Warning: members of the public are being contacted by people claiming to work for AXA Investment Managers UK Limited.  Find out more information and what to do by clicking here.

Investment Institute
Environmental

Engagement theme: Biodiversity collapse

  • 16 May 2022 (3 min read)

At AXA IM, we are committed to biodiversity protection. Throughout 2021, this commitment has been continually reaffirmed through a series of actions: Reinforcement of our biodiversity strategy and enhancement of our Deforestation and Ecosystems Protection Policy;1 further integration of biodiversity issues based on continuous engagement activities; and the consideration of new biodiversity dedicated data developed by our partner Iceberg Data Lab.

Natural capital – our oceans, forests, climate and more – is at the origin of all the benefits people and economies obtain from ecosystems. Simply put, it makes human life possible.2 The health of human populations is part of these benefits as well as the global prosperity of world economies. By disturbing both the structure and functions of ecosystems, we not only increase risks of new infectious diseases appearing, but we may also be losing access to discoveries from nature that may contribute to our collective health3 . We have seen evidence of links between biodiversity and COVID-19 and hope to learn from this experience4 .

Our engagement goals and activity

In 2021, our engagement initiatives were underpinned by a new, tighter policy on ecosystem protection and deforestation, developing a campaign first started in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, a specific engagement programme was launched with a selection of companies with activities around the raw materials associated with deforestation (soy, palm oil, cattle and timber), identified under the criteria of the new Deforestation and Ecosystems Protection Policy published in June 2021.

A special approach and an engagement questionnaire have been developed to facilitate dialogue with the identified companies and are informed by our knowledge sharing with CDP and WWF. The objective of this engagement is to accompany companies identified as exposed to deforestation risks in setting up a clear deforestation-free goal supported by concrete actions. Our ambition is to control the potential risks of deforestation and ecosystems conversion associated with their activities and to support a ‘forest- and nature-positive’ transformation of these companies.

  • AXA IM Ecosystem Protection & Deforestation policy
  • Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, World Resources Institute. 2005
  • World Health Organization : https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/biodiversity-and-health
  • https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-12/IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics Report_0.pdf
Select objectives in our biodiversity engagement programme (anonymised examples)

Based on first results, meetings with the target companies will be organised during 2022 to deepen discussions on key deforestation and biodiversity issues. Our ambition is to control the potential risks of deforestation and ecosystems conversion associated with their activities and to support forest- and nature-positive transformation of these companies throughout 2022- 2023.

Also, in 2021, the focus of engagement has been enlarged beyond deforestation with initial discussions conducted with companies exposed to biodiversity protection challenges in different industries. Our goal is to amplify this area of shareholder engagement in 2022.

In 2021, we signed the Finance for Biodiversity (FfB) Pledge, along with other financial institutions. One of its objectives is to engage with companies to reduce their negative (and increase their positive) impacts on biodiversity.

Outcomes and next steps

We believe we saw a positive response to these engagements globally. Companies were open to discussion and willing to progress on identifying and managing relevant biodiversity risks and opportunities, despite the complexity of the biodiversity challenge.

2021 Active Ownership and Stewardship Report
Download report (1.03 MB)
RESPONSIBLE INVESTING

Stewardship and engagement

Our engagement to drive action and create meaningful impact.

Learn more

Related Articles

Environmental

New diversity in green bonds may offer fertile ground for investors

  • by Johann Plé
  • 21 June 2022 (5 min read)
Environmental

The impact of the Ukraine crisis on climate change

  • by David Page , Olivier Eugène
  • 07 June 2022 (10 min read)
Environmental

Geopolitics vs. the race to net zero

  • by AXA IM Investment Institute
  • 30 May 2022 (5 min read)

    Disclaimer

    This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments as per MIF Directive (2014/65/EU), nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities.

    Due to its simplification, this document is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee forecasts made will come to pass. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this document is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this document. Whilst every care is taken, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained herein. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    Risk Warning

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.