Season 8

Sustainable Growth Podcast

LSEG Sustainable Growth Podcast, formerly Refinitiv Sustainability Perspectives Podcast tackles some of the biggest issues of our time - from climate investing to Black Womenomics, green infrastructure to greenwashing, D&I to the race to net zero. Hosted by Jane Goodland, Group Head of Sustainability at LSEG.

Harvesting hope: tackling poverty and hunger

With 45% of the global population living in rural areas in developing countries, how can more capital be targeted to tackle poverty and food insecurity in these communities? The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is issuing bonds on the London Stock Exchange Sustainable Bond Market, is an international financial institution with this goal in mind. In this episode, Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD, discusses how they decide where to invest, how they measure impact, and which projects they are funding. Alvaro also explains the link between small-scale rural agriculture in developing countries and global capital markets, and why poverty is often concentrated in rural areas.

Host: Jane Goodland, Group Head of Sustainability at LSEG

[Jane Goodland] Welcome to the LSEG Sustainable Growth Podcast,where sustainability and finance meet.I'm your host, Jane Goodland,and in this episode we talked to John Willis,who is research director at Planet Tracker.We cover all sorts fromthe difference between nature and biodiversity,why it matters to finance,and what we all need to do next.Let's hear what he had to say. .[Jane Goodland] Hello, John. It's lovely to be here with you today.And perhaps you can start off bytelling us who you areand what Planet Tracker is all about.[John Willis] Well, thank you very much for inviting me.I can confess I regularly listen to your podcast.I'm not just saying it because I'm on itand I think you're the jolliestinterviewer I've ever come across.I hope you're going to maintain that.[Jane Goodland] I'll try.[John Willis] Even if I say something stupid.Thank you for inviting me andperhaps even more importantly,thank you for focusing on biodiversity.Because I really think it's becomean extremely important topic andhopefully we'll have an opportunity to explore that.Yes, I'm the director of research at Planet Tracker.Planet Tracker very simply tries toalign financial markets with the sustainable future.Our particular focus is onnature and planetary boundaries. Related to that.[Jane Goodland] Am I right in saying that Planet Tracker,is like a cousin orsome sibling of Carbon Trackerthat people might be a bit more familiar with?[John Willis] Yes, that's thank you. That's a very good point.So Carbon Tracker started first and actually isreflected many ways in whatyou see between climate and biodiversity.But a Carbon Tracker started first, 11 years ago.Planet Tracker actually just hadits five year anniversary.Maybe that reflects where markets were at that time.As you've said, we are not for profit.It's very grateful to our funders,but we have now been amalgamated under the tracker group.It's the two parts and it's the same joint founders.For Carbon Tracker, that's Nick Robbins and Mark Campanale forPlanet Tracker and Carbon Tracker.[Jane Goodland] And so, you focused on shininga light on the issues through research and analytics.Is that the main mechanism youuse or is there are other things that you get up to?[John Willis] That is actually the first point sowhen the CEO started running Planet Tracker,that's Robin Millington, started running Planet Tracker.The idea was firstlyestablish a reputation through research,but now that's not enough,we've got to deliver change.The idea is thatthe researcher stepping stones to delivering change,we monitor, for example,the impact that we'rehaving, so does someone take up our narrative?Are we able to share our ideas?Do they develop into financial instruments?Do corporate change behaviour?That's what we're trying to achieve.[Jane Goodland] That's quite difficult to measure over the short term.So this is a long term game,I presume? [John Willis] That's rightI mean, there are some measures that we regard asnice moving in the right direction, but low impact.For example, someone saying intheir sustainability report thatwe are taking biodiversity seriously.We go, well, that's great news,but that is a step in the right direction,but how tangible is it?The other end, i.e very high impact,would be a firm turning around and saying,we now clearly do this,we spend CapEx on this and it's related to biodiversity.That would be very high impact.The first example would bea step in the right direction but low,we hope to obviously move up that spectrum.[Jane Goodland] Great. Okay, that makes sense.Before we get onto nature more generally,I'm more interested in you, John.I want to know how didyou arrive at your current position?Because I know that you've worn several hats and they'venot always been nature hats, have they. [John Willis] No Jane.Are you saying that I'm a jack of all trades?I won't keep going at this stage. [Jane Goodland] Not at all.