The financial sector is joining forces to conserve biodiversity

19 November 2018 , news release

Utrecht, 18 November 2018 - Four financial institutions have launched a common ground for measuring the complex matter of the impact of their loans and investments on biodiversity. CDC Biodiversité, ASN Bank, ACTIAM presented the methodology at the UN COP 14, the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Clear need to gain insight into biodiversity footprint

By measuring the biodiversity footprint on a global scale, CDC Biodiversité, ASN Bank and ACTIAM, supported by Finance in Motion, want to respond to the urgent call by the United Nations to reach a global deal on biodiversity targets. Next to climate change, the adverse effects of biodiversity loss will have a large long-term impact on the way we live.

By measuring the impact on biodiversity, the four financial institutions want to map and address the risks of biodiversity loss. For this it is necessary to measure the extent to which sectors are exposed to biodiversity loss and their ability to adapt to changes in biodiversity. By sharing experiences and exploring their common ground they have been able to develop methodologies to calculate the impact on biodiversity. This way, better-informed financial decisions can be taken.

Common ground in methodology

The findings of this research into calculating the biodiversity footprint were set out in the report 'Common ground in biodiversity footprinting methodologies for the financial sector'. This report was presented at the UN COP 14 of the CBD on 18 November 2018. The biodiversity footprint can be used for strategic and operational decisions by financial institutions, businesses and governments. What is more, the methodologies have similarities, such as the databases that are used for the calculations and the steps taken to move from rough data to a biodiversity footprint.
If financial institutions include the impact on biodiversity when they make investments, this will help to mitigate financial and other risks and to identify investment opportunities, such as new business models that regenerate landscapes or investments that target the protection of marine life.

Further developments in preventing biodiversity loss

The research findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the EU Platform Business@Biodiversity and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP), which will take place on 29 November 2018. The next step will be to expand the collaboration and flesh out the details of the methodologies for biodiversity footprinting for different types of investments. In this way, the financial sector hopes to play a key role in preventing further biodiversity loss and realising net profits in terms of biodiversity.