Financial activities move and expend trillions of dollars each year on actions that affect biodiversity worldwide. There is a strong, growing desire in the finance sector for tools that will aid in investment decisions, accounting and risk management, and which are also environmentally responsible. A number of recently-launched initiatives, such as the Natural Capital Protocol and Global Reporting Initiative, reflect this desire. They offer examples of natural assets being formally included in planning activities for project finance, impact investing, and corporate insurance, from the banking, investment and insurance sectors. However, examples are not sufficient to mainstream these ideas across the financial sector, and very few fit-for-purpose tools exist to support the integration of biodiversity and conservation outcomes into their decision-making processes. This absence is particularly stark when compared to other environmental issues like water and climate, where more established standards and generalised tools exist around pollution mitigation and carbon offsetting. In contrast, biodiversity conservation remains a big challenge for businesses to integrate into their decision making. This project aims to narrow this implementation gap, by identifying the most relevant available biodiversity conservation tools, frameworks and methods, and developing them into business-ready tools for the finance sector, leading to better biodiversity outcomes. This project has the opportunity to bring Australian financial institutions to the forefront of business innovation in the biodiversity space.

Funding: Research Training Program 

Advisory Team: Professor Martine Maron, Professor Brendan Wintle

Project members

Natasha CADENHEAD

PhD Candidate