How to measure the positive impact on biodiversity of an investment? Key to achieving sustainable land use is bending the curve on biodiversity. To do so, incorporation of biodiversity into the investments of the private sector are necessary. These investments need methodologies to measure their impact. Agreeing on methodolo-gies and terminology is a first step in familiarizing the financial sector with biodiversity. Recently, the report on Biodiversity Footprint Financial Institutions (BFFI), which was financed by the Dutch ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality was published. The BFFI, applied by the ASN Bank, can measure the positive as well as the negative impacts of an investment portfolio on biodiversity. How should positive impacts on biodiversity be de-fined? Can reducing negative impacts be considered as a positive impact? How should FI’s report on these impacts and how to reach a ‘net-positive-gain’? Furthermore, what baseline should be used, a pristine situation or a situation which operates within the planetary boundaries? In a session we would like to shortly present the report and continue with a discussion. The following statements will be up for discussion:
- An investment in green energy can be treated as a positive impact on biodiversity due to the carbon emissions avoided.
- Investments in the reduction of negative impacts (e.g. investments in pro-biodiversity measures in agriculture) can be used to compensate for negative impacts on a portfolio level to reach a no-net-loss, but cannot be used to reach a net-positive-gain.
- A financial institution reporting on a biodiversity footprint should report separately on investments in biodiversity increase (e.g. nature restoration) and a reduction of biodiversity loss (e.g. good agricultural practices).
- To reward financial institutions that include multi-stakeholder, independent and biodiversity relevant standards in their investment criteria (e.g. FSC, MSC, RFA) a positive impact of these certifications should be included in the footprint, even if impact-data are still lacking.