AFRY has been contracted by Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, to facilitate a pioneering biodiversity pilot programme to test and develop nature-based solutions with Nefco client companies. It is a two-year programme with the purpose to enable particularly small and medium-sized companies to learn about the biodiversity-related risks and opportunities for their business, and to test scalable solutions to address them.
Nefco’s biodiversity pilot programme is due to be launched in the autumn of 2022, and is open to existing Nefco client companies in the Nordic countries. The companies will be selected during the autumn, and the programme activities will be tailored according to the companies’ size and needs.
Nefco is setting an example to other financial institutions with the pilot programme. AFRY has been consolidating expertise from several business units to support Nefco in achieving its strategic targets. Sustainability consultants, environmental experts and field technicians are working together in this project as a dedicated biodiversity management team.
„It is great to support Nefco and the businesses in this emerging field. Whilst the climate crisis traditionally has been dominating media and policy making, we have seen a significant increase in public awareness about the loss of species and ecosystems in recent years. Both financial sector and businesses are now beginning to address climate change and biodiversity loss as twin crises. We are proud to contribute to more companies taking action in this field,“ says Dr. Sven Stadtmann, Biodiversity and Natural Capital Lead, AFRY Sustainability Consulting.
According to the UN Environment Programme report “State of Finance for Nature” released in 2021, investments in nature-based solutions need to triple by 2030, if the world is to meet the climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation targets. The global report calls for closing a USD 4.1 trillion financing gap in nature-based solutions.
“Our goal is to inspire even more companies and project owners to think in terms of nature-based solutions and contribute to knowledge transfer and learning. The participating companies will gain experience in biodiversity protection, develop a biodiversity management plan, and take concrete steps to tackle biodiversity loss. It is a great opportunity for the companies,” says Katariina Vartiainen, Senior Manager, Environment and Sustainability, Nefco.
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