European financials in search of biodiversity impact measurement
The interest in quantitative indicators capturing biodiversity metrics is growing rapidly among regulators and investors. These indicators can be used to measure the ill estimated environmental impact of investments on natural capital, in order to complete portfolio sustainability assessments.
A handful of European firms at the forefront of responsible investment innovation have presented two complementary initiatives lately. In January, four French asset managers, including AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Mirova and Sycomore Asset Management, launched joint initiative to develop pioneering tool for measuring investment impact on biodiversity. Practically speaking, the initiative started by issuing an RFP calling for experts and consultants to develop metrics and standards fit for investors. And in March, a group of fellow Dutch financial institutions led by ASN Bank, have established the Partnership Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) to measure the positive impact of investments in biodiversity. The later aims at reproducing the operating model development over the last couple of years on climate with the PCAF initiative: establishing a global database enabling financial institutions to assess and disclose greenhouse gas emissions of loans and investments.
From ground-breaking research to high-level political engagement, biodiversity is growing in importance on the international agenda as did the fight against climate change over the last 5 years. 2020 is an especially important year with two major events planned on biodiversity: the IUCN World Congress in Marseille in June and the COP15 Convention on Biological diversity in Kunming, China this autumn. Both events have now been postponed due to the Corona virus, let’s hope the topic will remain high on the agenda.
Natixis, as a signatory of the Act4nature initiative, currently works with all of its business lines to define its own biodiversity targets.