Hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystem services into finance

Demystifying Materiality

Hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystem services into finance

As the global financial sector recovers and moves into the post financial crisis era, there is one notion that crystallises before our eyes more acutely than ever: we need to understand systemic risk in a much more holistic way. This CEO Briefing underscores the critical natural capital that underpins”our economic activity and financial capital.

Richard Burrett
Partner in Earth Capital Partners Co-Chair, UNEP Finance Initiative

Download the report here.

From The Guardian:

The financial risks posed by the loss of species and ecosystems have risen sharply and are becoming a greater concern for businesses than international terrorism, according to a United Nations report released today.

From over-depletion of fish stocks and soil degradation caused by agricultural chemicals to water shortages and mining pollution, the paper – commissioned by the UN Environment Programme and partners – said the likelihood has climbed sharply that declines in biodiversity would have a “severe” $10bn (£6bn) to $50bn impact on business.

With the European Union and other regions increasingly holding companies liable for impacts on ecosystem services, it suggests banks, investors and insurance companies are starting to calculate the losses that could arise from diminishing supplies, tightened conservation controls and the reputational damage caused by involvement in an unsound project.

Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and Unep executive director, said: “The kinds of emerging concerns and rising perception of risks underlines a fundamental sea change in the way some financial institutions, alongside natural resource-dependent companies, are now starting to glimpse and to factor in the economic importance of biodiversity and ecosystems”.

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