What is the link between finance and biodiversity?
The financial sector is a strong enabling sector when it comes to integrating biodiversity profitably into business. It plays a key role when it comes to generating new financial arrangements to support innovative business models or integrate new risks in the assessment of investments. A series of initiatives have emerged in recent years in order to encourage financial institutions to integrate the risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity and natural capital into their investment decisions. Building on these early calls, financial institutions are looking for next steps on how to integrate biodiversity in their assessment and investment strategies.
What is the Platform doing about this?
Since 2016, the workstream is running the EU Community of Practice (CoP) on Finance@Biodiversity with 17 financial institutions engaged including: ABN AMRO, Actiam, Affirmative IM, Althelia, ASN Bank, AXA Investment Managers, Bank of Ireland, Bankinter, CDC Biodiversité, Conservation Capital, EIB, Finance in Motion, FMO, GLS Bank, Mirova, Piraeus Bank and Robobank.
As stated in its Mission Statement , the EU CoP F@B provides a “forum of dialogue between financial institutions (FIs) to share experiences, raise awareness and promote best practices at EU level on how to integrate biodiversity and natural capital into mainstream financial activities and foster investments in natural capital as a new asset class”.
It aims to accelerate the process of learning and support implementation both at strategic level and in practical experience, thereby supporting the transition towards a sustainable financial sector.
In 2019, the Finance workstream continues to foster knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices through the CoP F@B with the aim to promote the integration of biodiversity into investment decisions. It fosters, in particular, peer-to-peer learning focusing on tools used to map biodiversity risks and opportunities in investments and finance, and methodologies to measure positive biodiversity impact. It also focuses on disclosure on impact on natural capital and biodiversity, including key drivers of biodiversity loss.
The key activities of the Finance workstream in 2019 include:
- In March, the CoP explored tools to identify biodiversity risks and opportunities in high impact sectors. You can consult the details of the workshop here and download the minutes here.
- In September, the CoP engaged with a series of initiative supporting the disclosure of nature-related information by financial institutions and the wider business community during a workshop titled “Biodiversity disclosure: issues, guidelines and enabling factors”. You can access more details about the workshop here. The minutes will be published shortly.
- In November, targets and commitment to biodiversity were on the finance sector’s agenda in different group sessions during the European Business & Nature Summit organised on 7 and 8 November in Madrid:
- Group S-3 focused on how financial institutions can account for their positive impact on biodiversity. It was organised in strong cooperation with ASN Bank and CDC Biodiversité, a members of the CoP;
- GS-5 focused on target setting for biodiversity and nature, and what is needed from disclosure to achieve these targets.
- GS-12 finally focused on mainstreaming and how to embed nature and biodiversity within the wider shift to sustainable finance.
The 2018 results of the Finance workstream are summarised in this flyer. The work delivered on three main topics, that are of continuous focus of the workstream:
- Common Ground in biodiversity footprint methodologies for the financial sector for policy makers, decision makers and environmental, social and governance (ESG) specialists in financial institutions; by CDC Biodiversité, ASN Bank, ACTIAM, supported by Finance in Motion
- Assessment of biodiversity metrics for policy makers, decision makers and developers; by EU B@B Platform Workstream Natural Capital Accounting Lead Arcadis
- Workshop on Biodiversity Metrics (18 September 2018, slides and minutes)
Positive Biodiversity Impact
- Brief ‘Positive Impact Finance for Business and Biodiversity’ about Opportunities and challenges on scaling projects and innovations for biodiversity by the financial sector
- Workshop on scaling Innovation (27 June 2018, slides and minutes)
- Report ‘Investing in Nature: Financing conservation and nature-based solutions’ by the European Investment Bank
Ambition & Responsibility
How will the work continue in 2020?
In 2020, the Finance workstream will continue to collaborate through the CoP F@B with the aim to promote the integration of biodiversity into investment decisions. It aims to explore target setting for biodiversity and nature, and focus on what is needed with regards to biodiversity footprinting and positive biodiversity impact to achieve such targets. Peer-to-peer learning focusing on asset classes and sectors such as agriculture and food could be on the agenda as well.
21 March 2019 in the Hague (NL) hosted by the Dutch Development Bank, “Tools to identify biodiversity risks and opportunities in high impact sectors
12 September 2019 in Brussels (BE) hosted by CDC Biodiversité, “Biodiversity disclosure: issues, guidelines and enabling factors
07 November 2019, Finance sessions at the EBNS (GS3 and GS5), including recordings , minutes and slides
You would like to share experiences and get engaged in this work?
Contact the Finance workstream leader, Anne-Marie Bor.