Biodiversity generates investment returns
Partnered content by Olli Haltia, Tapani Pahkasalo, Dasos Capital Oy Ltd
Biodiversity is 1 of the 10 challenges the world faces to become sustainable. In a market economy, it is increasingly savvy to consider “biodiversity as a product” which is produced by management effort. In Europe, biodiversity is produced by millions of forest and land owners, typically small-holders owning up to 50 ha of land. While such small holders tend to focus on the production of timber incentivized by a well-established round wood markets, biodiversity remains a side product. Or it is even considered as a constraint to the cash-flow generating activity, and thus an extra cost.
Occasionally, incentive schemes have been established to encourage biodiversity production by forest owners — in Finland, METSO-programme is an example of such schemes which compensates a forest owner for the biodiversity produced. An innovative proposal has also been made to establish a pricing system for decaying wood as a “commercial” timber grade (decaying wood remaining in forest provides feeding for numerous insects, fungi and bird species). Such individual schemes cannot however replace a fully developed market — although they can complement it.
We challenge you to think through this lens, relating the ideas to your life and consider how much better your mental health would be if the beauty of biodiversity protection and regeneration was part of our thought processes.
Read more in our coming article about why ESG investing returns higher profits and de-risks business. Doesn’t that sound wonderfully logical?
Can forest certification form a market for biodiversity?
For more biodiversity, we need a functioning global market for biodiversity. Fortunately, a market for biodiversity has, in fact, already been established: this market is called forest certification — a voluntary market for biodiversity which a forest owner may participate in on, based on her own decision.
Forest certification forms a ‘plus-sustainability’ scheme for forest management where standards are clearly more ambitious than those required by law. Hence, the problem is not that we would not have a market for biodiversity, but the market remains incomplete and…