Amundi, LGIM Join Investors Pledging to Restore Biodiversity

Amundi SA and Legal & General Investment Management have joined a coalition of investors committing to protect and restore biodiversity through their financing and investments.

The asset managers, together with U.K. insurer Aviva Plc, signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, which commits them to work for the restoration of nature by pushing the companies they invest in to consider their impact on the natural world, according to a statement Friday. The latest cohort of signatories brings the number of financial institutions supporting the initiative to 55 and includes fund managers, insurers and banks with cumulative assets under management of more than 9 trillion euros ($11 trillion).

The rapid destruction of the planet’s biodiversity, with a record number of animal and plant species now threatened with extinction, isn’t just an environmental catastrophe, it also portends economic disaster since more than half of the world’s total gross domestic product is dependent on natural resources from food to ingredients for medicine. As such, fund managers are starting to awaken to the risks of nature’s decline and are trying to figure out how to use their vast resources to reverse it.

“Biodiversity provides significant economic and social value to our world and is threatened by human activities,” said Jean-Jacques Barberis, Amundi’s head of institutional clients coverage and ESG, in a statement. “While data is limited and best practices are still emerging, the investor community needs to act now.”

The Finance for Biodiversity Pledge was launched last year with Axa SA and HSBC Global Asset Management Ltd. among the initial supporters. The group has committed to call on governments to reverse nature loss. Organizers of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who are scheduled to meet in October in Kunming, China, have said they want banks and fund managers to play their part in protecting the planet’s biodiversity by making nature impact a part of mainstream financial decision-making.

“Healthier ecosystems mean healthier people, stronger communities and a more robust economy,” said Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc in a statement. “The world urgently needs to protect its precious and increasingly threatened biodiversity and, as the U.K.’s leading insurer, Aviva has a responsibility to use our influence to help do just that.”

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