This Week’s Tech and Tools News: High-Level Principles for Biodiversity Credits

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including FFI, PVF, Zurich Resilience Solutions, South Pole, Normative, Verdantix and Alveo. 

Fauna & Flora International (FFI), an international wildlife conservation charity, and voluntary carbon market standard creator Plan Vivo Foundation (PVF) have collaborated to develop a set of high-level principles for integrity in the emerging biodiversity credits market. These principles aim to minimise the risks of potential trading, as well as appeal to a market that values high-integrity biodiversity credits that represent real, additional and verifiable benefits for biodiversity, people and climate. They also look to ensure the biodiversity market can successfully facilitate the channelling of responsible finance to indigenous peoples and local communities, through transparent and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms. Zoe Quiroz-Cullen, Director of Climate and Nature Linkages at FFI, said: “Biodiversity credits can offer a valuable part of the solution, particularly as private sector organisations begin to recognise the urgency of not just reducing their impact on nature loss, but of positively contributing to restoration and regeneration.” 

Zurich Resilience Solutions, the commercial risk advisory and services unit of Zurich Insurance Group, and climate solutions provider and carbon project developer South Pole will collaborate to provide a new climate changerelated offering to companies. Initially only available in the US, Germany and Switzerland – the two firms aim to aid corporate efforts to tackle climate challenges with solutions that help them to define and execute their short- and long-term climate resilience objectives, as well as their netzero goals. It will focus on measuring physical climate risk and emissions, establishing a strategy to reduce each, and oversee the implementation of solutions that meet a company’s goals and local regulatory and sustainability reporting requirements. Hanno Mijer, Global Head of Zurich Resilience Solutions, said: “Demand for climate resilience services has grown exponentially in recent years. Collaborating with South Pole will allow us to address climate-related risks holistically by supporting customers on their net-zero journey as well as resilience.” 

Carbon accounting engine Normative has released a suite of new updates to enable businesses to prepare accurate sustainability reports, accounting for and disclosing their carbon emissions. For the 2023 reporting season, Normative has evolved its calculation and reporting experience making it capable of producing ever more accurate carbon disclosures. Improvements have been made on accuracy through the addition of almost 10,000 emissions factors to its database since last reporting season, as well as customisation enhancements, with users able to better organise data within Normative, ensuring that their emissions profile reflects the way their business operates. Normative’s carbon accounting engine enables businesses to comprehensively calculate their emissions, from over 30 million data points to translate a business’ activities and financial spend into a comprehensive carbon footprint calculation. 

Research and advisory firm Verdantix have forecast a rise in the value of the climate risk digital solutions market to US$4 billion by 2027. The market was worth only US$880 million in 2021 but spending on software and consultant packages offering business performance climate risk analysis has seen it become one of the fastest-growing sectors. The report said high market growth expectations are attracting increasing interest from major firms including McKinsey, Conning, BlackRock, Moody’s and S&P Global, all of which have acquired or launched climate resilience solutions in the last two years. Climate risk digital solutions enable companies to plan for and protect against losses, as well as helping firms demonstrate to insurers that they know their risk which is valuable considering the rising cost of property insurance premiums which are predicted to rise 22% by 2040.  

Financial data management provider Alveo has incorporated Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) ESG Company Data into its Prime data management solution. The integrated ESG content includes the different Principal Adverse Indicators (PAIs) of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), EU Taxonomy data, as well as hundreds of additional data points on the ESG profile of companies. Using Alveo’s Ops360 user interface, clients are able to set up their own ESG metrics, visualise ICE’s content and distribute it downstream to put different stakeholders and applications on an equal footing. Mark Hepsworth, CEO at Alveo, said: Firms face ESG data challenges when it comes to data availability, comparability and usability. One of the biggest challenges they face is to operationalise high-quality ESG information and integrate it into their workflows. We are delighted to work together with ICE to make this happen. 

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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