Accounting for biodiversity

Rathbone Greenbank has joined the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) as we seek to improve understanding of how investments impact biodiversity.

PBAF was formed in 2019 by founding partners ASN Bank (part of de Volksbank), ACTIAM, FMO, Robeco, Triodos Bank and Triple Jump. PBAF members exchange knowledge and experience as they work towards a common approach for assessing and measuring the financial sector’s impact on biodiversity, and the partnership’s first Common Ground Report was published in 2020. This describes common metrics for measuring positive and negative impacts of investments on biodiversity.

The shared ambition of the PBAF partners is for financial institutions to measure their impact on biodiversity, for them to be transparent about their impact reporting and for them to set targets to improve their ecological footprint.

Alongside the wider learning opportunities the partnership will offer, Greenbank will also be joining a working group focused on the biodiversity impact of, and dependencies in, equity investments.

Why has Greenbank decided to join PBAF?

We believe it is vital that we develop ways to comparably assess the impact and dependencies of our investments on biodiversity, so that we can both limit the damage to ecosystems and contribute to the protection and restoration of nature.

By joining PBAF, we have an opportunity to learn more about biodiversity impact assessment, to implement this into our research process and ultimately to play a role in helping other financial institutions understand the impact of their investments on this important issue.

Biodiversity loss

Biodiversity refers to the delicate ecosystem services that sustain life on land and life under water, and therefore economies and society. Losses can refer to raw materials, disruption of the environment or a loss of resilience to climate change.

As it stands, the planet’s biodiversity is rapidly declining across the globe. Studies show that 1 million plant and animal species are at risk of becoming extinct and the world is losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. In addition, many commodities and economic sectors are dependent on the variety of plants, animals and insects in the world, either directly or indirectly; with an estimated 50% of global economic value generation dependent on nature.

It is therefore crucial that the financial industry, and the wider economy, rapidly scale up tools for understanding and protecting the value of biodiversity before it is lost.