European investors rally around biodiversity

Published on 05/28/2020 Press releases

30 investors representing more than €6 trillion call for concerted and transparent creation of impact measures related to biodiversity.

Mirova

AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM), Sycomore Asset Management and Mirova announced today that they have gathered around 30 signatures from leading investors around the world, representing over €6 trillion in assets under management, to support a public statement launched on 3 March calling for the creation of a biodiversity impact measurement framework. This public statement was relayed by the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) platform, on which it was met with strong support.

2020 and 2021 are crucial years of action for the environment and biodiversity and will be marked by several important events. France will host the World Conservation Congress organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille in January 2021. In order to make real progress, it will be essential for the financial sector to address these issues. In particular, the ability of investors to integrate impacts to nature and biodiversity into their risk assessments and research will serve as an important catalyst for private-sector action, with ripple effects throughout our economies.

Impact measure: the process is under way 

This statement is in line with the work started by AXA IM, BNPP AM, Mirova and Sycomore AM last January, which launched a joint call for expressions of interest for a biodiversity impact measurement offer suitable for investment. The investor statement was then developed to demonstrate strong demand for a set of tools based on the following principles:

  • A methodology based on life cycle assessment that produces a measure that captures negative physical impacts on biodiversity as well as positive impacts,
  • That can be aggregated at company, portfolio and index level across a wide range of assets,
  • Transparent and based on the large body of existing open source data and publications by issuers of financial securities.

The call for demonstrations mobilizes data providers  

AXA IM, BNPP AM, Mirova and Sycomore AM received 14 responses to the call for expressions of interest. Having mobilised a total of 30 entities (consultants, academics, institutions, fintech and non-financial data providers), these 14 offers come from 6 different countries (UK, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands, France and Canada).

We are delighted to see unity around this crucial issue of the impact our investments have on biodiversity. Today, we believe we have made a strong case that there is an urgent need for an operational measurement of corporate environmental impact on biodiversity and we have strong consensus on the core principles that should guide this measurement. We are now optimistic about the possibility of implementing this measurement, which should enable us to use our leverage as investors to reverse the present biodiversity crisis,” declares Julien Foll of AXA IM, Robert-Alexandre Poujade of BNPP AM, Sarah Maillard of Mirova and Jean-Guillaume Péladan of Sycomore AM.

The selection process will continue in the coming weeks: a committee of experts composed of Julie Raynaud (independent consultant), Katie Leach (UNEP-WCMC1), Hugo Bluet (WWF France) and Guillaume Sainteny (French Foundation for Biodiversity Research) was formed to assist the jury with its independent advisory opinions.

[1] UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
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