Biodiversity platform aligns investments with TNFD

NatureAlpha incorporates 24 nature and biodiversity metrics


Natalie Kenway

Asset managers will be able to better align their business models and investments with the Taskforce for Nature-related Disclosures (TNFD) following the launch of NatureAlpha, a data-driven platform, its founder said.

Founder and ESG Clarity Committee member Vian Sharif (pictured) said she identified a gap in the market for biodiversity and nature data a number of years ago, which has resulted in this week’s launch following extensive research and collaboration.

“I have been passionate about nature and conservation for a long time and when I worked at Investec it became clear there was this priceless natural heritage that was vanishing due to conscious decision-making and activity,” she said.

“At the same time, the link between sustainability, investment and the environment was growing through rise of ESG awareness. But when I was looking deeply at ESG data sources, I noticed a gap for nature and biodiversity in those data sources.”

NatureAlpha is an AI and data-driven platform providing specialist insights into nature footprints, risks and impacts of asset-level investment decisions.

Some 24 nature and biodiversity metrics are incorporated on the platform, which starts with building blocks such as the proximity of a company’s directly owned sites to key biodiversity locations, and its revenue exposure to products and services, all of which contribute to analysis models. Other nature metrics include how much a company’s economic activities impact natural capital, in addition to activities that hinder incentives, biodiversity and ecosystem restoration and resilience.

The dataset tracks nature and biodiversity risk associated with the largest 100 European companies, with the US and broader developed markets to be added in the second quarter of 2022.

“There are lots of amazing datasets out there, this brings them all together in a user-friendly way enabling investors to assess biodiversity and nature risks, opportunities and impact,” Sharif added.

This will assist companies wishing to be aligned with the TNFD, something Sharif said asset managers are increasingly looking at. NatureAlpha is also building a reporting platform for companies, investors and financial institutions.

“I have been amazed at how deeply some groups are thinking about biodiversity and delighted by how much the leading investors are putting into this space and the TNFD.

“The SFDR [Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation] and EU Taxonomy, for all their granularity and challenges, have brought biodiversity in the mainstream.

“We can see there are asset managers really looking at how they can get insights on this topic and engage on this topic.”

Sharif also explains why NatureAlpha has been set up as a B-corp: “We have set up as a B-corp right from start to give back to research that has formed in this space. It’s a regenerative cycle.”

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