BNP Paribas Asset Management and CDP partner to accelerate the development of biodiversity reporting metrics

Source: , 20 May 2021

BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) and CDP today announce a partnership to explore and support the development of common biodiversity corporate reporting metrics. With BNPP AM’s backing, CDP will start to develop a common, globally relevant corporate biodiversity reporting framework that accelerates action on nature within the private sector.

CDP, which runs a global environmental disclosure system, is expanding its work to accelerate the protection and restoration of nature. The partnership with BNPP AM will aim to ‘move the needle’ on this work by establishing a new norm of reporting on biodiversity, and in doing so enable the integration of biodiversity data into investment, business and policy decision making globally.

This partnership aims to accelerate corporate environmental disclosure, which is critical to driving change, through:

  • incentivising companies to reduce biodiversity loss driven by business practices; and
  • raising company and financial institutional awareness on biodiversity risks to support increased disclosure.

Global biodiversity, although critically important to human health, economies and livelihoods, is declining faster than at any other time in history. More than 31,000 species – 27% of all assessed species – are threatened with extinction1, highlighting the urgent need to integrate biodiversity considerations into decision making across all sectors. By enabling financial institutions to make biodiversity-conscious investment decisions based on reliable data, BNPP AM and CDP will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services maintenance.

The partnership will build on the growing momentum in the financial and corporate worlds as both seek to understand environmental interlinkages and transform biodiversity data reporting. Such new reporting is also expected to encourage corporate behavioural change by favouring those companies that are managing natural resources sustainably and reducing negative impacts on species and ecosystems, thereby reducing biodiversity loss.

The world is at a tipping point, requiring the reallocation of financial capital and shifts in measurement, transparency and accountability if environmental goals are to be met, as demonstrated by the UN’s post2020 global biodiversity targets and the SDGs. Environmental disclosure is critical to enable companies to manage their impacts on biodiversity and stay on target to meet these goals. However, the current perception in the corporate sector is that the role of business in mitigating biodiversity loss is still not clear enough. The development of common biodiversity metrics is therefore crucial to enabling the integration of biodiversity data into investment decision-making, resulting in positive environmental change.

The partnership plays an important role within BNPP AM’s wider initiatives focused on protecting and preserving the environment, a key pillar of its Global Sustainability Strategy, which is aligned with the BNP Paribas Group’s environmental and biodiversity commitments. The partnership addresses one of the key findings of the recently published research paper on biodiversity, which highlights that the lack of corporate disclosure on the topic is a fundamental roadblock for the investment community. The research paper, entitled Sustainable By Nature: Our Biodiversity Roadmap, also details BNPP AM’s plans to embed biodiversity considerations across all of its activities through ambitious targets to analyse key water and forest risks and opportunities at the company, sector and fund level, in order to measure and disclose the environmental footprint of its investments. In particular it plans to improve the water efficiency of its investment portfolios and support global efforts to end deforestation by 2030.

Robert-Alexandre Poujade, ESG analyst at BNP Paribas Asset Management, comments: “The asset management industry is in urgent need of better data on biodiversity and how it is impacted by capital allocation choices. There is unprecedented interest from financial institutions and companies to better understand how they can make biodiversity-conscious investment decisions based on reliable data and thus reward companies that are managing natural resources sustainably. BNPP AM has a strong desire to be ‘part of the solution’ during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and through our partnership with CDP, we aim to enhance corporate disclosure to effectively address biodiversity loss.”

Cate Lamb, Global Director of Water Security at CDP, comments: “For over 20 years, CDP has worked with investors, businesses, governments and other NGOs to drive systemic change and achieve our vision of a thriving economy that works for people and planet in the long term. Environmental disclosure through CDP provides insights that lead to actions resulting in positive change, and now more than ever, there is an urgent need to accelerate action and mainstream corporate reporting on biodiversity impacts. This partnership allows CDP to build on our decade long work on water and forests, enhance the quality and quantity of environmental data created and made available to the market and accelerate positive corporate impact on biodiversity on an industrial scale.”