[John Willis] That's actually a very fair point.I actually started, believe it or not,in trading, and dare I say it,on a podcast like this, actually,it was with an oil companyand it was trading oil products.From then I actually moved into the sale side.Who actually wanted to look atutilities and energy more generally?I started as a sale side analyst.You work your way up doing that.Then I actually moved overto the buy side because I was very,very interested to seeboth sides of how the financial markets were.Then left Deutsche Asset Managementat that time and we setup a portfolio management companybased on sustainability.So the funds we all ran were sustainable.Did that for a number of years.Then it's just one of those things.Out of the blue, I should say. Out of the green,perhaps. I received a call saying,would you consider looking at an NGO,a think tank, looking at nature, planetary boundaries?And I thought this sounds really,really interesting and that's why I'm here now.[Jane Goodland] Is this a personal passion projectas well as you're good at research,because it strikes me that you have to...It helps if you really care.[John Willis] Yeah, No, I think you've really got to care.This isn't a pitch,but there's a lot of people in the NGO community.I think, by the way,I think it's very difficult to get this balance right.I think you've got to bevery passionate about what you do.But if you're overly passionate,and I'm not suggesting that everyone inthe financial markets is not overly passionate,but they can get a bit tired of this.You've got to do this now.It's the most important thing in the world.It's trillions. Because one moment it's millions,then it's billions, and then it's trillions.[Jane Goodland] Lots of zeros, basically.[John Willis] That's right,exactly. And I've lost count.I think what really helps,and we've done this Planet Tracker,is we take some people from a financial background,some people from an environmental background,and people also from a corporate background.I think it's that mixture whichhopefully allows us to get a message that resonates.[John Willis] [Jane Goodland] [John Willis] [Jane Goodland] Yeah, I think it's a good point you make actually,because the research that'scoming out of the tracker family,shall we say, I think is really quitedifferentiated fromperhaps some other research that's out there.And it does, the pieces of research that I've looked at,both on the carbon and the planet side,are a really good blend ofboth the environmental sustainability side of things,but really blended with a solid financial basis.I think that's what makes it really compelling, so listenersif you haven't checked out the reports or the websites,then I urge you to do sobecause they're a very good read.So that's you, fascinating career.I guess the thing that I'd liketo ask is why all this matters?I think for some people,the link between natureas we know it and financial markets,that link is very unclearin terms of how do those two things interrelate,why do they matter to each other?Perhaps you can help us unpick that.[John Willis] It's a good question and we get it a lot.I have to be surprised, Jane,that we're surprised that westill get this question so much.And it actually makes us look at ourselves and think,are we not able torelay the correct messages or explain ourselves?Maybe it's us that's at fault.Let me have a go and I know thatyou're going to stop me if I'm not being clear.Would you mind if Ijust start with a couple of definitions?Because I think it's actually quite important and Idon't want to bore your, your listeners.But the first thing I just wantto say in terms of nature,when I'm talking about nature,I'm talking about all animals,plants, and other things in the world.Basically, it's the physical world or universeas we know that's nature. Biodiversity and to be honest,biodiversity and nature oftenused in the same term and there's reasons for that,I think partly because of UN classifications and things,but biodiversity is plant and animal life.Let me just give an example.If I've got a river. A river is part of nature.The things living in the river wouldbe part of the biodiversity.Just to be clear. Then this other thing that often getspeople thinking what we're talkingabout is that these ecosystem services.So those are simply the processes and outputs from nature.For example, if you take the river,if there's some water filtration taking place,that is an ecosystem services.The removal of carbon,pollination of cops, those are all ecosystem services.[Jane Goodland] I think that's really useful actually.Because I do think there a fair amount ofinterchangeability, is that a new word? For biodiversity in natureactually and the two are distinct.What are we going for today? Are we going to talk nature?[John Willis] Let's go Big Jane. Let's go with nature.I'm not overly worried about it, I have to say,because I think if people are talking aboutthe living things, biodiversity, that's great.But what I would say is ifyou're talking about an oil reserve,you say, well, that's not living,but obviously it's part of nature.I think for people in the financial markets,they're probably most concernedabout nature. Really, aren't they?[Jane Goodland] Okay. Why does it matter then?[John Willis] Why does it matter? Well...