Investors With $16 Trillion Demand Action on Deforestation
Piles of logs on the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Rondonia state, Brazil. (Photographer: Leonardo Carrato/Bloomberg)

Investors With $16 Trillion Demand Action on Deforestation

(Bloomberg) -- Institutional investors with more than $16 trillion in assets under management, including Europe’s biggest asset manager Amundi SA, called on companies to implement anti-deforestation policies for their supply chains and report extensively on how they tackle the issue.

The 230 investors, which also include BNP Paribas SA and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, signed a common statement in reaction to the fires that are raging in the Amazon. The initiative, coordinated by non-profit groups PRI and Ceres, is part of growing international pressure on Brazil to deal with the increase in blazes in the Amazon rainforest.

“Deforestation and loss of biodiversity aren’t only environmental problems,” Jan Erik Saugestad, chief executive officer of Storebrand Asset Management, one of the investors, said in a statement. “There are significant negative economic effects associated with these issues and they represent a risk that we as investors can’t ignore.”

The investors are asking companies to present a no-deforestation policy with clear commitments covering their entire supply chains, and set up a monitoring system for suppliers’ compliance with that policy. They’re also asking for annual reports on deforestation risk exposure and progress on the policy.

“With some of the world’s leading investors now publicly calling for urgent action to deescalate the crisis of deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon, companies can no longer hide behind empty promises,” Greenpeace finance campaigner Martin Norman said in an emailed statement. “Investors will need to increase their scrutiny and expectations.”

(An earlier version of this story corrected the name of BNP.)

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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