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Advancing Responsible Lending


The 21st century has presented humanity with the ominous reality that, by 2050, we may face widespread insufficiency of food, fiber, and bioenergy to meet our needs. A rapidly growing global population, accelerating consumption, dietary shifts, climate change and other factors are driving unprecedented price volatility, resource shortages, and other risks in soft commodity supply chains. These challenges pose material, reputational and systemic risk to investors.

WWF seeks to help investors untangle this complexity. Through The 2050 Criteria: Guide to Responsible Investment in Agriculture, Forest, and Seafood Commodities, WWF provides investors with a field guide for identifying good performers in agricultural, forest and seafood sectors.

These commodity supply chains play key roles in meeting humanity’s growing demands while simultaneously generating some of the largest and most irreversible impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world, including biodiversity loss, watershed disruption, climate change, and social conflict.

Financial institutions play a unique role in helping to establish the rules of the game and making daily operations possible. By deploying credible, mainstream criteria for responsibly indentifying and guiding investees, financial institutions can improve performance, manage risk, and help contribute to the economic and environmental sustainability of these crucial sectors.

For each soft commodity sector, The 2050 Criteria outlines:

  • Key features of the global market, including trade structures, data, and dynamics
  • Primary environmental and social risks
  • Key performance criteria for managing environmental and social risks
  • Leading third-party certifications
  • Major trends and opportunities
  • Links for additional tools and resources

Food security, and its attendant social, environmental, and economic consequences, is the challenge of the 21st century. The 2050 Criteria provides a tool and an entry point – including key performance criteria – for investors to access mainstream agricultural, forest and seafood commodities in a responsible manner.

If finance, industry and civil society align around credible indicators, we can help ensure that Earth meets humanity’s current demand without compromising the prospects for human development and functioning markets in the coming decades.