Abigail Herron of Aviva Investors explains how asset managers can drive the decline in bee populations up corporate agendas
In 2009, the UK government’s then chief scientist, John Beddington, warned that in 2030 the world will demand 50% more energy, 50% more food and 30% more water, against a background of far greater climate variability. And this does not even take into account the potential for pollinator loss to compound this looming “perfect storm”.
A number of sectors stand to be affected adversely by the decline of pollinators, not least agricultural commodities, food producers and the pharmaceutical sector.
The global nature of many investors’ assets under management means that such systemic issues have the potential to impact heavily on the valuation models of companies and, ultimately, the value of the asset base.
The topic has been embraced with gusto in the media and civil society arena. A 2014 survey by market research firm YouGov found the decline of bees was seen as more serious than climate change. Compared with more mature responsible investment topics, such as biofuels or gender and diversity, the fate of pollinators remains a fledgling topic. However, several scene-setting pieces have recently been published including:
The Business of Bees, edited by Jill and Barry Atkins
The Bee and the Stockmarket, by Schroders.
Put the Bee Back in Beta, by Aidan...