Natural capital: Mitigating biodiversity loss in portfolios

Investment managers need to consider how they can reduce biodiversity impact in their portfolios


Natalie Kenway

“Humanity is waging a war on nature. This is suicidal. Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top priority of everyone, everywhere,” said UN secretary-general António Guterres in a landmark speech to students at Columbia University last December.

High-profile figures such as Guterres are increasing awareness of biodiversity loss, though sadly, awareness is not enough. Threats to land and marine ecosystems as well as species populations are increasing exponentially. Since 1970, 32% of the world’s forest area has been destroyed, 85% of wetlands have been lost, 50% of the world’s coral reef systems have disappeared and there has been, on average, a 60% decline of vertebrate species, according to the World Economic Forum.

“We are losing our life support system,” says Eugenie Mathieu, senior impact analyst at Aviva Investors. “Scientists are calling this the ‘sixth great extinction’. The last was when the dinosaurs died out.”

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