Tropical forest think tank Global Canopy approached Createful with a wealth of research data and a complex challenge: design and build a cutting-edge, yet user-friendly platform to enable financial institutions to mitigate deforestation risk in their investment and lending portfolios.
We developed a great partnership with the team at Createful over the SCRIPT project and their dedication is evident in all aspects of the tool. We really appreciated their technical prowess and creative approach to bringing the new platform to life.
Tackling the issue with soft commodity risk
Two-thirds of tropical deforestation has been driven by agricultural commodity production (cattle products, palm oil, soy and timber products) over the last decade. This creates reputational, regulatory, market and operational risk for companies exposed to these commodities along complex supply chains.
Global Canopy, in partnership with WWF and sustainability nonprofit Ceres, had a vision for a platform that would provide financial institutions with a suite of powerful, user-friendly tools to understand soft-commodity risk exposure and benchmark their policies against peers.
Targeted at banks, asset managers/owners and research agencies, the platform needed to provide users with the ability to answer questions such as:
- What policies are most important to mitigate my portfolio-specific risks?
- How does my deforestation policy compare against my peers?
- Does my portfolio contain deforestation risks, and how should I prioritise company engagement?
The project would be a technical and design challenge – how to interrogate, cross-reference and visualise large amounts of open-source data, across multiple commodities, geographies and sectors, whilst maintaining a usable experience?
Tom Bregman, Global Canopy’s Senior Sustainable Finance Associate, spent a packed, index-card filled couple of days at the Createful offices, where Experience Director Ben Young, Senior Developer Shane de Jager and Project Manager Nicole Cook plotted the project’s vision, insight and KPIs.
Success would mean delivering a platform that could take the large amount of data, gathered from multiple sources, and translate it into a clean, usable experience providing straightforward, actionable insights for the financial institution user base.
We started the process by capturing all requirements in a combination of detailed user stories on index cards and a wall of whiteboard sketches, mapping out the project’s core user journeys, layouts, inputs and outputs. Key points to explore were:
- The platform’s core value proposition
- The need for users to customise their experience by inputting their own policies, adjusting score weighting and tailoring their peer group
- The challenge of how to visualise detailed policy information in a user-friendly manner
- The need to develop a brand that would engage the financial sector and inspire action
Global Canopy have a strong relationship with many financial institutions, and this was invaluable in being able to test our assumptions and gather feedback. We began the design process by sketching to quickly capture and discuss ideas, and soon progressed to rapid digital prototypes, producing an interactive demonstration of the tool to enable financial institutions to interact with our designs from an early stage in the project. This proved invaluable, yielding many actionable insights, which we were able to quickly implement to produce a refined design that the client could be confident would resonate with their target audiences.
With so much to cover and a large volume of research expertise to onboard, as well as a number of involved stakeholder on the client side, this would be a highly cooperative project, and the project team developed a tightly collaborative relationship with Tom and his team at Global Canopy which persisted throughout the project life cycle.
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Simple but powerful platform
The SCRIPT platform takes a rich, complex base of knowledge and makes it accessible via a set of intuitive tools, allowing the user base to spot risks, generate customised reports and mobilise organisational change.
Engaging & relevant brand
Our brand presents SCRIPT as a fresh, relevant platform, and our suite of brand assets, including event banners and email templates, provides the client with the means to drive financial institution engagement.
A framework for further development
SCRIPT phase 1 is just the beginning, and Global Canopy now have a firm foundation on which to evolve the platform.