AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Sycomore Asset Management and Mirova have called for investors to turn their attention to the preservation of the planet’s biodiversity in the same way they have addressed climate change.

The group is looking to find a data provider capable, on a large scale, of measuring companies’ biodiversity impact. The asset managers said many tools had been developed over the past few years, but these were largely focussed on climate change.

They argued it was equally important to preserve species and ecosystems. Citing a May 2019 report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the asset managers said one million species were facing extinction.

“Biodiversity plays a vital role, and its collapse would jeopardise the future of humanity,” the asset managers said in the statement.

“Today, AXA IM, BNP Paribas AM, Mirova, and Sycomore AM are joining forces in order to raise awareness in the financial community and develop the necessary tools for investors to respond to this threat.”

Methodology requirements

According to the asset managers, the methodology they would like to see developed should adopt a lifecycle approach, factoring in the entire supply chain from product use to “end-of-life”.

Another key requirement is that the methodology should be compatible with public taxonomies and internal environmental assessment systems already in use, and the data provided must simplify portfolio performance assessment in relation to an index.

The approach must be applicable to companies active in the main market indices, and ideally also compatible with other asset classes such as unlisted equities, infrastructure and real estate.

The asset managers also want the methodology to be capable of assessing how exposed companies are to “the challenges presented by biodiversity” in addition to the companies’ impact on biodiversity itself.

“We hope the tool we develop will be used by all market players, and that it will become a benchmark tool,” said specialists* at the four different asset managers.

The deadline for applications is 31 March.

*Julien Foll, responsible investment analyst at AXA IM; Robert-Alexandre Poujade, ESG analyst at BNPP AM, Sarah Maillard, SRI analyst at Mirova, and Jean-Guillaume Péladan, head of environmental investments and research, and portfolio manager at Sycomore AM