote the protection of rainforest and forest-dependent communities with the objective of halting market-driven deforestation.

Log piles being loaded onto a river boat in the rainforest. Photo.

LOGGING: Logging is one of the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. Photo: RFN

Efforts aligned with UN goals and Paris agreement

In our work with international investors, banks, and companies, we align our efforts with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 Life on Land and SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, the Global Biodiversity Framework Target 14, 15, 19, as well as the objectives of the of Paris Agreement.

Against this backdrop, RFN draws on its large network of partners organizations in rainforest countries, as well as international NGOs, academics, and other relevant stakeholders, to provide relevant and actionable input to companies and financial institutions.

DEFORESTATION: Forest destroyed for commercial agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: RFN

Advocacy, advising and providing expertise

We advocate for best practices in environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, alert financial institutions to material risks to which they may be exposed, and organise capacity development and knowledge exchange activities.

Our activities include advising and organizing collective engagement initiatives, supporting bilateral company engagements, providing expertise through webinars, research, and reports; for financial institutions that are eager to improve their sustainability track record and manage their deforestation risks, while maintaining strong financial returns.

Examples of our work:

Tools for asset managers

RFN has partnered with Norwegian investors Storebrand and KLP to publish a report featuring a mapping of tools for deforestation risk management.

The mapping includes an overview of the evolution of private sector initiatives on deforestation, examining how corporate disclosure and policies have developed in line with regulatory changes.

In addition, it provides an analysis of the various investor statements on the expectations of companies in sectors that affect rainforests worldwide. The report is available here.

Promoting best practices and risk awareness

In partnership with investor networks such as the Emerging Markets Investors Alliance and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, RFN has organized a series of webinars for asset managers, focusing on global best practices, policy and regulatory changes in key markets, and specific companies and value chains with high exposure to environmental, social, and governance risks.

The webinars have featured prominent speakers from the Global South, policy experts, government officials, and large global investors as well as transnational companies with interests in rainforest countries.

Information and analysis on key emerging markets

Through policy analyses and a curated selection of media articles and reports sent to investors in our network, we bring information on market players, political and regulatory developments at global and national levels with a focus on the countries where we work. For an example of our policy analysis work focusing on emerging markets, click here. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, please send an email to

Tollak Bowitz

Senior Finance Sector Adviser, Deforestation-free Markets
(+47) 480 73 485