Articles - IFoA commits to actions supporting biodiversity

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has published a policy statement recognising the social, economic and financial risks posed by biodiversity loss. The policy states that the disappearance or decline of the variety of living things on our planet is global and systemic. It goes on to say that biodiversity loss threatens the health of ecosystems and has significant implications for the health and longevity of the global population.

 The modelling and management of risk is a core actuarial skill and this statement points to the important role the profession has to play in helping to quantify the risks associated with biodiversity loss.

 The policy statement commits IFoA to:
 • Advocating for the development of effective policy frameworks worldwide and methods for managing biodiversity risk in the financial services sector
 • Using the actuarial skill set and influence to help equip the wider global financial services markets to fully incorporate biodiversity risk
 • Supporting actuaries in their understanding of biodiversity risk through education resources and thought leadership content including webinars and blogs
 • Advocating for better disclosure of consistent and robust information about biodiversity risk across the financial services sector
 • Supporting collaborations between IFoA members and other organisations to help develop and align financial systems with a just, sustainable economy that manages biodiversity risk

 Nick Spencer, Former Chair of the IFoA Sustainability Board and author of the biodiversity policy statement, said: “There is global recognition that we need to act now to reduce our biodiversity and nature loss in order to avoid irreversible consequences. The actuarial profession is well placed to help businesses and other organisations understand, assess and help mitigate risk.

 “This starts with giving our members the right resources and we have recently created a series of blogs and a guide for actuaries on biodiversity and nature-related risk. Earlier this month, we published a report which found that economic models underpinning climate scenario modelling in financial services do not always reflect the threat climate change poses to our planet and society. We have been highlighting the importance of these risks for some time through the work of the IFoA’s Sustainability Board and the Biodiversity Working Party. Today’s policy statement lays out our commitment to support biodiversity and we will be accelerating our work in this area because time is not on our side.”

 The IFoA supports the aims of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the aims of the 2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Diversity Framework. The IFoA also supports the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD) Forum and is a signatory to the Sustainable Finance Education Charter, the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment and the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

 Nick Spencer continued: “The financial services sector needs to be ready for the changes coming our way. Companies and financial institutions will be required to monitor, assess and disclose the impact of their operations, supply chains and portfolios on biodiversity. The TNFD will publish its risk management and disclosure framework in November. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority says it will consult in the third quarter of this year on proposals to make TNFD reporting mandatory. In the longer term, if requirement to disclose fails to change business practices sufficiently, we believe further regulation or other direct action may be needed.”

 The IFoA webinar launching our Biodiversity and Nature-Related Risks (BDNRR) Policy is on Wednesday 26th July at 11am.

 The event will be chaired by IFoA President Matt Saker and the panellists will be:
 • Professor Aled Jones, Director, Global Sustainability Institute & Chair, Biodiversity Working Party
 • Nick Spencer, Sustainable Investment Advisor, Gordian Advice & Past Chair of the IFoA Sustainability Board
 • Lucy Saye, Manager at Deloitte and Chair of IFoA Sustainability Board

 Please click here to register for this event.

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