[Jane Goodland] Why does a bee matter toa sell-side analyst? The two extremes, actually.[John Willis] Yeah, I thought one ofthe things that might be interesting is,as you all know Jane and probably many of your listeners,there was a very big agreementdone at the end of last year.It got sandwiched in betweena lot of events and very confusingly was called a COP,a conference of parties and it was 15,unlike the climate COP which was 27,[Jane Goodland] It's very confusing for folks, [John Willis] It's really confusing.So what you have is you havea UN group looking at biodiversity,that's what they were charged to,they came up with a global biodiversity framework.Now the interesting thing is,and it's so frustrating to people,is you go, oh, these things take forever.And the reason that they takea long time is you've got to geta lot of countries toagree on what that wording is going to be.Literally, they go through it line by line, word by word.And when they're not happy, they put a bracket around it.And that means they've got to return tothat word and remove the bracket,or remove the word, whatever it is.Now the interesting thing is188 countries agreed in December last year,the Global Biodiversity Framework.I thought, I wonder what they said,because they had to get a lot ofcountries to agree on every single word.Their statement was as follows:This is the quote, Biodiversityis fundamental to human well being,a healthy planet, and economic prosperity for all people.So you think, okay, that's pretty big.But it went on to just add a bit more,probably for the businessand corporate and financial community.And it says: we depend on nature. There's the confusion,by the way, I've used biodiversity nownature, so let's not worry about it. We depend onnature for food medicine, energy,clean air and water security from natural disasters,as well as recreation and cultural inspiration.It supports all systems of life on Earth.I think about it and I'mnot disagreeing with any of that.And I turn around and think,well, that's why it's important,but let's be really unemotional about it and say,actually I'm not goingto think about cultural inspiration,I'm not even going to think about peopletaking time off and recreation.There's another statistic thatgets kicked around the market,which is actually a misquote and it'sfrom the World Economic Forum, a fantastic organization.They're quoted regularly as saying 50% or thereabout, thereabouts,50% of GDP is reliant on nature.Actually, what they said wasabout 50% was moderately or highly reliant on nature.Actually, the whole economy is reliant on nature.100% is dependent on nature in some form or another,obviously less so in some cases.Financial markets absolutely need to understand it.It's a different issue,whether they want to price it in,I completely accept that and because of that areoften unintended consequencesor implications that happen.Let me just take one, one piece of work wedid was looking at credit rating agencies.Credit ratings, as you know,really define one ofthe most important structureswithin the fixed income market.We thought, well, let's look atnature dependent countries and seehow those sovereigns arerated by the credit rating agencies.Guess what? If you're nature dependent,you generally have a lower credit rating.With the exception of if you're OECD country,if you're not an OECD country,the more nature dependent you become,the more you're punished.[Jane Goodland] But just checking in on something there,presumably that's not because they're nature dependent,because are those credit rating agencieseven incorporating nature at all?[John Willis] That's exactly my point,Jane, is that intended or not?But the mathematical,statistical relevance is really, really interesting.I'm not saying to you that credit rating agencieshave all got round and said,if you're a non OECD countryand you're highly nature dependent,I'm going to give you a low rating.I'm just saying that that's how it plays out.[Jane Goodland] There is a correlation.[Jane Goodland] [John Willis] And I think it also happens in things like, well,you know more about this than I do with your organizer.It also happens in indices.And I'm very interestedthat a number of organizations are nowbeginning to look at indices andgo how much of that indiceis really dependent on nature to a high degree?And some very high percentages are coming out.If you go to a corporate level,you've got obviously things like food companies,beverage companies, very big users of water,forestry, things like that, oil and gas,obviously, very reliant, it's is not living,I get that, but reliant on nature.Well, clearly those companies are very, very dependent.I think there's something else creeping upthe agenda and we're betting it could take off.And I think that's litigation and that is why Ithink financial markets really should look at that.[Jane Goodland] Who would be the litigators?Would that be business communities?[John Willis] Yeah, I think it can be a variety of things.You've actually got some excellent NGOs who do this work.Someone like Client Earth, for example,would come to mind immediatelywith some very high profile cases.And the interesting thing is if you are polluting nature,it's often very visible.Now, you could say in a legal environment,does that make a difference?Well, I'm going to leave that to the legal expert,but it's also can be very local,so you can see it in your area,which also makes it very traceable.These are all very,very promising signs for...listenI'm not saying everyone should be sued tomorrow,but I'm just saying you're going to haveto start taking this into account.Interestingly, there's an expectationthat when it comes to litigation and nature,it will be much more penalty based,you will be able to attribute value to it.It's more difficult inclimate because you could say, well,the fact that the temperature around the world is rising,is it really just me?Most of the legal cases are trying to stop youdo something which may not carry a financial penalty.I hope that makes sense to you,it's an important issue.[Jane Goodland] Moving on a little bit fromthe litigation side of things,I want to kind of talk to you abouteconomic value in the context of externalities.So if you're thinking about comparingcontrasting nature with climate,which we will come onto by the way.But just for a moment,thinking about the differencesin the context of externalities.So at the moment, we pricecarbon eitherthrough the mandatory markets or voluntary markets.But in some way, shape or form,companies are starting to think about units of carbon,CO2 equivalent and a monetary valuewhich makes the internalization of climate easier.Is that something that you think is valuable?Because we've talked about the dependency onnature and we've talked aboutthe potential litigation, but at what pointcould companies start quantifyingthat dependency and risk of litigation,for example, in terms of a financial elementon their balance sheet, for example?And is that likely to ever happen?[John Willis] Yeah, well we hope it happensbecause I think that is a defining momentbecause if you're a CFO of acorporate and an accounting body requires it,you have to do it or you're in serious trouble.That is one of the major changesthat can definitely happen.There are absolutely ways to measure impact, et cetera,for those old enough like me to remember,they'll remember all this discussionthat took place when you acquired a company.And there was intangible assets such as goodwill.They said, well you can't measure it.Well, got there in the end,most of these things are measurable if there's a way.But your point about externalities is fundamental,your spot on, it's fundamental to this whole discussion.The point is that, of course,if it's an externality,I don't need to price it unless I'm basically forced to.So in a system where we want growth,where companies are often valued on growth,I also get the income argument.But where they're valued on growth,then actually trying to keep costsaway from me is extremely important.I was actually reflectingbefore coming on and speaking to you Jane,I thought, how long has this discussion been going on?Well a long time.But I thought, where wouldI definitely go for documentation?And there was a bit of a wobble in the 1980s about this.And the UN set up a commission to actually say, well,if we are all aboutgrowth and that drives our capitalist system,how do we make that sustainable?And there was a commissioncalled the Brundtland Commission.I think it reported late 1987 or thereabouts.And they were asked to look at this one issue.I thought their summary of whatis sustainable growth applies to this day.And what they said is: sustainable growth should bedefined as meeting the needs ofthe present without compromisingthe ability of future generationsto meet their own needs.I thought you know what, that'sword perfect still applies today.[Jane Goodland] It absolutely does and I thinkit is actually a testament to thoseinvolved at the time that actually they cameup with something that's so enduring actually,and so fit for purpose still.I remember, I remember studying itand I guess the point isit's got the word development in it, right?So it's not just about sustainability in its own right,It's about marryingboth the economic development in a sustainable way.Yeah, absolutely love it and I think it still applies.Let's turn our attention tothis whole climate v nature side of thingsbecause it's interesting how climate has effectivelybeen the pop star, almost, and nature is theunderstudy and it doesn't seem quite right to me.Why have we come to this situation whenactually surely climate is part of nature, isn't it?