Nature Action 100 (NA100), the global investor-led engagement initiative to address nature and biodiversity loss, has revealed a set of benchmark indicators that will be used to assess how the initiative’s 100 target companies are stacking up against investors’ asks.

Launched at the United Nations biodiversity summit in Montreal (COP16) in 2022, NA100 now has over 200 signatories. Assessments against the ‘Company Benchmark’ are intended to support investors in their engagement with the companies covered by the initiative.

The benchmark is based on the expectations that investors communicated to the companies back in September. It is comprised of six indicators, underpinned by 17 sub-indicators and 50 metrics, with companies assessed on the quality of their disclosures and actions.

One indicator, for example, is on governance, namely whether board oversight for nature has been established and if management’s role is disclosed. The company’s chief executive officer or at least one other senior executive should be responsible for assessing and managing the company’s nature-related dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities, according to the benchmark.

The benchmark indicators are aligned with frameworks such as the Science-Based Targets Network and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures. The development process is said to have included consultation with representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

Comparing Risk and Performance for Absolute and Relative ESG Scores

Companies will be assessed on the quality of their disclosures and actions

“The NA100 Company Benchmark will be a powerful tool to support investors as they evaluate corporate progress and help them to hold companies accountable for their contributions to nature and biodiversity loss,” said Leslie Cordes, vice president of programmes at Ceres, which co-leads the NA100 secretariat with the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

”The benchmark indicators announced today lay out clear high-level expectations for the ambitious actions that investors have called on companies to take to mitigate their nature-related financial risks.”

NA100 will release the first company assessments based on the benchmark later this year and will conduct them annually thereafter.

Speaking during IPE’s natural capital webinar yesterday, Robin Millington, CEO of Planet Tracker, one of NA100’s partner organisations, said the initiative was currently collecting engagement plans from investor participants and will be releasing an analysis later this year.

Matthias Narr, head of international engagement activites at Ethos in Switzerland, said the engagement plans were “for the moment still in the friendly territory”, with initial contact focussed on raising the issues and explaining the NA100 initiative.

Separately, BBFAW, the investor-backed benchmark on animal welfare, has today published a ranking of 150 of the world’s largest food companies.

It found that most global food companies (95%) acknowledge the importance of animal welfare and are addressing it with policy commitments and clearer governance, but few are reporting successful implementation of these ambitions, with 93% given the lowest ratings for an assessment of the tangible impacts on the lives of farm animals reared for food in corporate supply chains.

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