Investors urge faster anti-deforestation efforts

A coalition of nine financial institutions representing €1.8tr in assets under management is asking companies to take action to end deforestation in their supply chains, as well as to enhance supply chain traceability.

Coordinated by Dutch asset manager ACTIAM, the investors also number Achmea Investment Management, Aegon Nederland N.V., asr Asset Management, Aviva Investors, Fidelity International, Nomura Asset Management, Robeco and Zwitserleven. The investors aim to reduce deforestation across their investments, in light of climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as financial risks connected to deforestation. With this initiative, the investors reach out to companies that provide insufficient information about their supplier lists as well as companies linked to deforestation cases in the palm oil sector in Malaysia. These cases have been unveiled through satellite imagery and artificial intelligence provided by Satelligence.

Dennis van der Putten, director of sustainability at ACTIAM, stated: “As investors, we have a fiduciary duty to lead the transition to a more sustainable society, where financial, environmental and social returns go hand in hand. This engagement initiative is part of our growing commitment to biodiversity allowing investors to positively influence a much-needed change of behaviour by companies, in line with the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge.”

Companies are expected to meet the investors’ requests in two to three years.The use of innovative tools such as satellite imagery and data analysis will allow investors to assess the progress made by the engaged companies, and whether their efforts are indeed leading to a reduction of deforestation in the monitored regions and suppliers.

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