Norway's Storebrand Asset Management has joined some 230 institutional investors calling for urgent action on fires in the Amazon amid ongoing deforrestation in Brazil and Bolivia.
Coordinated by PRI and Ceres, a statement from the investors, representing some $16.2trn in AUM, includes demands for companies to:
- publicly disclose and implement a commodity-specific no deforestation policy with quantifiable, time-bound commitments covering the entire supply chain and sourcing geographies.
- establish a transparent monitoring and verification system for supplier compliance with the company's no deforestation policy.
- report annually on deforestation risk exposure and management, including progress towards the company's no deforestation policy.
Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management, said: "Deforestation and loss of biodiversity are not only environmental problems. There are significant negative economic effects associated with these issues and they represent a risk that we as investors cannot ignore."
"There is an urgent need to focus more on effective management of agricultural supply chains and we will use our power as an active owner to put maximum pressure to change company behavior. Storebrand's ambition is to have an investment portfolio that does not contribute to deforestation by 2025, and we will not knowingly finance operations that are illegal, fail to protect high conservation value forests or violate the rights of workers and local people."
PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: "In signing this statement, investors representing a significant portion of global capital are pledging their support for the Amazon region, which has been devastated by fires and deforestation. In doing so, investors are recognizing the critical role they play to urgently accelerate action to help societies affected by this tragedy, and to prevent environmental disasters of this scale in the future."
Ceres CEO and president Mindy Lubber said: "Institutional investors increasingly recognize that deforestation creates material financial risks, including reputational and regulatory risks for companies, and that it exacerbates systemic risk across portfolios by contributing to climate change. Therefore, companies must demonstrate to investors that they can hold their global suppliers accountable for disclosing and eliminating these risks."