[John Willis ] I know your listeners don'tlisten to this for a history lesson,but it's very revealing.In 1992, which maybe more people will remember,there was the Rio Conference,also called the Earth Summit,and it was in the aftermath of the Cold War.The idea was get people together to cooperatebecause sustainability is a bigger issuethan one sovereign state.They needed to look acrossinternationally and look for agreement.That set up three conventions.It set up the UN Framework Conventionon Climate Change called the UNFCCC.It also set up the Convention for Biological Diversity,which was the CBD,which is the conference I was referringto in Montreal at December last year.And actually the onethat people often haven't heard about,but it's actually at the same COP number asbiodiversity is the UN CCD,which is UN Convention to Combat Desertification,I can barely say the word.You had desert, you had biological diversity,biodiversity as we know it, and climate change.And then they were all let loose in effect.And you're right if, if it is a race,and I'm slightly worried about the narrativebecause it appears like a race. So climate went first.Probably biodiversity is coming up that railroad,the railway line after them.And then somewhere alongthe desert group will appear as well, I guess.But of course they're all related.It's really interesting that if you lookat and attend the various COPS,they've all got issuesthat the other ones are talking about.If you go to COP27,which was the climate changeone, the last one held in Egypt,there was a whole section on food,et cetera. You go, hang on.Is that CBD? is that climate? Is that....Of course, they're all related and youkeep seeing this time and time again.As you pointed out at the beginning,our own tracker group company in some wayreflects what was important at that time.So I think why then is there a differenceapart from maybe this historical accident?I think it's to your point that climate in many ways,I think certainly froma capital markets point of view was more measurable.What financial markets arebrilliant at is give me a benchmark.And tell me what currencyto use and you're right, carbon.And by the way, if it's not carbon,I'll give you a carbon equivalentand I'll give you a benchmark.It's 1.5 degree C. Don'tgo over that and try and stay below that.That's actually very understandable.I think that's given the impressionthat biodiversity is just too complex.But there are some,I'll say relatively simple measures suchas species that can be used.[Jane Goodland] I guess the question is saying ifthe singular unit of measure that iscommonly used in financial markets isthe unit of tons of CO2 equivalent.Which probably oversimplifies dramaticallyhow difficult all this stuff is.It is helping investors to start to really think aboutthe carbon intensity of their portfolios andcertainly companies thinking aboutwhat's going on for them in terms of climate,we're starting to see tools andsome good sophistication ofanalysis of transition plans, et cetera.Then you flip that nature and you think, well,what needs to happen in the nature spacein order to get to that level of maturity.Now, this is where my head starts tohurt because, because I just think,how do we get to a singular unitand this is all detailed, right, in terms,and so varied across the world in terms ofthe rainforests in South Americaare providing certain ecosystem services,and then lakes and rivers inother parts of the world are providingother services and benefits sohow on earth do you get to a pointwhere you start measuring this stuff?I'm hoping that you're going to give mesome hope that there may be some way to do that.[John Willis] I am going to give you hope because I think a lot of it'salready being done and I think it's all available.I think there's a couple of things if Imay say so I'm going to be a bit provocative.What we hear a lot from the financial market as a whole,is just... John, just give us the measure, that's okay.And tell us where we've got to get to.I've got to say, I always turn around and say,okay, I'm valuing a financial company.What is the measure, what are you measuring?Are you measuring growth or start looking atEPS growth peg ratios? Are you looking at?Well, no, I want to look atincomes to start looking at yield,look at interest cover, look at dividend cover.Oh no, actually, I want tolook at how financially strong they are,so start looking atbalance sheet, start looking at cash. I go,so let's be honest.there is a measure that we all understand and ithas been measured for a long time and it's species.If you say, I don't want tomeasure all the species in the world,I'll go okay, then.Don't measure your largest index,go and measure a subset of those,so what I'll say is keystone species.They're the ones that really impact everyone else.That means that that particular species hasa massive impact on the whole ecosystem.[Jane Goodland] Can you just clarify what say keystone species?[John Willis] A keystone species is something that'sactually really important to the whole ecosystem.If it's removed from the ecosystem,it has very widespread effects.An example of a keystone specieswould be something like the American beaver.Why? Because not only does itaffect vegetation and things affects water flows,it also affects biodiversity within rivers.The effect of removing beavers,and you'll know that a number beingreintroduced in certain countrieswould be an example of one.Again, this is incredibly well studied.The Zoological Society inLondon has done loads of work on this.And this is why I'm being very provocative,Joan, deliberately is, I don't know whether actuallyfinancial institutions don't wantto go there because they're very,very focused on climate and it don't give me anymore.Again, I'm not overly sympathetic on that becausefinancial institutions and youknow this because of your