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The investment community is increasingly engaged on the issue of climate change. Yet, biodiversity and ecosystem services are routinely overlooked in investment analyses.
Equally, the conservation community finds it challenging to understand and engage with investors to convince them of the importance of the issue to corporate value. As a result biodiversity is undervalued and over-exploited.
The Natural Value Initiative (NVI) is a collaboration between:
To address this specific concern, the Natural Value Initiative created a toolkit – The Ecosystem Services Benchmark(PDF to download) to enable investors to rank and score companies according how well they are managing their impact and dependency on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
We are building a leadership group within the finance sector to build the business case for companies to avoid, minimise and mitigate their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The leadership group will also apply the Ecosystem Services Benchmark to a range of industry sectors with impacts and dependence on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
To date we have developed and applied the Ecosystem Services Benchmark to companies with agricultural supply chains. We are now developing the benchmark for the mining, energy and pharmaceuticals sectors.
We are conducting research into companies listed in the Netherlands and the UK to rank them according to the level of sophistication of their approach to managing this issue.
Our investor collaborators – Aviva Investors, F&C Investments, Mn Services, Pax World, VicSuper and Syntrus Achmea Asset Management – will use the results of our work to engage with those companies that are shown to be performing poorly.
We work through dialogue with the companies evaluated and the production of a public report on our findings. The NVI promotes improved corporate management of impacts and dependence on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We also aim to build understanding of the issue amongst the investment community.
The NVI enables one more step to be taken towards mainstreaming consideration of biodiversity and ecosystem services impacts and dependence into corporate management processes.
Download Tread lightly (full report) (low resolution PDF – 5MB)
“Managing impacts on biodiversity and dependence on ecosystem services effectively can translate to opportunities for companies. Mismanagement can lead to risks. We are working closely with the investment community to better articulate these risks and encourage corporate action, tackling some of the root causes
of biodiversity loss.”
Project Director, Natural Value Initiative
Despite a rapid growth in socially responsible investment in financial markets, environmental risk awareness within mainstream investment practices is lacking.