News & Events

Essential Pathways to Integrate Ocean-Related Data in Financial Practices - Report and Proof of Concept

March 10, 2023
Geneva March 10, 2023: GDFA as part of the Making Oceans Count (MOC) initiative, has just released a significant reportUnlocking the potential of ocean-related data to develop insightful blue metrics for financial institutions”. 

The report is well timed following the Biodiversity COP 15 outcomes and the historic “High Seas Treaty” conference which recently concluded with expected increasing requirements in assessing and managing planned human activities affecting marine life and in ensuring greater transparency. Financial institutions will have a key role to play in protecting oceans and marine environments and in restoring their biodiversity. However, financial institutions have struggled with identifying and assessing their portfolio risks, impacts and dependencies. 

This MOC report on blue metrics demonstrates that ocean-related data can be further integrated to assess the environmental impact of investments exposed to marine ecosystems and used to inform financial decisions and practices.  

The initiative includes a “proof of concept” (POC) which was undertaken through the GDFA demonstrator approach leveraging the HubOcean platform, focussing on the shipping industry. It demonstrates that more can be done to assess ocean-related risks and impacts, including geolocated exposure to sensitive marine areas, by combining environmental data, with geolocated asset-level data, pressure estimation data and financial ownership data. 

“The report and proof of concept are of great interest to the financial sector. The approach could be scaled up to include other industries and pressures to further inform existing financial and reporting processes with higher quality, more transparent and actionable data.” Tor Hjorth-Falsted, Senior Advisor International, Programs WWF Denmark

This report, the PoC, and the overarching MOC work on blue metrics was led by the Green Digital Finance Alliance in collaboration with the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and WWF Denmark and supported by Danish VELUX FONDEN. The MOC consortium partnered with the not-for-profit foundation HubOcean, which provides a platform for developing open collaborative tools on ocean-related data. MOC also worked closely with key Nordic financial institutions and leading international data providers.    

The MOC initiative overall - including previous reports, POCs, stakeholder workshops and events - has already generated great  interest with financial institutions,  industries, NGOs, regulators and academia. For example, the POC was presented during an event co-organised by CBS and Dansif in December 2022 to more than 130 stakeholders of the shipping industry and financial sector showcasing the opportunity to use further ocean-related data in economic and financial decision-making.

To maintain momentum and explore new approaches and to demonstrate new solutions, GDFA is planning to undertake additional demonstrators with select consortia members on ocean and biodiversity-related data and risk assessments for the financial sector and ocean-exposed industries. 

Along with this report and the PoC, a related highlight report of the MOC initiative focusing on developing  financial practices to assess and take action on ocean-related risks, led by WWF Denmark was also released: SETTING SAIL: Mapping a journey to managing financial institutions’ ocean impacts and dependencies led by WWF in collaboration with GDFA 


Proof of Concept application developed with the HubOcean platform for the shipping sector, using S&P global ship ownership and characteristics data

About Making Oceans Count (MOC)

The Making Oceans Count is a two year consortium-based initiative supported by VELUX FONDEN to better account for oceans’ risks and opportunities within the financial system. The MOC consortium includes the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA), WWF Denmark and Copenhagen Business School (CBS). It was informed by the work of the UNEP FI (including the Turning The Tide Guidance and Diving Deep Guidance, and the UNEP FI Sustainable Blue Finance Principles), the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science-based Targets for Nature, as well as by the impact of regulatory initiatives (such as the EU Taxonomy development and implementation of Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation). While the MOC initiative was focused on the Nordics, the reports and Proof of Concept demonstrate the global applicability.

 About the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA)

The Green Digital Finance Alliance is a Swiss-based not-for-profit, that enables and co-creates transformative digital and financial innovation for climate, nature, and biodiversity challenges with a global network. GDFA was launched by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Ant Group at the World Economic Forum in 2017. It has since evolved into a dynamic Think-Do-Tank that collaborates with experts, international organisations, research institutions, philanthropic foundations, NGOs, public and private sector actors under its demonstrator labs.