A few days from the World Nature Congress organized by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), CNP Assurances signs the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge and sets new targets over the next five years to protect biodiversity.
For several years, scientific reports, including IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), have been warning about the acceleration of biodiversity loss, which is reflected in the destruction of ecosystems, the disappearance of species and reduced genetic diversity within species. Faced with this worrying situation, companies must reduce their impacts on biodiversity, measure the risks associated with biodiversity loss and improve transparency on these issues.
In line with its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and its responsible investor strategy, CNP Assurances has been implementing actions for several years to protect biodiversity. On the occasion of the release in May 2021 of its report on responsible investment. CNP Assurances was one of the first investors to publish the biodiversity footprint of its investment portfolio using the Corporate Biodiversity Footprint tool.
By signing the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge and publishing its targets over the next five years, CNP Assurances decided to strengthen its commitments to biodiversity.
Stéphane Dedeyan, Chief Executive Officer of CNP Assurances, says: “CNP Assurances is strengthening its approach to protecting biodiversity. Together with the companies we finance, we need to act to reverse the process of the degradation of nature and ultimately preserve the diversity of life on our planet.”
Signature of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge
CNP Assurances intends to contribute to sustainable development goals no.14 dedicated to ocean conservation and no.15 dedicated to the preservation and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.
To this end, CNP Assurances today signs the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge.
Launched in September 2020, this initiative brings together 55 financial institutions, combining €9,000bn in assets, all committed to contributing to the protection and restoration of biodiversity through their investment activities by implementing the following measures by the end of 2024:
• Collaborate and share knowledge on methodologies for measuring and setting targets related to biodiversity
• Integrate biodiversity into responsible investment policy and shareholder dialogue
• Assess the positive and negative impacts of investments on biodiversity
• Publish science-based targets to increase positive impacts and reduce the negative impacts of investments on biodiversity
• Report annually on the level of achievement of these targets in investment portfolios
CNP Assurances’ new targets to protect biodiversity
In addition to the commitments made as a signatory of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, CNP Assurances sets out the following new targets over the next five years:
• Equity and corporate bond investments
o Measure the biodiversity footprint of its entire portfolio of directly-held equities and corporate bonds by the end of 2023, encouraging companies to improve transparency on these issues
o Engage with five companies every year to encourage them to adopt a strategy aligned with international biodiversity agreements by the end of 2024
• Real estate investments1:
o For logistics platforms currently in the portfolio, carry out an inventory and analysis of their impact on biodiversity by the end of 2022, with a view to implementing a plan to protect and/or restore biodiversity
o For any new investment in a logistics platform, systematically take into account the impact on biodiversity in the pre-investment analysis
o Integrate biodiversity into regular dialogues between CNP Assurances and the management companies in charge of its logistics platforms
• Infrastructure investments
o Encourage infrastructure companies in which CNP Assurances holds a significant share and is a director to measure and manage their biodiversity footprint
• Woodland investments
o Measure biodiversity of 100% of its forests by the end of 2025 through the use of a recognised method (Potential Biodiversity Inventory) and maintain or improve the level of biodiversity measured by this method
o Interrupt forest work during periods of reproduction of the most sensitive species
o Prohibit the substitution of a hardwood stand with an exclusively softwood stand
o Ban herbicides and fungicides
o Build ecological corridors
o Keep in forests senescent or dead trees, whether standing or lying, which host very specific biodiversity
o Devote 3% of the forest surface to ageing islands and natural evolution areas by the end of 2025
o Contribute to wetland restoration through partnerships with local associations
• Internal operations
o Obtain the BiodiverCity label for its future head office in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in addition to BREEAM Excellent, BEPOS-Effinergie, NF HQE Exceptionnel and WELL Silver certifications
o Roll out a zero-plastic policy throughout the Group
o In September 2021, as part of the World CleanUp Day, organise half a day for collecting waste by employees in the various countries where the Group operates
o Raise awareness among CNP Assurances employees about biodiversity issues.
CNP Assurances will report regularly on the level of achievement of these targets.
Reminder of the biodiversity initiatives already implemented by CNP Assurances
For several years, CNP Assurances has been implementing actions to protect biodiversity.
• Support for marketplace initiatives
Since its creation in 2016, CNP Assurances has been a member of the B4B+ (Business for Positive Biodiversity) Club, which comprises CDC Biodiversité, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts, and companies committed to positive biodiversity. In 2020, CNP Assurances joined the coalition of institutional investors calling for the creation of biodiversity impact assessments for investment portfolios, observing principles in terms of methodology transparency.
• Biodiversity in shareholder dialogue
In 2020, CNP Assurances included biodiversity in its shareholder engagement policy, encouraging companies to take and implement ambitious decisions to protect biodiversity and publish information on the risks associated with biodiversity loss. Last year, biodiversity was discussed in 64% of CNP Assurances’ direct dialogues with companies in which it is a shareholder.
• Biodiversity in our equity and bond investments
CNP Assurances performed an initial test to measure the biodiversity footprint of its investment portfolio using the Corporate Biodiversity Footprint tool. The test carried out on five sectors (agri-food, oil and gas, energy, forests and paper, waste) estimates the biodiversity footprint of our equity and corporate bond portfolio at -14 m².MSA2 per thousand euros invested at the end of 2020.
• Biodiversity in our woodland investments
Since 2003, all of CNP Assurances’ forests have had PEFC certification. The renewal at the start of 2021 of the management mandate assigned to Société Forestière, which sustainably manages CNP Assurances’ 56,488 hectares of woodland investments, provided for an action plan and targets regarding biodiversity conservation and covering the next five years in a sustainable management charter.
• Biodiversity in our real estate investments
Real estate has a significant impact on biodiversity during both the construction and operation phases. CNP Assurances has published a “Green Works” charter imposing rules on its real estate portfolio management companies to protect biodiversity, such as respecting ecosystems during the construction phase, choosing materials that have a limited impact on the environment, and reducing waste and water consumption. The charter also provides for the study of technical solutions that favour plants and promote biodiversity, the circular economy (reuse of building materials) and ecosystem services for buildings and green spaces.
1 CNP Assurances has chosen to prioritise its action on logistics platforms, whose impact on biodiversity through soil artificialization must be controlled in a context of growing e-commerce.
2 MSA (Mean Species Abundance) is a scientifically recognised metric created by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) to measure the average abundance of species. The destruction of biodiversity is expressed as a negative value of m².MSA. The m².MSA corresponds to the artificialization of 1 m² of virgin natural space.