Dutch biodiversity initiative for investors goes global with boom in new members

BNP Paribas, Rathbone Greenbank and Rabobank among 15 financial institutions to join PBAF today

BNP Paribas, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Finance in Motion, FirstRand and Piraeus Financial Holdings are the first financial institutions outside of the Netherlands to join the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF), which seeks to develop a shared method for measuring the positive and negative impacts of investments on nature.  

A further 10 Dutch organisations, including NN Investment Partners, ABN AMRO Bank and Rabobank, have joined the initiative, led by ASN Bank, bringing the partnership to 21 members, with $5.8trn under management.

“A growing number of banks and insurance companies realise that loss of biodiversity poses a major threat both to society and to the economy, and that we need action now,” said Roel Nozeman, Senior Advisor Biodiversity at ASN Bank and PBAF’s Chairman. 

“We will join hands with all new partners to continue developing that common approach in dialogue with initiatives such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and in line with EU legislation.” 

‘It is vital that we develop ways to comparably assess the impact and dependencies of our investments on biodiversity’

Launched last year with backing from ACTIAM, FMO, Robeco, Triodos Bank and Triple Jump, PBAF’s format mirrors the carbon accounting initiative PCAF, which ASN Bank set up in 2015 and which is now pushing a global methodology for measuring financed emissions.

One of the latest recruits to PBAF, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, already assess biodiversity risk in its investment process, but said a lack of usable data made it difficult to benchmark companies’ performance. 

“It is vital that we develop ways to comparably assess the impact and dependencies of our investments on biodiversity, so that we can both limit the damage to ecosystems and contribute to the protection and restoration of nature,” said Sophie Lawrence, Rathbone Greenbank Investments’ Senior Ethical, Sustainable and Impact Researcher.

BNP Paribas, Firstbrand and Rabobank are members of the TNFD, another new initiative seeking to develop an international reporting standard for biodiversity and natural capital. 

BNP Paribas’ asset management business is also part of a coalition with AXA Investment Management, Mirova and Sycomore to develop a biodiversity assessment methodology and asset management tool. They have hired Paris-based environmental advisory firm I Care & Consult and data provider Iceberg Data Lab to undertake the latest phase of that work.

Last year NN Investment Partners penned an investor statement with fellow dutch investors Actiam, Aegon and Robeco, calling for greater sustainability in the mining sector with a particular focus on biodiversity. 

Later this year, PBAF will outline the common biodiversity metrics used by its members, who are currently forming working groups to address the following areas: The biodiversity impacts of investing in agricultural; the biodiversity impacts of, and dependencies, in equities; and the biodiversity impacts of investing in forestry, agroforestry and ecological restoration.

Full list of new members:

  • ABN AMRO Bank
  • APG
  • Achmea Investment Management 
  • a.s.r. vermogensbeheer
  • BNP Paribas
  • de Volksbank
  • Finance in Motion 
  • FirstRand Group 
  • NN Investment Partners
  • NWB Bank
  • Piraeus Financial Holdings
  • Rabobank
  • Rathbone Greenbank Investments
  • UFF African Agri Investments
  • Van Lanschot Kempen. Duitch