Mission Économie de la Biodiversité (MEB) is an initiative of Caisse des Dépôts – France’s leading long-term investor serving local and regional economic development –, spearheaded and run by CDC Biodiversité. It is tasked with researching and devising innovative solutions that strike a balance between economic development and the preservation of biodiversity. MEB has a world class Scientific Committee and its research focuses on areas such as urban biodiversity, financing solutions for green and blue corridors, the scientific principles involved in setting up offsetting arrangements, or innovative mechanisms for funding biodiversity preservation. Its goal is to develop solutions for the future, rooted in a long-term, sustainable development perspective that takes account of the limits on natural resources. All of this research is carried out in the service of the public interest and MEB seeks to share and circulate its findings through its various publications.
Can one metric sum up the biodiversity impact of economic activities? Can businesses set quantitative targets to reduce their impact on biodiversity as they do for climate ? How can financial institutions assess their exposure to biodiversity impacts throughout their investment? After five years of development CDC Biodiversité launched in May, 2020, its biodiversity footprint assessment tool: the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS), which seeks to address these questions and make it possible for companies or financial institutions to evaluate their impact on biodiversity. Read more
Presentation of the global biodiversity score
On September 22, 2020, CDC Biodiversité organised a presentation of the Global Biodiversity Score. This event welcomed more than 50 people in person with a retransmission followed by more than 200 people. It was the occasion for rich exchanges between national and international experts, from the scientific and political worlds, and members of the B4B+ Club. on the challenges of this biodiversity footprint measurement tool, its operation and the first feedback.
At the opening of the event, Marc Abadie, President of CDC Biodiversité welcomed Eric Lombard, CEO of the Caisse des Dépôts Group, before giving the floor to Bérangère Abba, Secretary of State to the Minister of Ecological Transition, in charge of Biodiversity. Several opening speeches then followed, with first Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary at IPBES, then Humberto Delgado, director of Natural Capital in DG Environment of the European Commission, and finally Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, on the subject of expectations and ambitions in perspective of COP 15.
Then, after a presentation of the GBS, licensing, training and evaluation procedures by the GBS team, a first round table, moderated by Antoine Cadi, on the subject of mobilizing economic players in favor of measuring the biodiversity footprint, welcomed Sylvaine Rols, Program officer of UNEP-WCMC, Pascal Chalvon, Chief Sustainability Officer at Solvay, Christine Prouin, manager CSR performance à la Française des Jeux and finally Eva Zabey, Executive Director Business for Nature. The last round table was moderated by Antoine Vallier. Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova, Marine de Bazelaire, Head of Sustainability of HSBC Continental & International Europe, but also Marie-Anne Vincent, Director of sustainable policy at Carbon4 Finance, and Nathalie Lhayani, Director of Sustainable Policies at Caisse des Dépôts, discussed their expectations and the challenges for financial players. Finally, to close this event, Simon Buckle, Division Head of Climate, Biodiversity and Water of the OECD, recalled the need to take life into account in the construction of a new model of society.
Measuring the contributions of business and finance towards the post-2020 global biodiversity framework
This 2019 update provides an overview of how the GBS can support the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, updates previous mappings of where the GBS sits compared to other tools and presents the biodiversity footprint ecosystem, transparently describes the latest technical developments, shares the results of four more case studies of companies who road tested the tool, and completes the existing FAQ with more common questions about the GBS.
Global Biodiversity Score: a tool to establish and measure corporate and financial commitments for biodiversity
What are the options to reduce the onsite and value chain-related biodiversity impacts of a business? How can financial institutions assess the risks related to the biodiversity impacts of their activity and that of the businesses they finance? How can such information be incorporated into their risk management policy? Can businesses set quantitative targets to reduce their impact on biodiversity as they do for climate? The Global Biodiversity Score (GBS) is a corporate biodiversity footprint assessment tool which seeks to answer these questions. It assesses the biodiversity impacts of economic activities across their value chain, in a robust and synthetic way. It is developed with the support of about 30 businesses and financial institutions gathered in the Business for Positive Biodiversity Club (B4B+ Club) and through collaborations with academics, NGOs and other corporate biodiversity footprint initiatives. This 2018 update clarifies the role of the GBS compared to other tools under development, transparently describes the latest technical developments, shares preliminary results of road testing of the tool with businesses.
In the last three years, ASN Bank (The Netherlands) and CDC Biodiversité (France) have developed biodiversity footprinting methodologies that fit their objectives: the ‘Global Biodiversity Score’ (GBS) developed and the ‘Biodiversity Footprint for Financial Institutions’ (BFFI) methodology. Both have quite similar objectives and approaches. At the start of 2018, ASN Bank and CDC Biodiversité, together with ACTIAM and Finance in Motion, decided to share experiences in biodiversity footprinting and explore the common ground between the footprinting methodologies and approaches. The objective of this initiative is to learn from each other and to explore whether common rules or concepts could be identified as starting points for any financial institution interested in assessing its biodiversity footprint. This working paper is the result of one year of common work and can be seen as a first step toward a common standard to assess the biodiversity footprint of financial institutions (and by extension of corporate businesses), it includes common concepts and methodological steps. It also provides a quick overview of existing initiatives on the assessment of biodiversity impacts and their relative uses. The primary target group of this paper are policy makers, decision makers and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) specialists in financial institutions. However, the report is just as valuable to researchers and consultants in the biodiversity footprinting field.