company.They're brilliant at measuring things.They've got very sophisticated data systems.They've got very sophisticated risk systems.Don't tell me you can't takethis onboard if you're trading,you're trade getting data in nanoseconds.I'm not asking for nanosecond information.I just wonder is it...I don't want to do it?Is it really as complicated?What I'm going to do is keep pushing back and say,you haven't given me the measure,you haven't given me a benchmark, so I'll give one.Why don't we just stop the collapse ofspecies and you'll giveme a measure, I'll give you a measure.There's actually a number of very,very credible companies that doit for the World Wildlife Fund,have an index, the Living Planet Index.And they measure it, they've been measuring it since1970 and it's down over 60% Well, that's pretty alarming.And by the way, if you go to places like Latin America,it's down over 90% that should be ringing alarm bells.Coming back to your point,there is a measure, there's history there.Because I get history is important,they want to see trends,and I don't want to be really bleak about it.But it's really depressing data to look at.[Jane Goodland] I suppose what needs to happen is we need to getthat unit of measure just far more commonly understood.I think organizations likeyourselves and others that you've mentioned arereally critical to that educationand broadening out of understanding.Because often I think organizations betheir financial institutions or corporate,whatever, it is the fear of the unknown.If something is not familiar to you,perhaps there's a tendency not to dive straight in.I guess the other thing that potentiallymight be going on is the sense of thinking,well, it's not the job ofthe financial system and it'snot the job of the corporates.Isn't nature all about governments?Governments have a big roleto play in the extent to whichtheir natural resources withintheir control are either exploited,protected, or somewhere in the middle.What do you say if peoplecome with that perspective is saying,look, this isn't something that is for us to solve.This is a governmental issue,[John Willis] You want the polite version, I'm assuming?[Jane Goodland] I don't want to get censored,but I'm not sure we've gotthe bleeping capability on our recording.[John Willis] That's right. Your questionactually is very well backed up.Again, I'm going to quote the World Economic Forumwho do a global risk report every year,which is, I know you know it,telling you how business,how thinkers, how governments are thinking about risk.Very interestingly, if you lookedat biodiversity in the shorter term,under the five years or whatever,actually it wasn't in the top ten.If you looked further out longer term,it was number four.What I'm feeling is people are thinking,oh, there is some risk with biodiversity.But probably to your point,I'm not really understanding what that risk is.To your point about whose responsibility is it.Well, we'll come back to your earlier questionabout why should financial markets care?Well, one of them, if I'm going to doit through complete self interest,there are loads of companies dependent,moderately and highly dependent on nature.They should really carebecause if I don't care if I'm a food company,I'm a food processing, those are obvious ones.If I'm very reliant on water,I really should care because that is my business model.I'm not even making an environmental argument,I'm making an economic one.What was interesting, if you really duginto the WEF risk report,it was basically saying,what you've just said is that 5% ofrespondents believed that businesswas responsible for putting it right.So I'm assuming that they're going well,my business has nothing to do with nature,therefore, it's not my problem.A further 5% said,well, okay, it's private and public.That's 10% saying private is involved in some way,presumably 90% because they tell you isthe job of international organizations,regional organizations, national organizations,and governments basically is not our problem.My point is, is that they get nature for free.I don't think they want to be associated with it.Maybe this is a bit depressing,Sorry, we don't want your listens to be depressed,in some options and this is really unpleasant,is that businesses can move on. Let's say I'ma food trader and let's say I'm reliant on a country.And actually they completely decimate the soil.And actually in some countries that has happened,there's been massive degradation of soil, by the way,if that was a factory,a company wouldn't accept that.It would think, why have I just run down this factoryso it doesn't work anymore, unless they're depreciated.Those businesses can move on.I take my crop from country A,Country A, goes down the pan,I move on and buy from country B.Now, does that allow country A to... and you think so there's no responsibility.That business is notreally affected unless the price is changed.And I just think until, it'sthis point you made about externalities,until this is priced in,I do think people want to remain,sorry businesses, want to remain distant,so much so that even when you havean industry which has to restore nature,they often, not in all cases,we got to be careful what we say,but in many cases they won'tso take the mining industry, that's an obvious one.And you say, look, this was constructed,we're extracting a finite resource.We're going to remove it,but the requirement inmost countries is you will then restore it.Let's go to very well known countriesand see whether that restoration takes place.It doesn't take place, if you take Canada,well known for its mining,there are over 10,000 abandoned mines, never restored.Australia is 50,000 and the US is over 160,000 Why?Because the mining companysuddenly can't operate anymore,goes bankrupt beforeall that decommissioning has to take place.So I can walk away. The systemallows me to walk away from nature.