A model based approach to ABN AMRO’s negative impact on biodiversity

Background 

ABN AMRO is one of the largest banks in the Netherlands and it is one of the frontrunners in the financial sector on reporting on its value creation to society. ABN AMRO is publishing this biodiversity report in line with its purpose and strategy and in anticipation of expected EU regulations that will require financial institutions to provide insight into their impact on biodiversity.

Additional information on the organization can be found here

Value for ABN AMRO 

It is important for ABN AMRO to understand their biodiversity impact. This impact can also represent a financial risk, according to the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). Over 50 percent of global GDP (gross domestic product) is “moderately or highly dependent” on nature and the goods and services it provides. Additionally, EU legislation in the pipeline for the coming years will focus not just on climate, but also increasingly on biodiversity.

By measuring and valuating impact on biodiversity, ABN AMRO is able to better understand its negative impact on biodiversity as well as which of the sectors within its portfolio generate the largest impact. The report shows how impact mainly comes about indirectly, through ABN AMRO’s supply chain and through clients and their partners.

The full report with definitions, general results, company specific results and geographic impact can be found here.

How was impact measurement applied in practice? 

The figure below shows the four biodiversity impact drivers in scope (climate change, air pollution, water pollution, and land use). The different drivers are expressed in a single unit: the loss of a hectare with pristine biodiversity (biodiversity ha), allowing for comparability. These steps aim to provide direction for decision-making, to help ABN AMRO identify important sectors, and to demonstrate progress, enabling the organisation to steer on impact.

Figure 1 – How ABN AMRO measures its biodiversity impact

For a detailed description of the steps followed, refer to the Impact Measurement in the Financial Sector document.