PGGM and AFD join biodiversity impact measurement drive

Latest signatories come as Principles for Responsible Banking launch guidance to assist members in setting biodiversity targets

French development bank AFD and Dutch asset manager PGGM are among the new financial institutions 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.

Sycomore and impact investor cooperative Pymwymic are also among the latest investors to join the initiative. 

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

With the latest additions, PBAF now consists of 25 members in six countries. 

“Through our loans and investments, we can limit the damage to ecosystems and contribute to the protection and restoration of nature,” said Roel Nozeman, Senior Advisor Biodiversity at ASN Bank and Chairman of PBAF. “To do so, we have to adopt a common approach to measuring our impact and using data, as we did before in the climate debate.” 

“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,” he added.

In March, RI reported that BNP Paribas, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Finance in Motion, FirstRand and Piraeus Financial Holdings became the first financial institutions outside of the Netherlands to join the partnership.

Last year, the partnership presented its first report at a UN biodiversity summit outlining common metrics for measuring impacts of investments on biodiversity, and later this year it will publish an updated version of the PBAF report including deep dives on a number of topics. Current PBAF working groups are focused on agriculture, asset managers and positive impacts.  

In other biodiversity-related news, UNEP FI and UNEP-WCMC have published guidance to support Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) signatories in preparing to set portfolio-level biodiversity targets.

The Guidance on Biodiversity Target-setting is based on discussions and inputs from the PRB’s biodiversity working group which includes, amongst other global banks, ASN Bank, BMO,  BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and HSBC.

“We welcome any and all feedback on the guidance, aiming for a Version 2 once the GBF [Global Biodiversity Framework] is available and as we continue to collect bank-specific case studies and other practical resources to support responsible banks in this challenging but critical journey,” wrote Jessica Smith, Ecosystems Lead at UNEP FI, on LinkedIn.