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Jan Willem Van Gelder

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Research on fiance and sustainability

After studying development economics at the Wageningen Agricultural University (the Netherlands), Jan Willem van Gelder has gained a broad expertise in economic and market research, financial analysis and strategic advice. Since 2000 he is the founding director of Profundo, a research consultancy based in Amsterdam, which specializes in analysing international commodity chains (in the agriculture, forestry, oil&gas and mining sectors) and the role of banks, pension funds and other financial institutions in fostering sustainable development. Profundo has an international team of 20 experts and works for non-governmental organisations from various countries, government departments, research institutes, banks and investors. The financing of the palm oil sector and the opportunities for financiers to steer the sector’s development in a more sustainable direction, have been the topic of numerous Profundo reports since 2000.


I consider my strengths to be:

▪ Actor analysis of the roles played by banks, pension funds, MDBs and ECAs in the financing of companies from various commodity and other sectors involved in a.o. high carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, human rights violations, environmental pollution and other controversial activities;
▪ Development and assessment of responsible investment policies of financial institutions;
▪ Expertise in risk management and risk modelling, in particular for financial risks originating from sustainability issues;
▪ Government regulations to endorse sustainability in the finance sector.
▪ In-depth understanding of supply relationships, market developments, investment strategies, financial structures and options for sustainability in commodity sectors: agriculture, energy, mining, forestry, pulp and paper, fisheries and livestock;
▪ Analysis of land grabbing patterns and implications for food security, access to water and other public goods;
▪ New financing mechanisms to strengthen sustainability in international commodity chains.
Climate change:
▪ Analysis of global and national market dynamics and investment strategies in energy and high-carbon sectors;
▪ Assessment of financed GHG emissions of the financiers involved in energy sectors and high-carbon emitting sectors (GHG Protocol scope 3);
▪ New financing mechanisms to strengthen climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
▪ Translation of how CSR requirements impact the core business, corporate strategies and value chains of companies operating in a wide range of economic sectors;
▪ Analysis of how interactions between corporates, governments and civil society shape CSR commitments and actions;
▪ Expertise on government policies fostering sustainable development, SME development and CSR.

I enjoy working on:

Research and advice contract for over 300 clients from all over the world: NGOs, government departments, research institutes, investors, media and others

Geographical Expertise

  • Central Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Europe Non EU
  • Northern America
  • South America
  • South-Eastern Asia
  • Southern Asia
  • Western Africa

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