Investment data and research provider MSCI announced today plans to launch a new set of tools aimed at helping investors identify and screen companies at risk of contributing to biodiversity loss and deforestation.

The tools, which MSCI aims to make available to investors in early 2023, include MSCI Biodiversity-Sensitive Areas Screening Metrics, enabling investors to identify companies that have physical assets located in areas of high biodiversity relevance, such as healthy forests, deforestation fronts, or species-rich areas; and MSCI Deforestation Screening Metrics, which identifies companies that contribute to deforestation either directly or through their supply chains.

The company said the new screening tools combine thousands of ESG and climate data points which overlap with MSCI’s proprietary geolocation data that helps pinpoint a company’s operations.

Nadia Laine, Executive Director, Head of ESG Products at MSCI, said: 

“Global biodiversity challenges, such as the spread of invasive species, land-use change, and pollution, will have very tangible impacts on the way in which companies function in the near- and long-term future. MSCI aims to help institutional investors understand those risks on the portfolio level.”

MSCI announced the launch during the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Montreal, which is set to provide a framework with specific goals to protect biodiversity and the world’s natural capital by 2030.

Sylvain Vanston, Executive Director, Climate Investment Research at MSCI ESG Research, said:

“Important steps are being made with world leaders meeting at COP15 in Montreal, and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures is also aiming to redefine a standard reporting framework. However, for crucial action to be taken, capital markets participants need to have access to timely and robust data to make more informed investment decisions.”

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