The investor engagement initiative has outlined key sectors that it deems vital to reversing biodiversity loss, as it prepares to finalise a list of target companies later this year.
The upcoming frameworks from the Task Force on Nature-related Disclosures (TNFD) and the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) will help measure progress of the Nature Action 100 (NA100) initiative which will see investors engage with corporates on their biodiversity impacts.
Emine Isciel, Head of Climate and Environment at Storebrand Asset Management, told ESG Investor that measuring NA100’s progress would be comparatively more difficult than for climate action, but it would be guided by structures such as SBTN and TNFD.
“We are hopeful that they will create globally consistent and scalable methodology that investors can use to inform its actions on how to manage risks and opportunities related to nature loss.”
NA100 has this week released its investor expectations for companies across six key focus areas: ambition, assessment, targets, implementation, governance and engagement.
Leslie Black Cordes, vice president of programs at Ceres, which is co-leading the Nature Action 100 Secretariat and Corporate Engagement Working Group for Nature Action 100, said: “Nature Action 100 has an ambitious goal of helping the world reduce nature and biodiversity loss by 2030 – a goal we believe is possible if we start acting now.”
The launch comes as new research from the World Resources Institute and the University of Maryland has found that the tropics lost 10% more primary rainforest in 2022 than in 2021 despite a COP26 pledge to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. The new data suggests that leaders are failing on their commitment. Companies in sectors such as agriculture and mining are key players driving deforestation.
On ambition, NA100 will expect companies to publicly commit to minimise contributions to key drivers of nature loss and to conserve and restore ecosystems at the operational level and throughout value chains by 2030. The initiative will also expect companies to assess and report on their nature-related dependencies, impacts, risks, and opportunities throughout value chains; set and disclose science-based targets; engage with indigenous peoples and local communities when affected on targets; and establish board oversight and disclose management’s role in assessing nature-related information.
“NA100 is committed to accelerating engagement with companies to reverse nature and biodiversity loss,” said Adam Kanzer, Head of Stewardship, Americas at BNP Paribas Asset Management.
“We will be targeting key sectors that are systematically important to achieving the global goal of stopping and reversing nature loss by 2030 due to their large impacts on habitat loss, overexploitation of resources, and soil, water and solid waste pollution.
“We encourage institutional investors to work with us to reverse this existential risk,” he added.
The key sectors that NA100 will be targeting are: biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, such as agricultural chemicals, household and personal goods, consumer goods retail, food, food and beverage retail, forestry and paper and metals and mining.
Liudmila Strakodonskaya, ESG Analyst at AXA Investment Managers, said: “We expect Nature Action 100 to drive fresh global momentum around biodiversity. As a founding member of Nature Action 100, we will take part in a collaborative engagement programme for investors to engage with companies and policymakers on nature.
“This initiative will leverage the climate related Climate Action 100+ experience of collaborative engagement by investors around the globe and will target a selection of companies considered as systemically important due to their impacts, but also dependencies, and potential solutions related to biodiversity.”
The NA100 Launching Investor Group includes representatives from AXA Investment Managers, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Church Commissioners for England, Domini Impact Investments, Federated Hermes, Karner Blue Capital, Robeco, Storebrand Asset Management, and Christian Brothers Investment Services.
The NA100 Secretariat and Corporate Engagement Work Stream is co-led by the investor network Ceres and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, with the Technical Advisory Group co-led by the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation and the financial think tank Planet Tracker.