Every day around the world business activities generate important impacts on nature and biodiversity; despite the constant attention to the topic, the business world is unprepared to fully understand how it affects the natural world and the WWF Biodiversity Risk Filter wants to bridge this gap.
The tool, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, is dedicated to businesses and financial activities to help them identify their impacts along all value and investment chains. The Biodiversity Risk Filter was created in collaboration with Climate&Company and is available online on the WWF Risk Filter platform together with the similar Water Risk Filter.
“More and more often companies and financial institutions – said Rebekah Church, WWF’s Global Biodiversity Stewardship Lead – recognize the opportunity to address biodiversity loss, but many simply don’t know where to start. Understanding biodiversity-related business risks is the first step towards addressing them and a prerequisite for setting relevant biodiversity targets. Many companies are likely to consider adopting the Global Biodiversity Framework this year. This tool helps them to map and assess biodiversity-related risks, enabling them to prioritize investments in areas that will have the greatest impact in mitigating their risks”.
The Biodiversity Risk Filter
The global economy and the financial system seem very far from the natural world but all their activities are affected and, conversely, affect it. The biodiversity crisis and environmental issues expose companies and investors to significant risks. The data released during the World Economic Forum testify: more than half of the Planet’s GDP is more or less firmly linked to nature and natural services. Also for this reason, last December more than 330 acronyms from the business and finance world of 52 countries around the world urged policymakers around the world to provide a clear and binding framework of requirements on the basis of which to assess their impacts and adapt to the 2030 targets.
The Biodiversity Risk Filter can support businesses and financial institutions to monitor the consequences of their activities by providing them with easily understandable and practical information.
The tool, online and free, is based on more than 50 different types of data from, among other sources, WWF, IBAT, IUCN, UNEP-WCMC, ENCORE, RepRisk, FAO, World Bank and NASA; the data provide a broad and holistic pattern of biodiversity risks with information on ecosystems, protected areas, different species and recurrent threats to nature such as deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution, land use change. According to the association, it is the “first-ever platform that brings together such a diverse range of data specifically for the purpose of analyzing biodiversity risks for businesses and financial institutions”.
The Suite of Tools
Together with the Water Risk Filter, the Biodiversity Risk Filter leads the private sector to sustainable operations and investments in line with global environmental commitments such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), the Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is a new piece of the WWF Risk Filter Suite and contains specific guidelines for the protection of biodiversity that have been tested by WWF and Climate & Company in a trial on a portfolio of investors representative of a series of listed companies. The pilot study showed that most societies are exposed to the medium to high biodiversity risks, but that the tool works well to analyze potential vulnus and identify policy priorities.