Investing for Life on Land
“A flourishing life on land is the foundation for our life on this planet. We are all part of the planet’s ecosystem and we have caused severe damage to it through deforestation, loss of natural habitats and land degradation. Promoting a sustainable use of our ecosystems and preserving biodiversity is not a cause. It is the key to our own survival.” (UN, The Global Goals for Sustainable Development)
$44tr of economic value generation, over half the world’s total GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services. Despite the criticality of our ecosystems, Life on Land is one of the least invested SDGs from a private capital perspective. Our Credit Suisse report “Unearthing investor action on biodiversity” found that whilst 84% of investor participants were very concerned about biodiversity loss, 74% had not assessed the impact of their investments on biodiversity.
Since 1970 our ecological footprint has exceeded the Earth’s rate of regeneration. This overshoot erodes the planet’s heath and with it, humanity’s prosects. In 2020 the world average footprint amounted to 2.5 global hectares per person vs. 1.6 global hectares of biocapacity. Construction ($4 trillion), agriculture ($2.5 trillion) and food and beverages ($1.4 trillion) are the three largest industries that depend most on nature. Combined, their value is roughly twice the size of the German economy. Agriculture is responsible for 80% of global forestation and 70% of freshwater use, food systems release 29% of global GHGs and drivers linked to food production cause 70% of terrestrial biodiversity loss.
Given the sheer scale of the issue at hand and the imminent threat to our ecosystems, we have deliberately kept our brief broad, hoping to attract entrepreneurs with a wide range of solutions that help reverse or prevent damage to our ecosystems. Credit Suisse is a strong believer in collaborative partnerships and is keen to support young entrepreneurs with innovative and original businesses in the field.
Credit Suisse has already helped to shine a light on the importance of SDG 15. Annually we host the Credit Suisse Conservation Finance Conference, now in its 8th year, the largest global convening of investors, practitioners and subject matter experts with the explicit goal to catalyse capital towards conservation.
We have also created a number of investible products for our client base that seek to address the negative impacts on our ecosystems. For example, our Responsible Consumer Fund is a listed equities fund investing in companies promoting more circular forms of production and consumption thus reducing our ecological footprint.
We also create thought leadership to educate and inform our clients and wider society on the issue of biodiversity loss. Our report in partnership with Responsible Investor, “Unearthing Investor Action on Biodiversity” was a first-of-its-kind study evaluating the extent to which investors are addressing biodiversity through their portfolios.
Credit Suisse is proud to support the Lead 2030 Challenge for SDG 15. The Challenge aims to surface and support impactful enterprises that look to further narrow the gap in achieving SDG 15. Credit Suisse welcomes entrepreneurs with for-profit enterprises that help improve Life on Land, in any form, to submit their business plan for consideration.
Our challenge invites participants from the examples below, however not restricted to, solutions that could protect and/or restore existing ecological resources. For example:
- Reducing deforestation
- Alternative agriculture
- Strategies aimed at species preservation
- Nature-based solutions e.g. mangroves providing costal resilience and providing blue carbon credits for climate adaptation and mitigation
- Supporting the elimination of poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking
- Conservation and sustainable use of ecological assets
Aligned: Evidently aligned with the challenge. See ‘About’.
For-profit: Credit Suisses' Lead2030 Challenge is specifically intended to support a for-profit business.
Youth-led: Founded by a person aged 18 – 30.
Focused: Well-structured time horizon, identified key stakeholders and beneficiaries, and proposed outcomes that are reasonable and well thought out.
Market ready: Product/service already in market or ready to go to market.
Impactful: Solutions must have a positive social impact, for example generating employment, or developing skills.
Measurable: Impacts of solutions must have been adequately measured and/or be measurable.
Financially viable: Must be able to achieve efficiency and to survive independently through the resources they generate and/or the investments and donations they attract.
Scalable: Potential to perform as well or better after expanding in scope or size and/or being transported to other regions.
The winning solution will receive:
- Sponsorship to participate in the One Young World Summit 2022 in Manchester from 5 to 8 September
- A US$50,000 grant from Credit Suisse
- 12 months of mentorship from a team of Credit Suisse professionals. The mentorship team will work to accelerate your solution based on the needs of your initiative or organisation, such as:
- Business strategy
- Best practices for data collection
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Product design
- 28 October 2021: Applications open.
- 22 December 2021: Applications close.
- 30 January 2022: Shortlisted candidates confirmed.
- 25 February 2022: Lead2030 Challenge Winner confirmed.