UBS invests in impact data provider to advance nature-related disclosures

Published 10:56 on June 20, 2024  /  Last updated at 10:56 on June 20, 2024  / Sergio Colombo /  Biodiversity, EMEA

Swiss bank UBS has invested in impact data and analytics provider GIST Impact to back its expansion, with a focus on bolstering support for nature-related corporate disclosures among companies and investors.

Swiss bank UBS has invested in impact data and analytics provider GIST Impact to back its expansion, with a focus on bolstering support for nature-related corporate disclosures among companies and investors.

UBS will invest in GIST Impact through its venture and innovation unit, dubbed UBS Next, though did not disclose the size of the investment.

The bank said it entered into the partnership seeking to help develop solutions for organisations grappling with disclosure requirements under the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) framework and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations.

“We believe that actionable impact intelligence and data will help investors manage their portfolios in a targeted manner, and match opportunities and environmental and social impact,” said Sergio Ermotti, CEO of UBS.

“This is a pre-requisite to create long-term sustainable outcomes,” he added.

Under the TNFD, companies must disclose locations where biodiversity is being negatively impacted, both at the site level and across the supply and value chains.

Financial institutions are also required to look at where they invest and assess whether this affects sensitive locations when it comes to biodiversity, though they’ve often cited the lack of data on investees’ nature-related impacts as hampering their efforts.

GASPING FOR DATA

Nathalie Borgeaud, TNFD lead of financial markets stakeholder engagement, recently urged financial institutions to rely on external data providers to overcome this issue.

“Our world-leading impact data and intelligence algorithms empower investors to manage their portfolios towards better social and environmental outcomes and impacts,” said Pavan Sukhdev, co-founder and CEO of GIST Impact.

“Furthermore, our impact valuation platforms help companies evaluate their impacts, dependencies, risks, and opportunities, helping create long-term sustainable value.”

In February, the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), which brings together as many as 110 business groups in the country, partnered with GIST Impact to accelerate the adoption of the TNFD recommendations.

The data provider announced a separate partnership last year with the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) to help investors assess the biodiversity-related risks in their portfolios through GIST Impact’s asset location database.

TNFD-aligned disclosures have gathered traction after 320 companies worldwide announced their commitment to adopting the recommendations within the next two years.

The taskforce is set to announce the next cohort of adopters during the London Climate Action Week at the end of this month.

By Sergio Colombo – sergio@carbon-pulse.com

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