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Trase Finance brings transparency to more than $1 trillion in deforestation financing

For the first time, interconnected data on corporate ownership structures, and the direct and indirect financing of deforestation, can all be found in one place.

Trase Finance, an initiative of Global Canopy, SEI, and Neural Alpha, launches today, enabling financial institutions to clean up their portfolios and improving accountability in this area of high environmental and social risk.

Trase Finance brings transparency to more than $1 trillion in deforestation financing / Published on 7 October 2020
Press release contact

Ylva Rylander /

Sea wave made of money

Sea wave made of money. Photo: Viaframe / Getty Images.

Trase Finance will be formally launched at a public webinar on 28 October where panelists from the finance sector and civil society will discuss some of the most powerful insights being generated by this new wealth of data. From today, the platform is freely available for use by journalists and organizations, as well as those working in the finance sector.

Trase Finance covers the financing of commodity traders exporting Brazilian beef, Brazilian soy and Indonesian palm oil, and will expand to cover the financing of other commodities mapped by the Trase initiative – which is set to expand to cover more than half of the volume of globally traded soft commodities by 2021.

Top destinations of Brazilian soy exports

Top destinations of Brazilian soy exports in 2015. From

Brazilian soy exports in 2015. Source:

It enables financial institutions to systematically identify their exposure to deforestation-risk through their financing of commodity traders. And it allows civil society, governments and regulators to strengthen accountability of financial institutions by assessing their exposure to deforestation risks and monitoring progress against policy commitments.

Flows between commodity traders and financiers

Identify the largest equity holders, and the size of their holdings, in the most exposed public commodity traders. Source: Trase Finance 

Exports of Brazilian soy alone are estimated by Trase Finance to be associated with 50,000 hectares of deforestation risk, which can be traced to $379 billion of equity investments, $250 billion held in bonds, and $160 billion of loans. The tool identifies the specific financiers of the commodity trading companies and enables users to understand their deforestation risk.

Toby Gardner, Director of Trase commented:

Data is the foundation for robust risk management. We are extremely pleased to have launched Trase Finance which allows financial institutions to now take more concrete steps towards tackling the risk in their portfolios, while also continuing to push companies and investors to improve disclosure to close remaining data gaps.

Toby Gardner, Director of Trase and Senior Research Fellow at SEI

Following a three-month testing phase, Trase Finance is now ready to be used by sustainability and investment analysts, credit and risk managers, and portfolio and client relationship managers on due diligence, portfolio monitoring and product innovation in addressing deforestation risk.

Trase Finance is an innovative and important step forward in enabling financial institutions to better identify and manage deforestation related risks in their portfolios.

Oliver Kumaran, Group Sustainability, Group Strategy and Design at CIMB Group

“The launch of Trase Finance marks a break-through in soft commodity supply chain transparency, tracing and revealing not just companies back to places of production but also the banks and investors that finance them,” added Vermund Olsen, Senior Policy Advisor at Rainforest Foundation Norway.

For interviews, please contact

Toby Gardner
Toby Gardner

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Ylva Rylander
Ylva Rylander

Communications and Impact Officer


SEI Headquarters

Rosa Indenbaum
Rosa Indenbaum

Director of Operations, Trase

SEI Headquarters

Annebeth Wijtenburg, Communications Lead, Finance Sector, Global Canopy
[email protected] |+31642291086 | @globalcanopy

Trase logo
Trase | Trase Finance

Trase is a science-based supply chain transparency initiative, built around an open-access information platform Trase is a partnership led by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Global Canopy. It uses a unique approach to mapping agricultural supply chains that combines customs, shipping, tax, logistics and other data to connect regions of production, via trading companies to countries of import. Trase Finance is the latest offering from the Trase initiative and extends to mapping of commodity supply chains and risk exposure to assess patterns of company ownership and financing. | | @TraseEarth

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