[Jane Goodland] I think it sounds like the systemneeds to be fundamentally rewired.Just talking to you over this period of time,it's almost like there's this clear to do list, right?In terms of some of it's of course aboutdisclosure and we needcompanies and investors to do more.But fundamentally what it comes down to is the factthat our economy is reliant on free stuff.And that free stuff is nature,and all the while it's free,then actually there's no inherent valueor there's limited inherent value placed on it.I guess this comes back down to the fundamental flaw,to the current way of doing things.This has been absolutelyenlightening and we could go on and on.I'm sure. I justwant to close because we are out of time.But I just wanted to get a view from you about a company,let's say the company hasn'teven thought about nature yet.What's the main thing that they need to do right now?[John Willis] [Jane Goodland] [John Willis] Good, thank you for finishingon that point because that's very positive.Well, I think it's really encouraging because I thinkthere's three things that are all available now.The first thing is I hope I've convinced you thatthe basically biodiversity, nature lossis very serious and that there are tools available. So what do I do as a company? Is it back to your question?The first thing is I can go andsee and I can get access to this all for free,by the way, I can go to the Task Force forNature Related Financial Disclosures, that's the TNFD.And that allows you to simplyassess where you are in this picture,how to assess that and how to disclose that.That's the first one, it's all there, all the framework.They're just coming up to the final beta so that's going to be available in September.There's also our friendsfrom Climate who will be very well known,the science based targets,once you know what to disclose,how to assess it, et cetera,they will actually help you with all that measurement andthe science based targets have justreleased their first ones on nature.Then you go, okay, I've now assessed it, disclosed it.I know how to measure it. Now what do I do?What's the action? Well, there'sa group for that as well,called Business for Nature.And they will actually help you withthe actual actions businesses have to take.The whole thing is available for free. [Jane Goodland] Brilliant. Okay. If you're listeningcompanies and you don't know where to start,you've got a three point plan there.One is TNFD figured out out to them.So that's all about disclosure and assessment.Then you've got SPTI,so you can set your targets on nature.And then in terms of the actually doing itand putting into practice it's Business for Nature.What a good way to finish. John, thank you so much.You've been generous. Your time and your expertise.Thank you so much and Ilook forward to speaking with you soon.Thank you again.[John Willis] Well, thank you for having me. Thank you.That's it for this week's episode ofthe LSEG Sustainable Growth Podcast.I've been your host, Jane Goodland.And if you're not already following us, then please do.And don't forget to rate us on Spotify,Apple podcasts, or any other platform you use.If you've got questions, comments,or someone you'd like us to talk to,then get in touch by email Thanks for listening.I hope you'll join us for another episode very soon.

Also available on

About this series

The world is changing, and so is the financial sector.

As modern society goes through significant changes, the role of business and investment starts to evolve. What defines success in this world and our future?

In this podcast series, we look at how industry experts create investments and build businesses that not only generate wealth but also produce positive impacts on society and the planet. We look to uncover the issues where sustainability and finance intersect.

From ESG investing, to sustainable finance and social impact in our communities, the LSEG Sustainable Growth podcast aims to leverage data and intelligence to make the best business decisions possible.

With the help of experts from the leading global organizations, we are going to dive deep into the world of sustainability. Are you ready to start?

LSEG data and products

Data and products

Our sustainable finance product suite

Refinitiv offers a suite of products covering multiple parts of the business lifecycle, across environmental, social and governance issues, from investment portfolios through to due diligence and energy supply.