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Secretariat selected for collaborative global investor engagement initiative to drive nature action

Secretariat selected for collaborative global investor engagement initiative to drive nature action

A new collaborative global investor engagement initiative set to ‘soft’ launch later this year has announced today that the Secretariat and Corporate Engagement work stream will be co-led by the sustainability advocacy nonprofit Ceres and the investor network Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). The Finance for Biodiversity Foundation and the financial think tank Planet Tracker will co-lead the initiative’s Technical Advisory Group. 

A group of launching investors selected the four organizations to work together to set up Nature Action 100 for institutional investors and their representatives to engage with companies. The initiative aims to drive greater corporate ambition and action on tackling nature loss and biodiversity decline. Investors will focus on companies in key sectors with the largest impacts and dependencies on nature to ensure they are taking timely and necessary actions to protect and restore nature and ecosystems.

The Secretariat will be responsible for setting up the initiative’s Steering Group and supporting administrative, communications and fundraising activities. The Corporate Engagement work stream will focus on developing a multi-year engagement plan to engage companies deemed most important to stemming nature and biodiversity loss, while the Technical Advisory Group will identify priority engagements and develop science-based investor guidance and tools. 

Investors who have already expressed their interest in the initiative will receive more information in the coming months. New investors can express their interest here. 

The group of launching investors consists of the following firms: AXA Investment Managers, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Church Commissioners for England, Domini Impact Investments, Federated Hermes Limited, Karner Blue Capital, Robeco, Storebrand Asset Management, Christian Brothers Investment Services, and Vancity Investment Management. 

Liudmila Strakodonskaya, Responsible Investment Analyst, AXA IM, said: “Nature protection is a challenge that needs to be addressed to preserve the existence of our societies and global economies. Companies and investors must integrate nature and biodiversity considerations in their research, engagement and investment processes. Dialogue between companies and investors then becomes fundamental to drive a coordinated collective action. We are delighted to be part of the group of investors working to set up Nature Action 100 and welcome warmly the help from such recognised expert organisations as Ceres, Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, IIGCC and Planet Tracker in launching this global collaborative engagement initiative. With this initiative, we hope to bring change by encouraging corporates, investors and policy makers to take robust and timely actions to address this global challenge.”

Adam Kanzer, Head of Stewardship, Americas, BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: “Nature Action 100 intends to fill a critical gap in the landscape of investor stewardship efforts, by providing a science-based platform for engagement with corporations and policymakers to reverse nature loss by 2030. Today, we are very pleased to announce the key partners that will ensure that the initiative is professionally run and guided by the latest science.” 

Mindy Lubber, CEO and President, Ceres, said: “The global economy depends on nature. Ceres is honored to serve as co-lead of the Secretariat of Nature Action 100 and drive forward this critically important collaborative effort. Ceres’ co-leadership of the initiative is anchored in our three decades-long experience of successful investor engagements with companies that have helped advance solutions to address the climate crisis and water scarcity and pollution. We look forward to working together, alongside our partners and the initiative’s investors, to drive tangible corporate action on nature loss.” 

Harry Ashman, Vice President, Responsible Investment, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “We are very pleased to be working with the selected organisations and hope their experience will help us learn from the challenges and achievements of other initiatives to maximise impact. We aim for Nature Action 100 to galvanise investors, corporates and policymakers into tackling nature loss and treating it with the same urgency as the climate crisis, with which it is intrinsically linked.” 

Mary Beth Gallagher, Director of Engagement, Domini Impact Investments LLC, said: “We enthusiastically welcome the launch of this collaborative, science-based global investor initiative to engage in biodiversity loss and support nature positive solutions. Not only is this agenda essential to meeting our objectives to address climate change and protect forests, it is also critical to respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and their role in maintaining and enhancing biological and cultural diversity.” 

Anita de Horde and Anne-Marie Bor, Co-founders and Board Members, Finance for Biodiversity Foundation: “It has been an honor for us to work with the launching investors that put so much energy in scoping the initiative this past year. We are very happy that we can continue our work in supporting a call to action and collaboration between investors on reversing nature loss by developing the programme further with the partner organisations. We are looking forward to build on our existing knowledge and collaboration on impact assessment, identifying the priority sectors and corporates with a high impact and dependency on nature together with other initiatives, experts and investors.” 

Stephanie Pfeifer, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) CEO, said: “Nature has a critically important role to play in global efforts to limit the effects of climate change. Protecting the natural world has the potential to have a powerful impact on climate mitigation, while also supporting positive social change. The impact that companies have on nature is currently not easy to quantify, and this limits the extent to which investors can engage with them on this key issue. This is why we are delighted that IIGCC has been selected to collaborate with partners in this space to develop the Nature Action 100 initiative, leveraging our experience in facilitating successful collaborative corporate engagements on climate change and net zero in a new area. We look forward to working with our partners and the wider investment community to drive significant progress in tackling nature loss.” 

Andrew Niebler, co-founder, Karner Blue Capital, LLC., said: “Biodiversity loss poses an existential threat to our planet. While corporate behavior historically has been a major contributor to this problem, some corporations have begun to transform their business models to support, and not just deplete, nature. Guided by a group of deeply experienced organizations, Nature Action 100 will help to advance substantive, science-based conversations with a broad range of corporations to preserve nature for future generations.” 

Robin Millington, CEO, Planet Tracker, said: “The value of nature in the world economy is becoming increasingly recognised by the business, financial and political community. Reversing the current trend towards natural capital degradation and biodiversity loss is a key part of our mission. We will contribute our analytical, quantitative approach to developing practical guidance for the investment community to help deliver a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, nature-positive economy. As co-leader of the Technical Working Group, Planet Tracker is honoured to be a part of this critical initiative. We look forward to collaborating with our Nature Action 100 partners and the investor community to drive the changes required in company practices.” 

Peter Van Der Werf, Senior Manager of Engagement, Robeco, said: “Biodiversity loss is a global systemic risk as represented by the planetary boundaries for biospere integrity and biogeochemical flows which are most in overdraft to date. Robeco has identified biodiversity as one of the three strategic sustainability investing pillars, next to climate change and human rights. As a signatory to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, we have committed to support collaborative engagement to halt biodiversity loss. Therefore, we have committed our resources to develop Nature Action 100 as our key focus program to achieve global collaboration among investors with the intent to accelerate corporate commitments of the companies we invest in. We ultimately aim to develop a comprehensive approach for companies to decouple shareholder value creation from further biodiversity loss.” 

Emine Isciel, Head of Climate and Environment, Storebrand Asset Managment, said: “We are very pleased to advance Nature Action 100 by officially announcing the key partners. They will provide technical support to investors and coordinate engagement activities to ensure that systemically important companies and policymakers take necessary action on biodiversity.”