Gresham House launches UK biodiversity fund

Gresham House has launched a new biodiversity strategy supporting nature-based solutions in the UK.

The launch comes as the UK Government’s Environment Act 2021 biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements come into force.

The GHBC strategy will invest in ‘Habitat Banks’ created by Environment Bank Limited (EBL), a portfolio business within Gresham House’s British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (BSIF) Strategy. Habitat Banks turn landscape-scale areas of non-arable farmland into mosaics of woodlands, wetlands, and species rich grasslands in accordance with the Government’s BNG metrics. BNG units are then generated from these assets and sold to developers requiring planning permission – delivering strong financial returns by driving positive environmental and societal impact.

Gresham House says its investors have already committed over $300mn to EBL to date and has over 3,500 hectares of land either in development or under offer. EBL aims to create c.8,000ha of Habitat Banks by 2026, which has the potential to increase species diversity by 20 times across the country.

Peter Bachmann, Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure at Gresham House said: “With nature consistently emerging as a key theme in the global narrative around climate, it shows consensus is rapidly growing among political and business leaders that we cannot combat the climate crisis without addressing biodiversity loss. We are extremely proud of having co-created a nature-based solution with EBL tailored to the needs of the UK Government and industry alike. With the UK in the bottom 10% globally in terms of biodiversity, we can see no better place to partner with forward-thinking investors such as WTW to tackle this grave threat.

“It has been a pleasure working with WTW to support their clients’ ambitions to invest in new solutions to the wider natural capital challenges. Gresham House remains committed to addressing the challenges posed by biodiversity loss through nature-based solutions that set industry standards for ecological integrity.”