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Insight 28.10.2022

One year of investing in biodiversity

One year of investing in biodiversity

UBP launched its first biodiversity strategy in 2021. One year on, our experts reflect on their experiences.

Engagement to tackle biodiversity measurement

There is no single metric to measure biodiversity in the same way that we look at carbon emissions for measuring progress on climate change. Biodiversity protection and restoration is a localised issue and requires a tailored approach according to geography and sector. However, we continue to evaluate different data and technology solutions that could help assess the progress that corporates are making.

One of the key aspects in understanding the progress our investee companies are making on biodiversity is engagement. This takes a number of forms, ranging from bilateral engagement with companies to multilateral and collaborative engagement with a variety of partners and stakeholders.

Through bilateral engagement we map the actions that companies are taking on biodiversity and seek to drive constant progress. In terms of multilateral engagement, we are working with our NGO partners and targeted groups of investee companies to explore how best to measure improvements across different market segments.

The benefits of partnering with institutions such as CCI and the Peace Parks Foundation

To create meaningful change, we believe that it is important to work together. Furthermore, great ideas often come from people who see the world from a different perspective, meaning the most powerful collaborations can be with different sectors. On our Biodiversity Committee, we bring together the corporate, academic and NGO worlds with the aim of finding practical solutions to the biodiversity crisis. The Peace Parks Foundation is one of the largest terrestrial conservation projects on Earth, with 88 national parks and wildlife corridors totalling a staggering 100 million hectares of grassland, desert, mangroves and jungle. This puts them in a unique position to give practical views on biodiversity restoration and the measurement of positive change. CCI is a partnership which brings together world-leading academic insights with some of the biggest names in conservation, including the IUCN, Fauna and Flora International, and the RSPB. Their combined expertise brings significant value to every engagement with our holding companies and unquestionably produces a level of interaction which would not be possible without their involvement.

One year of learning and improving

One encouraging thing we have learned is the confirmation of the strong momentum and enthusiasm that can be found in the nature-positive space.

Thanks to the combination of accelerating innovation, increased awareness, and proactive regulation, the universe of investible companies has quickly grown to reflect the range of opportunities we face in both new and existing industries. Equally, our interactions with corporates show a widespread willingness and concrete efforts to halt biodiversity loss and provide positive solutions.

The drive is visibly spreading along entire supply chains and is fuelled by the growing number of government initiatives and events, such as the long-awaited COP 15, indicating that the journey is only just getting under way.

What to expect from the COP 15 conference in Montreal

There is a general hope and expectation that COP 15 will be very outcome-focussed, with some clear targets and ambitions, as it is going to be the launch pad for the “post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. The driving aim is to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. There are several targets, some of which have not been finalised, but the most relevant from an investment perspective are the recommendations for mandatory disclosure of biodiversity impacts by multinationals and the finance sector (leveraging TNFD), and the target for developed countries to collectively invest USD 200 billion in nature-positive economies, which would be very supportive of regulations and therefore investment opportunities. Last, it is our hope that COP 15 and COP 27 use their platforms to reinforce the message that climate change and biodiversity are inextricably linked and the solutions for one must be the solutions for both.

The UBP impact investing team


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