Calls to mandate biodiversity disclosure at COP15

Finance firms among 330 businesses urging governments to act

Aviva Investors and BNP Paribas are among 330 finance institutions and businesses to have called for mandatory disclosure of biodiversity loss.

A group representing more than $1.5trn in revenues has issued a statement to heads of state around the world asking for them to require all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030.

They are asking for this to be announced at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) this year, which is taking place in Montreal from 7–19 December.

“This must be complemented by a clear aim to reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts to drive collective action by business and finance, supported by a proper enabling environment including financing to ensure equitable and effective implementation in all countries,” the statement continued.

Despite warnings that two out of three of the world’s most critical risks to our economies are related to the loss of nature, CDP data shows biodiversity data is not disclosed as readily by businesses as climate data.

“Corporate action on nature is lagging behind that on climate – despite the fact that the two cannot fundamentally be separated,” said Nicolette Bartlett, chief impact officer at CDP.

“At present, too many companies are blind not only to the material risks they face, but ignorant to the opportunities associated with protecting and restoring nature.”

The group say adopting a Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 will help pave the way for businesses to better report on nature.

“Currently, businesses and financial institutions don’t have the political certainty they need to change their business models. And governments don’t have the information they need to enforce these changes and track progress,” the statement said.

“Assessment and disclosure are an essential first step to generate action, but it will only have an impact if it is made mandatory.”

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, added: “[This] provides an opportunity to address runaway biodiversity loss and create a positive feedback loop of policy and business action.”