4 December, 2023 / News

Biodiversity Intactness Index becomes available to financial markets

Bloomberg tool to allow companies to check proximity to intact ecosystems

Biodiversity Intactness Index becomes available to financial markets

The Natural History Museum’s Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) data will be made available to the investment community for the first time via a collaboration with Bloomberg.

As part of the collaboration, Bloomberg will build a tool that combines the Natural History Museum’s geospatial BII data with Bloomberg’s over one million physical assets, linked to nearly 50,000 global companies. This will allow companies to see their proximity to intact ecosystems, as well as the scale of degradation to ecosystems near company operations over time.

“This ground-breaking collaboration heralds a new era in our efforts to safeguard the world’s biodiversity,” said Doug Gurr, director of the Natural History Museum, London.

“Thanks to Bloomberg, we have been able to make our research available to support investment decision-making for the first time, with the aim of addressing the challenges faced by our planet. We’re hopeful that this innovation will be recognised as a watershed moment in advancing financial strategies to tackle the planetary emergency.”

The BII aims to simplify the complex realm of biodiversity data, offering a comprehensive assessment of ecosystem integrity. It categorises nature on a user-friendly scale from 100% (the naturally present biodiversity remains intact), down to 0% (where none of the species remaining in the location were naturally found there), with the index representing the biodiversity makeup of a specific terrestrial area in comparison to a pristine area with minimal human interference. According to this scale, the BII exhibits a drop to an alarming 77% globally.

Using data on more than 58,000 plants, fungi, and animals from around the world, the BII shows how local terrestrial biodiversity is responding to human pressures such as land use change and intensification. Unlike other biodiversity indicators, users can project how biodiversity will change in response to future management decisions.

Once built, the Bloomberg tool will allow investors to screen for companies that are operating in areas with intact ecosystems or in areas where the ecosystem integrity is diminishing. This will supplement Bloomberg’s existing biodiversity-related product offerings such as its deforestation supply chain and comprehensive collection of nature-related company-reported data.

Patricia Torres, Bloomberg’s global head of sustainable finance solutions, added: “At Bloomberg, we recognise the critical role data plays when making investment decisions. Despite biodiversity emerging as one of the key areas for investment, the data available for investors remains inadequate. That’s why we are thrilled to be working with the Natural History Museum to help provide valuable information for investors pursuing biodiversity strategies aimed at preserving and protecting ecosystems.”

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