In 2018, as a core element of our Conservation and Markets work, the foundation supported the launch of the Finance Hub, to build on existing momentum and to extend our grant-funded partners’ efforts in equity investor engagement, conservation, and corporate sustainability.
By operating directly in the field, the Finance Hub is able, through its own grantmaking and related efforts, to help ensure that the business consequences of deforestation and overfishing become routinely scrutinized by the financial institutions backing agriculture and seafood companies. These companies, in turn, gain improved line-of-sight for related opportunities and risks in their supply chains.
In the last decade, the number of investors and banks considering environmental risks in investment and lending operations has steadily climbed. In global equity markets, for example, more than one-third of professionally managed assets are now linked to environmental, social, and corporate governance investment strategies, though none were just two decades ago. Financial institutions likewise more frequently manage carbon asset risks before making transaction decisions. Recognizing that capital markets will absorb these factors only when the full set of material risks are managed and reported, the Finance Hub can help accelerate this progress by marshalling the right blend of finance expertise and engagement with industry.
As a result, we expect that the financial and business risks and opportunities associated with deforestation and illegality in agriculture and seafood supply chains will be assessed, coordinated, quantified and disseminated among key financial institution stakeholders, ultimately improving their risk management decisions and capital allocation.
Grants to date have included: