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TitelGuidelines for Assessing Biodiversity-Related Risks and Opportunities in the Financial Sector An Aid for Implementing the VfU Biodiversity Principles

The ongoing global loss of animal and plant species and the disappearance of their habitats is already being compared by some experts to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Companies are significant polluters, but also part of the solution to the problem. Financial service providers also have a variety of ways to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. To help financial service providers make better use of these levers, a working group within the Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten e.V. (Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions) developed. (VfU) developed recommendations for a strategic implementation of a company-specific biodiversity management in the finance and insurance industry. These VfU Biodiversity Principles are accompanied by a detailed guide for assessing bank clients and client projects.

"Financial institutions are increasingly starting to recognize the importance of biodiversity," says Irina Detlefsen, sustainability manager at HypoVereinsbank. It is hoped that the recommendations will provide a significant impetus for a major issue, says Detlefsen, one of the driving forces within the VfU working group. After all, there could be a triple win: for biodiversity, for society and for companies.

The working group was supported by the Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) at Leuphana University Lüneburg, the Global Nature Fund and PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, among others.
The creation of the principles was supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.


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