04-05-2023 09:35

Nordea joins new UN-driven working group to set nature-related targets for the banking sector

The new working group is part of the United Nations Environment Finance Initiative and is formed to help banks understand how they impact nature and can reverse losses.
Wild flowers planted along fields

The working group consists of 34 signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) framework which - with 300 signed banks - represent almost half of the global banking industry.

The working group has been formed to provide guidance and high-level recommendations on how banks can set biodiversity and nature-related targets. The targets will help the PRB banks to align their portfolios with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) - the equivalent of the Paris Agreement for biodiversity. Like the Paris Agreement, the GBF contains short-term targets for 2030 and long-term goals for 2050.

Anna-Karin Modin-Edman, senior biodiversity specialist in Group Sustainability

Mutually reinforcing crises

“The scale and rate of biodiversity and nature losses are significant threats to humanity as we depend on functioning ecosystems for food, clean water and air, sources for medicines, renewable raw materials and protection against natural disasters”, says Anna-Karin Modin-Edman, senior biodiversity specialist in Group Sustainability who represents Nordea in the working group. She adds:

“The two crises of biodiversity loss and climate change are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing. The urgency in halting biodiversity losses requires collaboration within and across sectors, and financial institutions are identified as key in addressing the challenges. I’m excited to join forces with peers to develop guidance and fill the gap of actionable nature targets for banks.” 

Guidance to be ready in the autumn

Similar to the development of joint standards for reducing greenhouse gases, sector level standards for biodiversity and nature have already started to take shape. Besides aligning with the objectives of the GBF, the working group will be building on existing UNEP FI PRB nature and biodiversity work, while also ensuring alignment with initiatives such as the Task Force on Nature related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN), Finance for Biodiversity Pledge (FBP) and other relevant frameworks.

The plan is to publish a guidance in October 2023, which will allow PRB banks that are interested in tackling the loss of biodiversity and nature to apply a holistic and systematic target setting. Nordea intends to further establish our strategic approach to biodiversity and nature-related impacts at group level during 2023. A biodiversity position statement including our ambitions going forward will be published in relation to that.

Who are in the working group?

The working group consists of 34 banks of different sizes from across the world but mainly from Europe, including Nordic peers Danske Bank, Swedbank and DNB. Partners and stakeholders include TNFD, FBP, UNEP WCMC, UN Convention on Biological Diversity,  PRB Civil Society Advisory Body, WWF, Conservation International, Share Action and Ceres.

Learn more about Nordea’s sustainability targets and the different global commitments and collaborations we take part in.