Active ownership

The Investors Policy Dialogue on Deforestation (IPDD)

In 2020 Storebrand Asset Management initiated and established IPDD, a collaborative investor-led initiative to engage with public agencies and industry associations in selected countries on the issue of deforestation.

The first sovereign engagement initiated by the IPDD was in June 2020 with Brazil, and since October 2020 has expanded to Indonesia.

The IPDD seeks to ensure long-term financial sustainability of investments in the countries they invest in by promoting sustainable land use, forest management, and respect for human rights, with an initial focus on tropical forests and natural vegetation. The initiative aims to mitigate the risk to investors posed by the increasing rates of deforestation around the globe. Whilst engaging with companies is important, halting deforestation requires government action.

Given the critical importance of foreign direct investment for governments to fulfil their commitments to their electorate, as well as for domestic companies on whose earnings governments rely on, IPDD investors use their influence to add urgency and legitimacy to their concerns.

IPDD is currently co-chaired by Storebrand Asset Management and BlueBay Asset Management. As of December 2021, IPDD is supported by 57 global institutional investors from 18 countries. The coalition now represents approximately USD 7.2 trillion of AUM.

Deforestation is a very material risk for investors – we are concerned with not only its financial impacts but these broader consequences on biodiversity, climate change, and the violation of the rights of indigenous people and local communities – increasing potential reputational, operational, and regulatory risks.

Jan Erik Saugestad
Co-Chair of IPDD and CEO Storebrand Asset Management

To date, investor engagements on deforestation have largely been limited to dialogues with companies. Thus, discussions mainly focused on biodiversity hotspots, many of which are in developing countries and were generally led by equity investors. Engaging with companies is essential to halt deforestation, but there are limits to what individual firms can achieve.

Given that the responsibility for oversight of forests and nature lies with governments, investors can help enable industry solutions by engaging directly with policymakers to complement engagement with companies. By complementing company-level engagement with sovereign engagement, investors can increase the likelihood of success in addressing deforestation, a systemic risk requiring a holistic and multi-pronged approach.

Historical returns are no guarantee of future returns. Future returns will depend, among other things, on market developments, the manager's skills, the fund's risk profile and management fees. The returns can be negative as a result of price losses. There is risk associated with investments in the fund due to market movements, developments in currency, interest rates, economic conditions, industry- and company-specific conditions. Before investing, customers are advised to familiarize themselves with the fund's key information and prospectus, which contains further information about the fund's characteristics and costs.