ESG Data Guide 2023

MSCI - Biodiversity Solutions by MSCI

Data category

  • Environmental data
  • Verification/certification data

The data offers solutions for:

  • Nature-based information
  • Nature-based information: Biodiversity
  • Nature-based information: Land use
  • Nature-based information: Oceans
  • Nature-based information: Water

Who are the data users?

  • Corporates
  • Financial institutions
  • Government
  • Investors
  • Trustees

Brief description of the data offering

Biodiversity loss poses an existential threat to ecosystems, the global economy and, in turn, to investors. As biodiversity destruction intensifies, more regulators, investors and companies are taking action. Companies need information to identify and measure potential risks in portfolios, report to clients, stakeholders and regulators and engage with the companies flagged.

MSCI has developed two new tools with the aim to provide greater clarity by combining our existing and new biodiversity data points with our location-specific biodiversity metrics.

The Biodiversity-Sensitive Area Screening Metrics is designed to allow investors to identify companies that have physical assets located in areas of high biodiversity, such as healthy forests, prime areas for conservation, or species-rich areas.

The Deforestation Screening Metrics is designed to screen for companies that are exposed to deforestation-related risks. This includes companies that could directly or indirectly contribute to deforestation, whether through direct operations in at-risk areas like the tropics, or reliance on commodities that are considered key drivers of deforestation like palm oil, soy, beef and timber.

MSCI ESG Business Involvement Screening Research are designed to provide information on global equity and fixed income issuers involved in specific business activities that could be linked to biodiversity loss such as the production of biocides, palm oil or fossil fuels.

Where and how do you source your data?

MSCI provides access to over 300 metrics related to biodiversity and natural capital. Biodiversity is inherently site-based, lending itself to geospatial analysis. Our new screening tools combine thousands of ESG and climate data points, overlayed with our proprietary geolocation data that helps pinpoint a company’s operations.

MSCI Biodiversity-Sensitive Areas Screening Metrics uses Global Safety Net (GSN) data to identify prime areas for conservation. A select set of the GSN layers is used to represent Distinct Species Assemblages, Rare Phenomena, and Biodiversity Intactness. GSN is developed by the non-profit organization One Earth to support the goal to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s lands and waters by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050. The six layers making up the GSN cover approximately 50 percent of the Earth’s land and can act as a blueprint to address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

What is the cost for your data offering?

Please contact to learn more.

What are the key attributes that differentiates the data you offer?

At MSCI, we have spent decades developing metrics and data for global investors to measure risks and opportunities related to climate change and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. We apply that experience and expertise to the biodiversity space, with tools that overlay our ESG data onto geospatial data with the aim to isolate risks and identify opportunities resulting from biodiversity loss.

Biodiversity loss is a complex topic with data challenges. There is no general consensus yet on how to measure its impact and risk. However, MSCI’s broad coverage universe, vast data repositories and rigorous methodology may equip investors to address nature-related risks and make biodiversity part of their strategies.

MSCI allows you to capitalize on geospatial science using our proprietary Asset Location Database (ALD).  Site level metrics can be aggregated to the issuer, portfolio and fund level. Geospatial analysis allows for easy use of multiple data layers so that you can identify the companies that have physical assets in biodiversity-sensitive areas.

Our metrics aim to enable investors to address biodiversity risks in their portfolios, identify companies with operations in ecologically sensitive areas, or assess exposure to potential direct and indirect involvement in deforestation. These tools may help you make more informed decisions, boost engagement, and prepare for new regulation.



Regulators are intensifying their focus on the destruction of ecosystems. Learn how to integrate biodiversity into your investment decisions with MSCI Biodiversity Screening Metrics. Explore now -