Biodiversity: the Caisse des Dépôts group mobilized

Caisse des Dépôts Energie et environnement

While the IPBES (Intergovernmental Scientific and Political Platform) has just published an alarming report on the state of biodiversity in the world and calls for transformative change, Caisse des Dépôts is working to limit its impacts on life.

The Caisse des Dépôts group is acting to preserve biodiversity by developing a low-carbon strategy, by contributing towards the conservation of said biodiversity by certifying its forests and financing restoration programmes, and by developing dedicated analysis tools.

Héléna Charrier

Head of Sustainable Investment Projects

Taking climate action, preserving biodiversity

The IPBES’ last report is clear: global warming is a major cause of the collapse of biodiversity. Since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans - the main cause of global warming - have doubled. CO2 emissions are also a major contributor towards quick ocean acidification, a phenomenon destroying marine biodiversity.

Caisse des Dépôts is aware of the impact of climate issues on biodiversity. Its initiatives geared towards lowering the carbon intensity of its economy also contribute towards reducing its indirect effects on biodiversity. Between 2014 and 2018, Caisse des Dépôts has reduced the carbon footprint of its portfolio of listed shares by 37% and that of corporate bonds by 54%. Furthermore, Caisse des Dépôts has improved its strategy to exclude coal, and is aiming for total disengagement. Since the beginning of the year, it no longer invests in businesses generating more than 10% of their revenues from exposure to coal.

Forest management certification

As regards forests, the Caisse des Dépôts’ entire forest portfolio is in the process of being certified or has already received PEFC certification. This certification promises sustainable forest management practices: diversification of tree species, forest renewal, choosing to act during periods which have the least impact on biodiversity, limited used of plant protection products, or the preservation of dead trees in forests, which are highly useful to maintain biodiversity in forest ecosystems.

Restoring biodiversity to adapt to climate change

This is the aim of the Nature 2050 programme launched by CDC Biodiversité, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts group. 26 projects have been launched across France, focused around five issues: restoring wetlands (carbon wells), restoring ecological continuity (facilitating wildlife movement), supporting agricultural and forest transitions (conservation agriculture, agroforestry), developing urban biodiversity, and preserving marine ecosystems.

The programme relies on the voluntary commitment of economic stakeholders (public and private companies) to act beyond their regulatory obligations. The principle is simple: for every €5 collected today, 1sqm of the territory is adapted to climate change and monitored until 2050

Caisse des Dépôts also demonstrates its commitment through other initiatives. For example, CDC Biodiversité is in the process of developing the Global Biodiversity Score, an instrument to measure companies’ biodiversity footprint.