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The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative has recently published a Guidance on Biodiversity Target-setting. This is designed for Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) signatories, allowing banks to take a systematic approach to setting and achieving biodiversity targets. The guidance presents four real-life case studies, and includes a detailed how-to guide and has been developed by UNEP FI and UNEP-WCMC based on discussions and input from the working group of 30 PRB signatories, with review and input by a number of experts.

About the Guidance

The world’s forests, soils, land and the ocean are rich in biodiversity, and this variation in plants, species and genetic material is the living fabric of our planet. The loss of biodiversity – of species of plants, animals and microorganisms and of genetic diversity – is both an ecological and an economic emergency. The businesses that banks finance, invest in and lend to depend on nature and biodiversity, relying on the health and abundance found in our ocean, land and forests, for their supply chains and raw materials.

Building on the Beyond Business as Usual report released in 2020, this guidance takes a practical approach to biodiversity target-setting, and is based on the needs identified by PRB Working Group members, acknowledging biodiversity as a key impact area and providing examples, tips and approaches to areas that are absent from existing guidance materials. Through providing a brief introduction to the risks and opportunities posed by the loss of biodiversity and nature, it establishes a business case in which clear biodiversity-related KPIs and targets must be established in the financial world. With its real-life case studies, the guidance defines cash flows and the KPIs in detail, alongside real numbers and thresholds for these KPIs, and the effect on the bank’s return. It also explores whether there is a trade-off if a bank applies biodiversity criteria.

Access the guidance here.