In the UN Biodiversity Conference 2022, the participating countries approved common goals for stopping biodiversity loss by 2030. The investor-led Nature Action 100 initiative contributes to proving that the financial sector wants to do its part in achieving this goal.
The initiative was launched in September and includes 190 institutional investors in its first stage. The internationally known names include BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, UBS, SEB, AXA and Storebrand. In addition to Sitra, Ilmarinen, Nordea, Varma and Veritas have joined the ranks.
“In addition to wellbeing, biodiversity loss is a threat to the economy. It is associated with significant business- and investment-related risks, but, in contrast, also with opportunities that we want to understand better. Investor initiatives such as this are one way to learn and effect change,” says Sami Tuhkanen, Vice President of Investments at Sitra.
100 companies identified as targets
The investors have identified 100 key companies from whom they expect more ambitious and effective measures to prevent biodiversity loss. The companies operate in sectors that are proved to have large ecological footprints and therefore significant capacity to effect change and lead by example.
The identified companies include some of the largest companies in the world, such as Alibaba, Amazon, Bayer, McDonald’s, Mitsui, Novartis, Rio Tinto and Unilever. The list also includes Stora Enso and UPM – names which most Finns will recognise.
The investors have agreed to jointly drive the environmental goals and measures of these companies, among others. Methods for this include coordinated petitions and discussions with the upper management of these companies.
The collaboration brings leverage, since the investors committed to the initiative represent more than €22 trillion in investment funds, and many hold shares of the identified companies in their portfolios.
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Sitra invests sustainably with a profit-driven focus
Biodiversity is the latest focus in Sitra’s sustainable investments activities. In 2022, we commisioned the first ever biodiversity analysis on Sitra’s investment portfolio. It covered the equity, fixed-income and real-estate funds of Sitra’s portfolio, or some 60 per cent of all Sitra’s investments. (Read more: Sitra’s Reponsible Investment Review 2022)
“The analysis helps us to better understand the dependencies of Sitra’s portfolio on nature. Measuring environmental impact is still challenging, so it is of the utmost importance that methods for it are developed. Sitra’s sustainability solutions activities also actively contribute to this important development work,” stresses Sami Tuhkanen. Sitra is also involved with the Climate Action 100+ initiative that drives climate action.