CCI joins forces with UBP to launch the firm’s new biodiversity restoration strategy

14th February 2022

CCI are delighted to be teaming up with wealth management firm Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) on their new biodiversity restoration strategy in a unique collaboration between the financial, corporate and conservation sectors.

The business case for investing in biodiversity is strong. Nature delivers valuable services like the pollination of crops, water purification, flood protection, and carbon sequestration that many economic activities rely on. While these services are provided free of charge, their estimated monetary value ranges from USD 125 to 140 trillion per year. The expected economic gains from protecting and restoring biodiversity are therefore significant.

UBP’s biodiversity restoration strategy aims at identifying and investing in the solution-providers that, through their products and supply chains, protect and restore species and natural habitats on the planet. This global all-cap portfolio composed of 45 to 55 stocks invests in seven industrial verticals such as the sustainable management of natural resources, green cities and sustainable food production. Ultimately, the goal is to create a nature-positive portfolio.

Recognising the challenges behind investing in biodiversity restoration, UBP has teamed up with biodiversity partner the Peace Parks Foundation and plans also to collaborate with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). 25% of the management fee will be invested directly in their on-the-ground conservation and world-leading academic and policy-making skills. This partnership enables the creation of an exceptional bank of knowledge that can be used to support and guide engagement with investee companies, in addition to generating tangible non-financial returns.

“UBP is convinced that collaboration between stakeholders is the biggest chance to overcome the challenges investing in biodiversity restoration poses. This is why we are extremely pleased to have found the right partners to support our investment approach in this field. It is our belief that the triangulation of expertise made possible through this fund is a unique and innovative approach and has the potential to catalyse positive change at scale, while generating significant financial returns,” says Nicolas Faller, Co-CEO Asset Management at UBP.

Mike Maunder, Executive Director at The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), declares: “We are delighted to be working with UBP and to explore the challenges of creating pro-nature financing. This blending of an innovative bank, researchers and practical conservationists has the potential to achieve real gain for nature and business. If we want a future where business thrives, we have to rebuild nature and reverse the trajectory of damage that has been accelerating for the last century and particularly in the last fifty years. We need to move towards an economy that is carbon-neutral, nature-positive and equitable.”

Victoria Leggett, Head of Impact Investing at UBP and co-manager of this new strategy, explains: “It’s time to broaden the focus from ‘carbon-neutral’ to include ‘nature-positive’. The level of awareness of the biodiversity crisis is where climate change was 5–10 years ago, and there is now a huge amount of momentum behind it, including the UN’s ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’ and COP15 on biodiversity. The associated regulatory shift and capex support should drive change in the investment opportunity set and with it returns for investors.”