AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Sycomore Asset Management, and Mirova are developing a tool to measure how investment impact biodiversity.
AXA IM, BNPPAM, Sycomore and Mirova launched the Investor Statement on the need for biodiversity impact metrics earlier this year. Aware Super and Australian Ethical Investment are two of the more than 30 leading institutional investors around the world who have signed the statement. The statement demonstrates that there is currently an unmet demand for quality research to assist investors in responding to the biodiversity crisis.
The consortium have selected Iceberg Data Lab and I Care & Consult as the research provider to design the tool.
"This tender process has been a collaborative experience and we thank all the bidders for their huge involvement," said Julien Foll of AXA IM, Robert-Alexandre Poujade of BNPP AM, Sarah Maillard of Mirova and Jean-Guillaume Peladan of Sycomore AM. "Bringing together the data modelling skills of Iceberg Data Lab with the deep expertise on biodiversity and methodology build-up of I Care & Consult, their innovative approach have convinced us unanimously.
"We are eager to report to our stakeholders on the biodiversity impacts of our portfolios and progressively integrate them into our assessment and investment processes"
Iceberg Data Lab and I Care & Consult have joined forces to expand the Corporate Biodiversity Footprint metric which quantifies the impact on biodiversity of corporate across their activities. The tool will help investors to integrate impacts to nature and biodiversity into their risk assessments and research.
The tool is also being designed to positively contribute to the required convergence towards more standard and comparable metrics with the intention of serving as "an important catalyst for private-sector action, with ripple effects throughout our economies."
The investor initiative has cited the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which states that the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is underway at "an unprecedented pace."
The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970, as recently assessed by the WWF (Living Planet Report 2020). The World Economic Forum calculates that this crisis threatens half of global GDP, whereas positive pathways are estimated to bring $10 trillion in business value and create 395 million jobs.
Further, biodiversity loss threatens the achievement of 80% of Sustainable Development Goals sub-targets related to poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land
The investors recognize that much more needs to be done to promote corporate transparency on nature-related dependencies and impacts. The signatories also acknowledge that "many challenges remain to capture nature's complexity into manageable metrics and to integrate the latest science into investment decision making."
AXA IM has previously said that biodiversity loss is one of its key focus areas for its investment stewardship team.