The Responsible Commodities Facility (RCF), a Brazil Lab instrument endorsed in 2018,  has made headlines recently, releasing its environmental results from the first year of its Cerrado Programme 1 and winning Environmental Finance magazine’s green bond initiative of the year.

RCF and its proponent, BVRio, provide financial incentives to produce soy in existing cleared and degraded lands to discourage the further expansion of agricultural land in the Brazilian Cerrado.

In its annual report focusing on the 2022-2023 crop season, RCF announced it had delivered over 42,000 tons of verified deforestation and conversion-free soy into the supply chain from the 32 participating farms in the Brazilian Cerrado. The results from the first year of its four-year program resulted in the protection of 8,541 hectares of native vegetation and the sequestration of 2.92 MtCO2 carbon stocks in native vegetation, leading to 0 tCO2e land use change in emissions occurred.

The results were featured in a recent Business Green article.

With the financial support of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose, three major UK supermarket chains, RCF is backed by a green bond in the form of certificates of receivables from the agribusiness.  RCF raised USD 11 million to issue low-interest loans to farmers through certificates and anticipates expanding the program to USD 250 million for the 2024 planting season.

“The structure is highly scalable, and we aim to scale it to USD 1 billion under management by 2025. It can also be adapted to finance other crops and in other geographies. SIM is already working on issuing Green CRAs to finance sustainable cocoa and coffee in Brazil.”

Sustainable Investment Managment Director Pedro Moura Costa