What it means to be Head of Nature at Lloyds Banking Group
How can finance help curb and reverse the devastating impact of nature loss before it’s too late?
"Climate change is one of the primary drivers of nature degradation, alongside land use change and pollution."
"So far, it’s been fantastic to see the
commitment coming from the top of
the organisation – from senior
leaders and stakeholders who are
able to lead by example and make
What is the responsibility of Head of Nature?
In my role as Head of Nature, it’s my responsibility to ensure that nature is embedded in decision making right across the Group – from the products and services offered to the investments we make. So far, it’s been fantastic to see the commitment coming from the top of the organisation – from senior leaders and stakeholders who are able to lead by example and make positive changes.
In terms of challenges, though, one of the biggest facing our business – and any large financial institution grappling with nature – is gathering the right data to understand the relationship our clients have with the natural world. Having a standardised view of a company’s impacts and dependencies on nature throughout their value chain would be a major unlock in understanding our own risks and opportunities in this space.
With this in mind, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) – who we currently work with – is helping address this challenge, as their recommended disclosures will help companies and financial institutions start to assess and manage their impacts and dependencies on nature in a more standardised way. I look forward to monitoring the TNFD’s progress over the next few weeks and months and am hopeful their framework will be an important step forward in integrating nature in our decision making.
"Having a standardised view of a company’s impacts and dependencies on nature throughout their value chain would be a major unlock in understanding our own risks and opportunities in this space."
Nature protection at Lloyds Banking Group
Although I’ve only been in my role for a few months, I’ve already seen how seriously this topic is being taken – from our most senior leaders undergoing training to colleagues fully committed to engaging with me while we refine our nature approach as a business. It’s also clear, however, that we still need to undergo huge change in order to support the protection and restoration of nature.
Given that the whole economy is in some way dependent on nature, addressing this issue is absolutely vital. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism. The recent launch of the disclosure framework by the TNFD, which should help promote a shift in global financial flows towards investments which benefit nature, is definitely another step in the right direction and will help spur action from companies and financial institutions grappling with the nature crisis.
Looking closer to home, we’re currently expanding our internal expertise with regards to nature and I’m looking forward to building on our great work already underway with organisations such as The Woodland Trust and the Soil Association Exchange.
Alongside this, it’s great to see that the UK Government recently demonstrated its commitment to curbing nature decline by contributing £10 million to a newly established international fund for tackling global diversity loss when over 185 environment leaders met in Canada during the latest Global Environment Facility assembly at the end of August.
All steps in the right direction, and reasons to be optimistic in the face of the challenge of safeguarding our natural world.
Head of Nature, Lloyds Banking Group
Katie Leach joined Lloyds Banking Group in May 2023 as Head of Nature. Katie previously worked at responsible investment NGO ShareAction, where she developed and led a new programme of work with investors and banks to raise the profile of biodiversity loss and drive the policies needed to shift this trend.
Prior to this, she worked for 6 years at UNEP-WCMC as Senior Programme Officer, Business and Biodiversity, leading a portfolio of work to embed nature within corporate and financial decision making.
This included leading the development of the ENCORE tool and pioneering work on corporate biodiversity measurement. Katie has a PhD in Biological Sciences from Queen’s University Belfast and an MSci in Zoology from the University of Nottingham.
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