Four companies selected for the pioneering biodiversity programme for SMEs

Nefco’s Biodiversity Pilot Programme aims to test and develop suitable biodiversity solutions in collaboration with companies and set an example for nature-positive impact strategies among financial institutions.

Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – kicked off its Biodiversity Pilot Programme in Helsinki this week. The two-year pilot programme will co-create concrete biodiversity actions with companies and share knowledge on nature-positive impact strategies.

The programme will be addressing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity and nature. We have lost more than two thirds of all wildlife on Earth, according to the WWF Living Planet Reports. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that a quarter of all species is at immediate risk of extinction and that almost half of all ecosystems have been deteriorating due to human activities.

While nature and biodiversity provide critical ecosystem services to humanity, their integrity is at risk. From a human perspective, this imposes economic risks to human livelihoods and businesses alike. However, a significant funding gap for biodiversity restoration and conservation has been impairing collective and global action against nature loss. In this context, the rapidly accelerating interest of the private sector in biodiversity and nature is a welcoming sight. It is now expected that companies, including financial institutions, will play a major role in closing the funding gap for a Global Biodiversity Framework, which is currently under negotiation at COP15 in Montréal.

“The Biodiversity Pilot Programme fits well with our purpose to accelerate the green transition. We want to go beyond green financing by helping our clients take proactive and positive actions for nature. The selected companies represent a good mix of Nefco client companies across a variety of industries, which is likely to provide interesting opportunities for learning. We are very excited about this collaboration with our clients,” said Trond Moe, Managing Director of Nefco.

The programme participants include the following growth companies:

  • BaltCap, the largest private equity and venture capital investor in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Nefco is an investor in the BaltCap Infrastructure Fund, which focuses primarily on investments related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and municipal / social infrastructure projects. Read about Nefco investment
  • Klappir, an Icelandic company specialising in sustainability software solutions that help companies identify their emission sources, take measures to reduce their carbon footprint and improve transparency. Read about Nefco investment
  • Norsepower is a Finnish cleantech company and the world-leading provider of mechanical sails for large ships. Norsepower Rotor Sail™ technology provides efficient, easy-to-use and reliable auxiliary wind propulsion for the shipping industry. Read about Nefco investment
  • Pure Waste Textiles, a Finnish textile company and pioneer in textile recycling. Pure Waste is a forerunner in producing sustainable garments from waste-based textiles. Read about Nefco investment

The participating companies will gain experience in their dependencies and impacts on nature, develop a biodiversity management plan and take concrete steps to tackle biodiversity loss.

“As a company in the sustainability business, biodiversity is very important for Norsepower. Norsepower Rotor Sails™ help to reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of large ships. We want to make sure that we are also producing these devices in a sustainable way and that biodiversity is taken into account in the entire production chain,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower.

Understanding biodiversity is relevant for all businesses, also for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), due to value chain impacts and dependencies, tightening policy and regulation, reporting and increasing stakeholder awareness. Nefco is uniquely positioned to finance green growth companies in various sectors. Therefore, a broad range of pioneering companies were selected for the programme.

“Klappir develops software for sustainability of which biodiversity is an important aspect. We want to understand how to collect data about biodiversity and how to include it in the reporting and accounting in a liable and trustworthy way,” said Jón Ágúst Thorsteinsson, CEO, Klappir.

Financial institutions will play an important role in directing capital flows towards biodiversity- and nature-positive investments. Through the pilot programme, Nefco aims to provide best practices and prepare its clients for rapid policy developments.

“Many private sector actors are ready to take action to prevent nature loss. It all starts with assessing their impacts and dependencies on nature, which we will work on during the pilot programme,” commented Katariina Vartiainen, Senior Manager, Environment and Sustainability, Nefco.

For more information, please contact:

Katariina Vartiainen, Senior Manager, Environment and Sustainability, Nefco, +358 10 618 0485

Anni Rein, Communications Manager, Nefco, +358 407504740

About the Biodiversity Pilot Programme

Nefco’s Biodiversity Pilot Programme aims to co-create concrete biodiversity actions with companies and share knowledge on nature-positive impact strategies. The two-year programme offers workshops, peer learning and facilitated sessions with specialists. The participating companies will gain experience in biodiversity protection, develop a biodiversity management plan and take concrete steps to tackle biodiversity loss. The programme is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers through the Nordic Environment Development Fund, which is managed by Nefco. Nefco is steering the programme and AFRY, an international engineering, design and advisory service company, acts as facilitator.

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