European investors rally around biodiversity
30 INVESTORS REPRESENTING MORE THAN €6 TRILLION CALL FOR CONCERTED AND TRANSPARENT CREATION OF IMPACT MEASURES RELATED TO BIODIVERSITY
AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Sycomore Asset Management and Mirova (an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers) announced today that they have gathered around 30 signatures from leading investors around the world, representing over €6 trillion in assets under management, to support a public statement launched on 3 March calling for the creation of a biodiversity impact measurement framework. This public statement was relayed by the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) platform, on which it was met with strong support.
2020 and 2021 are crucial years of action for the environment and biodiversity and will be marked by several important events. France will host the World Conservation Congress organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille in January 2021. In order to make real progress, it will be essential for the financial sector to address these issues. In particular, the ability of investors to integrate impacts to nature and biodiversity into their risk assessments and research will serve as an important catalyst for private-sector action, with ripple effects throughout our economies.
IMPACT MEASURE: THE PROCESS IS UNDER WAY
This statement is in line with the work started by AXA IM, BNPP AM, Mirova and Sycomore AM last January, which launched a joint call for expressions of interest for a biodiversity impact measurement offer suitable for investment. The investor statement was then developed to demonstrate strong demand for a set of tools based on the following principles:
- A methodology based on life cycle assessment that produces a measure that captures negative physical impacts on biodiversity as well as positive impacts,
- That can be aggregated at company, portfolio and index level across a wide range of assets,
- Transparent and based on the large body of existing open source data and publications by issuers of financial securities.
THE CALL FOR DEMONSTRATIONS MOBILIZES DATA PROVIDERS
AXA IM, BNPP AM, Mirova and Sycomore AM received 14 responses to the call for expressions of interest. Having mobilised a total of 30 entities (consultants, academics, institutions, fintech and non-financial data providers), these 14 offers come from 6 different countries (UK, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands, France and Canada).
“We are delighted to see unity around this crucial issue of the impact our investments have on biodiversity. Today, we believe we have made a strong case that there is an urgent need for an operational measurement of corporate environmental impact on biodiversity and we have strong consensus on the core principles that should guide this measurement. We are now optimistic about the possibility of implementing this measurement, which should enable us to use our leverage as investors to reverse the present biodiversity crisis,” declares Julien Foll of AXA IM, Robert-Alexandre Poujade of BNPP AM, Sarah Maillard of Mirova and Jean-Guillaume Péladan of Sycomore AM.
The selection process will continue in the coming weeks: a committee of experts composed of Julie Raynaud (independent consultant), Katie Leach (UNEP-WCMC), Hugo Bluet (WWF France) and Guillaume Sainteny (French Foundation for Biodiversity Research) was formed to assist the jury with its independent advisory opinions.
Current signatories of the Investor Statement on the need for biodiversity impact metrics are:
A.S.R. Asset Management
Achmea Investment Management
Aegon Asset Management
Australian Ethical Investment
Boston Common Asset Management
CNP Assurances SA
Concordia University Foundation
Corporation Fiera Capital
First State Super
Groupama Asset Management
Groupe Caisse des Dépôts
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
JLens Investor Network
Manulife Investment Management
OFI Asset Management
Pax World Funds
Storebrand Asset Management
Sustainable Value Investors
Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank
Trillium Asset Management LLC
Zevin Asset Management
AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS
+33 1 44 45 88 06
BNP PARIBAS ASSET MANAGEMENT
+ 33 1 58 97 28 81
Margaux Béal - Shan
Tel. +33 (0)1 44 50 58 80
SYCOMORE ASSET MANAGEMENT
Laura Barkatz - Steele & Holt
About AXA Investment Managers
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is an active, long-term, global, multi-asset investor. We work with clients today to provide the solutions they need to help build a better tomorrow for their investments, while creating a positive change for the world in which we all live. With approximately €804 billion in assets under management as at end of March 2020, AXA IM employs over 2,350 employees around the world and operates out of 30 offices across 21 countries. AXA IM is part of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection and wealth management.
About BNP Paribas Asset Management
BNP Paribas Asset Management is the asset management arm of BNP Paribas, one of the world’s foremost financial institutions, and offers high value-added solutions to individual savers, companies, and institutional investors. It has a broad range of skills in four investment divisions: Equities, Fixed Income, Private Debt & Real Assets, and Multi-Asset, Quantitative and Solutions (MAQS). Sustainability is at the heart of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s strategy and investment decision-making process, making an active contribution to energy transition, environmental protection and the promotion of equality and inclusive growth. Its aim is to achieve long-term sustainable investment returns for its clients. With assets under management of EUR 408* billion at 31 March 2020, BNP Paribas Asset Management has more than 500 investment professionals and nearly 500 employees dedicated to client relations, and serves individual, corporate and institutional clients in 72 countries.
* EUR 553 billion of assets under management and advisory as at 31 March 2020.
Mirova is an investment manager dedicated to responsible investment. Through a conviction-driven investment approach, Mirova’s goal is to combine value creation over the long term with sustainable development. Mirova’s talents have been pioneers in many areas of sustainable finance. Their ambition is to keep innovating to propose the most impactful solutions to their clients.
About Sycomore Asset Management
Founded in 2001, Sycomore Asset Management is an investment firm driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Since its creation, Sycomore has been committed to delivering long-term returns by identifying the levers that enable a company to generate sustainable value. The firm’s expertise draws on a fieldwork approach and a proprietary corporate fundamental analysis model, which includes financial and extra-financial criteria. Its team of 21 analysts-fund managers, including 7 ESG specialists (Environment, Social and Governance) focus on assessing the overall performance of a company with respect to its stakeholders: shareholders, clients, employees, suppliers, civil society and the environment. Since 2015, Sycomore AM has expanded its range of social, societal and environmental impact funds and has recently launched, in partnership with Quantis and I Care & Consult, the NEC Initiative, a collaborative open-source platform dedicated to the Net Environmental Contribution (NEC) metric aimed at measuring the extent to which a product, service, company, portfolio or index is aligned with the energy and environmental transition: www.nec-initiative.org
ESG Analyst, Biodiversity Lead
Robert-Alexandre Poujade is ESG analyst within BNPP AM's Sustainability Centre, in charge of biodiversity. He joined BNPP AM in 2011 and has been an ESG Analyst...