Fund Solutions

WTW Backs Gresham House UK Biodiversity Strategy

Global insurance and advisory firm WTW has become a cornerstone investor in a US$380 million strategy launched by Gresham House to invest in UK nature-based solutions. The specialist fund manager said its Gresham House Biodiversity Co-Invest LP (GHBC) would invest in so-called habitat banks created by Environment Bank Limited (EBL), a portfolio business within its British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (BSIF) strategy. Habitat banks are designed to turn landscape-scale areas of non-arable farmland into woodlands, wetlands, and species-rich grasslands which meet requirements under the UK government’s recently established Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) initiative. According to Gresham House, BNG units are generated from these physical assets and sold to developers requiring planning permission, with the intent of delivering strong financial returns to investors alongside positive environmental and societal impact. The new strategy will help EBL to offer developers a “fully funded, one-stop solution”, as well as legal and financial certainty, Gresham House said in a statement. EBL aims to create around 8,000 hectares of habitat banks by 2026, potentially increasing species diversity by 20 times across England. As part of the BSIF strategy, Gresham House and its investors have already committed over US$300 million to EBL to date. “With nature consistently emerging as a key theme in the global narrative around climate, [this] shows consensus is rapidly growing among political and business leaders that we cannot combat the climate crisis without addressing biodiversity loss,” said Peter Bachmann, Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure at Gresham House.

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