Unlike climate change mitigation which is gradually mainstreamed into business strategies and activities, biodiversity still struggles to be recognized as a major issue for businesses and financial institutions due to its complexity. Yet relations between business and biodiversity are on the verge of a major paradigm shift. At a time when the private sector must step up and play its full role in helping to achieve the objectives laid down by the international community in terms of stopping biodiversity loss, CDC Biodiversité has come up with an innovative methodology that enables companies from all sectors to quantify their impacts on ecosystems by using a single indicator. This indicator, named the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS), is expressed in surface area of destroyed pristine natural areas. The methodology makes it possible to quantify a business’s biodiversity footprint all the way along the value chain. It has been developed jointly with CDC Biodiversité’s B4B+ Club (club of pro-biodiversity businesses) and seeks to help drive the transformation of interactions between economic stakeholders and the living environment in a world in which integrating natural capital – and biodiversity in particular – into decision-making processes has taken on the utmost urgency.
Club B4B+ (in French): www.cdc-biodiversite.fr/laction-volontaire/en-savoir-plus-sur-le-club-b4b
BIODIV’2050 No.7 – July 2015
Business currently generates 60% of the world’s GDP and accounts for a large part of the pressure being placed on ecosystems. Changes in mutually reinforcing production and consumption patterns are an opportunity to rethink the manner in which private stakeholders can participate in preserving and funding biodiversity by looking out for their own interests and catering to this new social demand. Reversing the depletion of biodiversity currently being observed will need a fresh perspective on the relations of the business world with nature. This will require a sector-by-sector analysis of both the benefits to business of pro-biodiversity initiatives and concrete solutions for action.
BIODIV’2050 No.6 – April 2015 – Special issue
Following the Twelfth World Summit on Biodiversity, or COP12, which was held in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, last October, the Mission Economie de la Biodiversité of the Caisse des Dépôts’s groupe prepared a special issue of BIODIV’2050. The focus is on the stakes, challenges, terms and conditions of private sector contributions to resource mobilization for biodiversity conservation within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
BIODIV’2050 No.5 – December 2014
Edition No. 5 addresses the issue of biodiversity and the urban economy by presenting experiments, studies and projects undertaken throughout the world. It highlights a general trend that takes on many different forms but tends to invent a new ecosystem, re-natured city or urbanised nature where two-thirds of all humans will reside in the future. However, the process of constructing this ecosystem must also address its contribution to the urban economy and value creation.
Summary of discussions at the PESMIX international workshop
BIODIV’2050 Outlook No.2 – December 2014
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are increasingly used as incentives for the conservation of natural resources in environmental and development policies. To build up the premises for a multidisciplinary view of PES, an international workshop was organised by Cirad and the Mission Économie de la Biodiversité of the Caisse des dépôts as part of the PESMIX research project on 11, 12 and 13 June 2014 in Montpellier. Over 100 participants (economists, lawyers, ecologists, political scientists, philosophers, policy makers, business companies and NGOs) from both the North and the South attended the workshop where the focus was on the present conceptual thought on PES, feedback on experiences with PES, and prospects for future development. This document is a summary of the information, questions and research issues considered at the meeting.
Edition No. 4 of BIODIV’2050 seeks to present a cross-disciplinary overview of the biodiversity of plants cultivated in France and to put the views of the various different stakeholders into perspective. We met and interviewed a selection of key stakeholders in the sector. Their views are presented in a series of inserts throughout this edition which continues to espouse Mission Economie de la Biodiversité’s credo of researching and testing innovative solutions that strike a balance between economic development and the preservation of biodiversity – this time in the agricultural production arena.
Both the international community and the European Union have committed to slowing down biodiversity erosion by 2020 via the Aichi Targets and European Union strategy, respectively. Biodiversity offsets have been identified as one means of reducing biodiversity loss. We felt that it was high time to examine the current issues relating to biodiversity offsetting and its deployment.
Biodiversity is at the root of all economic activity and factoring it into the calculation of national wealth gives a more accurate measurement of the benefits derived from its conservation, particularly for businesses and a number of key economic players. How to encourage businesses to commit to preserving biodiversity? This key issue is at the heart of this BIODIV’2050:
Interviews: Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Gerard Bos head of the IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme.
This first BIODIV’2050 deals with Innovative Financial Mechanisms such as Payment for Ecosystem Services, Inventing new financing solutions for re-establishing ecological networks or environmental accounting.