Biodiversity briefing afternoon round up

Channels: Natural Capital, Policy

Companies: Banque de France, PGGM Investments, Capitals Coalition, EIB, Iceberg Data Lab, UNEP-WCMC

People: Alexandre Gautier, Andres van der Linden, Martin Lok, Eva Mayerhofer, Matthieu Maurin, Katie Leach

Environmental Finance's Biodiversity Briefing Afternoon has ended after half-day of presentations, a panel and a live discussion group. It is the first in a series of thematic briefing afternoons that Environmental Finance is running throughout the year on the topic of Natural Capital Investment.

The event was opened by Alexandre Gautier, deputy secretary general, of France's central bank, Banque de France, who called for central banks and investors not to wait for "more information" before acting on the biodiversity impact of investment portfolios.

Delivering the keynote address, Gautier said, "just because we do not have the full range of data for [biodiversity] impacts does not mean we should not work on it now."

Efforts to develop a standardised approach to biodiversity impact measurement were praised later in the day.

Andres van der Linden, responsible investment advisor at PGGM Investments, said standardisation efforts have the potential to help investors focus their engagement with companies on the topic.

He added that the consolidation of methods for measuring biodiversity would be particularly helpful for asset owners and managers in dialogue with portfolio companies.

Van der Linden was speaking on a panel alongside Martin Lok, executive director of the Capitals Coalition; Eva Mayerhofer, principal advisor, lead environment and biodiversity specialist at the European Investment Bank; Matthieu Maurin, CEO of Iceberg Data Lab; and Katie Leach, senior programme officer, business and biodiversity at UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

Register here to watch all of the sessions from Environmental Finance's Biodiversity Briefing Afternoon on-demand.

The next event in the series will be the Oceans and Blue Economy Day on 8 June 2021.

Quotes from the conference

Alexandre Gautier, deputy secretary general, Banque de France: "We need collective participation to identify a wider range of [biodiversity] indicators. That's why I expect a lot from the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD). I don't expect the TNFD to identify precise data necessarily but at least identify some topics which are useful to report."

Katie Leach, senior programme officer, business and biodiversity at UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC): "We want to make sure this standardised approach for biodiversity measurement is building from what the business community wants and needs. You can help to shape the outputs."

Andres van der Linden, responsible investment advisor at PGGM Investments: "We need to know what to pressure our companies on... We cannot simply ask companies to do better on biodiversity. We need to be skilled enough to know what the critical topics are for each sector that we need to push for with our engagements."

Annabelle Palmer