We join more than 330 businesses and financial institutions from 52 countries that recognise the role they must play to address their impacts and support the delivery of a once-in-a-decade global biodiversity framework (GBF). We urge world leaders to adopt, in Target 15, mandatory requirements for all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030. This call was initiated by Business for Nature.
However, Triodos Bank believes more is needed to tackle the loss of biodiversity, which is currently one of the most urgent and complex systemic risks we face. In our recently published paper on biodiversity, we state it is a challenge that can only be tackled through a serious re-assessment of our production and consumption patterns, and of the economic assumptions underlying individual and collective decision-making.
Financial sector must reconsider practices
Jeroen Rijpkema, CEO of Triodos Bank: “The existential threat of the current pace of biodiversity loss cannot be underestimated. The point of no return comes closer and closer. Triodos Bank is acutely aware of this. We see it as our duty, as a financial institution and as individuals, to urgently preserve and restore nature and biodiversity. Given the complexity of natural ecosystems, there is no single solution to the problem.
We need to address the issue from a systemic perspective, targeting various direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss and carrying out a strategy for an all-encompassing regenerative economy. The financial sector plays a key role in shaping business and the economy, and therefore in restoring biodiversity. It must reconsider its practices and priorities to play a constructive role in the economy, ensuring that its activities foster economic and societal progress without undermining the environmental foundations of our livelihoods, and contributing to environmental regeneration wherever possible.”
EU regulation on deforestation-free products
We must strike a reasonable balance between social and environmental priorities: this is already complicated enough, without adding financial return expectations to the equation. And while financial institutions might be tempted to wait for access to better data for more informed, more efficient decision-making, we know what needs to be done to build a shared future for all life.
That is why we welcome the ambitious position voted by the European Parliament voted on 13 September on the Commission proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products. The position of the Parliament calls, amongst others, for due diligence obligations for financial institutions based in the EU. This means that financial institutions should check and ensure whether their financing isn’t causing deforestation or forest degradation and mitigate such risks.