RI Research teams up with experts to launch study on biodiversity in investment

Asset owners and managers are being asked to help via 5-minute survey

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Responsible Investor is working with The Nature Conservancy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Zoological Society London to launch a survey and research project on how biodiversity will develop as an investment issue in coming years.

Last year, RI Research – the research arm of Responsible Investor – conducted a study which found that “systemic environmental factors” would be a top priority for investors over the next five years. However, while climate risk is front and centre of that conversation, biodiversity has so far lacked scrutiny.

This year, there have been a number of moves by high-profile investors to put biodiversity on the agenda. In January, Frances AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Mirova and Sycomore Asset Management teamed up to work on biodiversity data for investment decision-making. 

Shortly afterwards, Dutch bank ASN convened a group of financial institutions in the country, including ACTIAM, FMO, Robeco and Triodos Bank, to develop a common accounting measure for the positive biodiversity impacts of their investments.

The EU is turning its attention to the role of biodiversity in its sustainability agenda. Last month, it launched a biodiversity strategy as part of the European Green Deal, and the EU taxonomy is expected to broader to cover biodiversity over time.

And the UK Government was last month warned by leading environmental economist Professor Partha Dasgupta, that humanity has been “mismanaging the global portfolio of assets” when it comes to natural capital. The warning came as part of the development of a major review that the UK Treasury commissioned Dasgupta to conduct last year. 

Most recently, more than 20 investors and companies signed a letter demanding “sound metrics to reverse biodiversity loss” globally. 

In a survey being launched today, RI Research and its partners are seeking to establish how investors are currently thinking about the role of biodiversity in financial risk management and impact investment, and what best practices are developing. The survey, which can be found here, will take between 5 and 7 minutes to complete, and is open until the end of August. All submissions are non-attributable.