Funds issue joint statement on ocean data

BNP Paribas Asset Management, Federated Hermes, Robeco, Mirova and Storebrand Asset Management have issued a joint statement calling for better ESG data covering ocean biodiversity.

In the statement, the funds have explained that they are encouraging ESG data providers to develop ocean-related data and tools, and provide ways to capture impacts, risks and opportunities related to oceans to support the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Agreement.

These include:

• Performance indicators: understand compliance against IMO or MARPOL regulation, data points reflecting real impact using physical units (ex. km2 of sea use change).

• Supply chain: ability to check the potential sourcing of endangered species by food retailers. The data points must factor in the entire supply chain, as large investors are usually more exposed to downstream ocean-related supply chains.

• Local context: FAO fishing areas, fishing effort in high seas, arctic route trips.

• Asset level locations: fishing ships, shipping boats, aquaculture sites, ports, hotels.

• Ownership data: to reflect the ultimate owner, need to link vessels to operators, hotels to hotel chains, fishing vessels to fish processors, estimate seafood supplier links to food retailer/services.

• Sector estimates: sector assessment grids should make it possible to make estimates tailored to the specificities of each sector.

They also recommend the following when considering the format of the data:

• Ease of use, for a variety of purposes: integration into the investment process, communicating about impact on marine biodiversity, providing more extensive reporting, etc.

• Flexibility and transparency: the methodology must be compatible with the public taxonomies, guidance and internal environmental assessment systems already in use (e.g. EU Taxonomy).

• Application scope: the approach must be applicable to companies active in the main market indices (listed equities and fixed income funds). Ideally the method should be compatible with other asset classes (listed and unlisted equities, fixed income funds, infrastructure, real estate, etc.).

The funds have identified the main ocean-related sectors where they find major data gaps in understanding risks and opportunities as:

• Aquaculture – algae / seaweed / seafood
• Coastal and deep-sea mining
• Coastal and marine tourism
• Desalination
• Dredging and coastal protection
• Marine bioprospecting / biotechnology
• Marine renewable energy
• Offshore oil & gas
• Ornamental marine products
• Ports
• Shipping
• Wild capture fishing