Biodiversity collapse

We began 2020 by joining a call to find partners who could help develop and implement a tool that measured the impact of investments on biodiversity[1]. It supports our efforts to better address the need for more biodiversity-related data, as well as more defined metrics and targets. We believe such insights will be crucial as this issue gains prominence. Our wealth and our health are intimately connected to our sustainable management of the world’s biodiversity, and only by respecting it will nature provide us with our life support system.

We see COVID-19 as a wake-up call. Scientists have predicted this kind of pandemic for many years and they foresee other major threats if we are not able to make transformative changes that address biodiversity depletion. 

Our engagement goals and activity  

Our engagement on biodiversity in 2020 was research-led, following the publication of our paper which discussed the impact of agricultural activities and dependencies. In line with our findings, among the 34 companies we engaged with on biodiversity issues, we focused on commodity traders[2]. Six traders control around 60% of all soy exports from Brazil which is identified for deforestation risks[3]. In collaboration with other investors we encouraged traders to increase efforts on no-deforestation commitments, traceability and reporting. 

Results and next steps 

We saw a positive response to this engagement, both from companies and other investors. Many companies provided evidence of a heightened awareness of the risks from biodiversity loss. We will continue our engagement discussion with most of these companies and expect to broaden the scope of our engagement in 2021 and beyond. This engagement will be supported by the selection of our biodiversity data provider which was announced in September 2020. It will help us better assess our biodiversity impact in 2021, target the companies with the greatest impact and further feed our discussions. Robust data can be the fuel for productive engagement on responsible investment themes.

[1] AXA IM, BNP Paribas AM, Sycomore AM and Mirova launch joint initiative to develop pioneering tool for measuring investment impact on biodiversity. Jan 2020.

[2] Biodiversity crisis. AXA IM. September 2020

[3] Transparency for Sustainable Economies (TRASE) Insights


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