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Federated Hermes urges investors to take action on biodiversity

'The coronavirus pandemic has brought our fragile relationship with nature sharply into focus'

Asset managers are increasingly turning their attention to the issue of biodiversity on the back of this week’s United Nations Summit on the subject.

A day after the summit, Federated Hermes called for action by companies on three key areas to help reverse the threat to one million species which face extinction.

Wednesday’s UN discussions on the theme Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development resulted in 75 countries signing  the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature which has 10 action points.

See also: – Can ESG awakening end the biodiversity crisis?

These include putting biodiversity and climate action at the heart of Covid-19 recovery plans and ensuring that food systems meet people’s needs, while staying within planetary boundaries.

Sonya Likhtman, engager, EOS at Federated Hermes, said: “Biodiversity and the ecosystems that underpin our societies and economies are under unprecedented levels of threat, with one million species at risk of extinction. The coronavirus pandemic has brought our fragile relationship with nature sharply into focus.”

She added companies and their investors have an important role to play in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity.

Through its stewardship and engagement activities Federated Hermes is calling on companies to; acknowledge their dependence on nature and assess the risks associated with this dependence; identify, mitigate and reverse their negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services throughout their value chains; and implement measures that will have an overall net positive impact on biodiversity

“Priority actions for companies include ending and reversing deforestation, supporting the transition to regenerative agricultural practices and deploying nature-based solutions to address the dual challenges of climate change and declining biodiversity. Corporate biodiversity strategies must be accompanied by strong governance frameworks and transparent reporting on progress,” Likhtman said.

“Global biodiversity goals for 2030 and 2050 are expected to be agreed at the biodiversity COP15 in Kunming, China, next year. Companies must be ready to contribute to the delivery of these goals by developing nature-positive products, operations and supply chains.”

Natalie Kenway

Natalie is global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity. She won Editor of the Year at the Aviva Investors Sustainability Media Awards 2021. Winner of Aegon Asset Management's Institutional Journalist of...