PRI to launch collaborative nature stewardship initiative

Investor network will use 'engagement and other stewardship tools' to address forest loss, land degradation, and other environmental issues.  

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is planning the launch of a collaborative stewardship initiative on nature. 

According to a job listing for a head of stewardship for nature, the initiative will involve the formation of groups of PRI signatories who will “use engagement and other stewardship tools” to positively influence companies across a range of sectors to address forest loss, land degradation and other environmental issues.

The initiative may also involve coordination of investors focusing on public policy engagement on nature. 

Paul Chandler, director of stewardship at the PRI, told Responsible Investor: “We are in early stages of planning a new stewardship initiative on nature, tackling critical issues. In addition to hiring dedicated staff to support investors in this initiative, the PRI expects to recruit a signatory advisory committee and a technical advisory group in the coming months to support the scoping and development of this initiative.”

Emine Isciel, head of climate and biodiversity at Storebrand Asset Management, told Responsible Investor she welcomed the move.

“One of the biggest achievements of the PRI to date has been its work on active ownership,” she said. “Given the urgency of the situation and the potential to affect investment value in both short and long term, there is an increasing need for the PRI to also support its members to address biodiversity loss through responsible stewardship.”

Anita de Horde, co-founder and coordinator of Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, also praised the PRI’s initiative. 

“There are many companies that have a big impact or are dependent on nature, so dialogues between companies and investors become fundamental to drive action on reversing nature loss. The more engagements can be established, the better.”

The PRI’s plans come as financial institutions have been stepping up on nature-focused engagements over the past year. 

Most notably, the long-awaited Nature Action 100 was officially formed at COP15. Billed as the biodiversity equivalent to Climate Action 100+, the initiative aims to drive greater corporate ambition and action on tackling nature loss.  

It will also support investor and corporate advocacy efforts with relevant policymakers on nature-focused policies.  

On its relationship with existing initiatives, Chandler told RI: “The PRI’s work in this area will be additive to existing effort across the industry and will avoid duplication of existing work, such as that of Nature Action 100.”