Only a fraction of European finance firms know a thing or two about biodiversity
Only a fraction of European financial services firms have board-level expertise in biodiversity, according to new research shared with Net Zero Investor.
At a sector level, 6% of finserv players, 9% of European insurers and 8% of European banks tracked have board-level biodiversity expertise while, overall, 80% of board members with expertise in biodiversity are female.
The findings are the result of EY's European Financial Services Boardroom Monitor and come despite asset owners increasingly looking at the biodiversity investment space as part of a more mature net zero and ESG-focused investment strategy.
Omar Ali, EMEIA Financial Services Managing Partner at EY, comments: "The International Day for Biological Diversity provides an important moment for leaders across the financial services sector to reflect on the role that their firms can play in mitigating biodiversity loss and slowing down current rates of decline.
"Financial services firms, through financing, underwriting and investing in companies that both adversely impact and depend upon diverse ecological systems, are uniquely placed to ensure that biodiversity is better safeguarded and restored wherever possible," Ali said.
"In addition, respect for biodiversity is becoming an integral part of companies' social license to operate and their ability to maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders," he continued.
"At a time when over half the world’s GDP is highly or moderately linked to nature, the focus on biodiversity – not just climate change - is essential, and only when taken together will we achieve net zero."