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SME Financing for Biodiversity: Building Nature Measurement and Impacts into SME Financing (‘SME FinBio’)

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Finance for Biodiversity (F4B), in 2022 this 9-months project  examined the UK SME finance markets in relation to how they risk assess the Climate and Biodiversity impacts of their SME finance customers and portfolios. The project focused on the processes by which finance providers (debt, equity, supply-chain and insurance) can advise and encourage SME self-reporting to facilitate the improved operation of UK SME finance markets for a sustainable future.

The research involved multiple stakeholder interviews (150+) with SME finance providers and related support agencies, alongside the collection of secondary data, reporting and academic literature. The research also included 11 business case studies providing examples of large business SME supply chains, B Corp accredited self-reporting SMEs and innovative SMEs that take into account Climate and Biodiversity impact measurement and reporting. Our research partner Shoremount, a consultancy with expertise in training SMEs for ‘B Corp’ certification, assisted enterprise case selection and analysis of what works for SMEs in respect of their Climate and Biodiversity self-reporting. Our research findings were sense-checked through a series of stakeholder workshops during Summer/Autumn 2022.

Additionally, a case study of the agri-food sector was undertaken, involving multiple stakeholder interviews and the UK small farming community.

Key research findings offer practical policy guidance to the Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) to encourage and improve the Climate and Nature Positive reporting activities of SMEs, offering policy briefing and also toolkit support for green impact SMEs and their investors, bankers and insurers.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Robyn Owen; r.owen@mdx.ac.uk
Professor Fergus Lyon for agri-food case study; f.lyon@mdx.ac.uk
Dr Amy Burnett, research manager; a.burnett@mdx.ac.uk

NERC Outputs

SME Finance for Biodiversity (‘FinBio’) in the UK - Project Summary
SME Financing for Biodiversity - Key findings and recommendations
How to Guide on Climate and Nature Positive Investment 

You can also find more resources and information from the project webpage, including a video of the headline findings.

Project Webpage: Building Nature Measurement and Impacts into SME Financing (‘SME FinBio’)

Video summary of the SME Financing for Biodiversity Headline Findings

The Growing Role for Biodiversity and Nature Positive Impact Investing - Presentation to Seedtribe and 5-13 investor networks

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