ANSA Bank Natural Capital Report

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Natural Capital Report


In 2019, the ANSA McAL Banking Sector formalised our commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices aligned with our role as financiers by prioritising ‘natural capital’. This decision stemmed from our recognition of Nature’s pivotal role in addressing many of the Caribbean’s socio-economic and environmental challenges, and our awareness of the potential risks to our business if we overlook these factors.

Nature’s contributions are essential for bolstering national economies, local livelihoods, businesses, and the well-being of people globally. In recent decades, mismanagement and overexploitation of resources including biodiversity, water, air, soils and minerals (collectively referred to as natural capital), have led to alarming declines in Nature’s capacity to sustain these vital services. Here in the Caribbean, sustainable development and natural capital are inseparable. With the anticipated escalation of climate change impacts across the region, and the inherent fragility of our economies and societies, neglecting the protection and restoration of Nature will have devastating consequences.

In mid-2022, our impetus to redefine responsible business practices in the Caribbean was cemented with the formation and launch of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, in collaboration with The Cropper Foundation and under the auspices of the Capitals Coalition. The Hub, one of 18 worldwide, is uniquely co-led by a financial institution and an NGO. Its primary objective is to integrate the Natural Capital approach into Caribbean enterprise by advocating for adoption and disclosure, fostering expertise, and expanding regional knowledge. This commitment was exemplified by the inaugural Natural Capital Grant Challenge for SMEs in Trinidad and Tobago which we initiated in 2023.

This Natural Capital Report marks an important first step in our Banks’ own journey to assess our natural capital risks and opportunities, and establish a robust strategy to inform our lending and investment decision-making within a sustainability framework. It is the first such report in the English-speaking Caribbean. By using the Natural Capital Protocol in conjunction with other appropriate tools, we have conducted a scoping exercise which reveals that the Construction, Energy, Mining and Agriculture sectors currently pose the highest levels of risks to our financial portfolios due to their dependence and impacts on natural capital. In the coming months, we will use best-practice valuation and measurement methods to explore these findings and pinpoint the most appropriate avenues for enhancing our business model.

Under the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, our Banks are determined to act as catalysts within the private sector, fostering a deeper understanding and integration of Natural Capital approaches into business planning and decision-making across key sectors in the region. Leveraging the expertise and insights we are acquiring internally, we are committed to driving positive change, and recognise our responsibility in contributing to this transformation. Our Banks look forward to building strong partnerships and pooling resources to stimulate widespread business initiatives aimed at achieving a more sustainable future for the Caribbean.

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table of contents

Natural Capital Statement of Intent

For many decades, ANSA Merchant Bank’s vision has been ‘to create a successful and enduring financial services group that is built on a foundation of sound business principles, and continuously creates value for our shareholders’.

Like other leading global financial institutions, ANSA Merchant Bank in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, together with ANSA Bank, appreciates that creating and sustaining lasting value hinges on the health of the natural world. In the Caribbean Region our economies and societies are fused with the biodiversity that surrounds and forms us, and the resources it provides. Now, more than ever, it is critical that enterprises escalate their awareness of their impacts and dependencies on Nature.

Therefore, our Banks have committed to adopting a Natural Capital approach for advancing and enhancing our shareholder value. This approach

integrates the concept of Nature’s stock of capital (living and non-living resources), and the services it provides to people, with corporate decision-making.

To do this, we intend to identify, quantify and communicate publicly the ways in which our operations affect and are reliant on natural resources. Our goal is to use this assessment to pioneer the first private-sector led, Natural Capital Report in the Caribbean. This annual Report will explain the economic and financial value of our impact on natural capital assets.

Through our Natural Capital Report and the launch of the first Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, we will share our journey of bettering our interaction with Nature and the communities that depend on her, and thus act as a catalyst for wider-scale business action towards a more sustainable future.

Ian R. De Souza David Dulal-Whiteway A. Norman Sabga


AMBL ANSA Merchant Bank Limited

AMCHAM American Chamber of Commerce (Trinidad and Tobago)

CCIP Caribbean Climate Investment Programme (USAID)

CZITT Carbon Zero Institute of Trinidad and Tobago

DLIC Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conferences (Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business)

ENCORE Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure

ESG Environmental, Social and Governance

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GHG Greenhouse Gas

GRI Global Reporting Initiative

IDB Inter-American Development Bank

IFRS International Financial Reporting Standards

IIRC International Integrated Reporting Council

ISSB International Sustainability Standards Board

NbS Nature-based Solutions

NGFS Network for Greening the Financial Sector

NGO Non-governmental Organisation

SBTN Science Based Targets for Nature

SEEA System of Environmental Economic Accounting

SME Small and Medium Enterprise

SURE Sustainable Unemployment Reduction Efforts

TCF The Cropper Foundation

TNFD Taskforce on Nature-Related Disclosures

TT$ Trinidad and Tobago Dollars

UN United Nations

US$ United States Dollars

USAID United States Agency for International Development

UWI The University of the West Indies


We acknowledge the huge contribution of our Hub partners, The Cropper Foundation and the Capitals Coalition. Their assistance has been invaluable in bringing this first Natural Capital report to fruition. We also appreciate the technical support and guidance provided during the analysis and drafting processes by our collaborating experts, Samuel Vionnet (Valuing Impact) and Ian Dickie Economics for the Environment Consultancy Ltd. (eftec).

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ANSA Merchant Bank (AMBL) in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, and ANSA Bank in Trinidad, are part of the regional ANSA McAL Group whose purpose is Inspiring Better Choices for A Better World, and building more sustainable businesses by prioritising the six principles shown below.

As banks, we are integrally involved in financing the needs of the countries in which we operate and the wider region. The desire to mitigate against climate change, promote social inclusion and generally be a good corporate citizen have, for several years, been at the forefront of our Banks’ drive to deliver value to our stakeholders.

In 2019, when the ANSA McAL Banking Sector began formulating the shape of our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practice in a way that was compatible with our role as financiers, we were doing so in the context of a growing recognition of several factors.

Firstly, we were witnessing a significant increase in the vulnerability of the Caribbean to socio-economic shocks and environmental disasters that were largely being driven from outside of the region. We also began noticing troubling declines in many of the region’s critical natural resources, which were undermining opportunities for

sustainable growth, both at the level of businesses and nations. Fragility was most evident in two areas: food security, and exposure to climate-related disasters. Our Banks were determined to implement an approach which would help address these growing challenges in alignment with our core values and operations and which would be a positive example and influence for our clients.

Our Banks have committed to integrating the understanding of Nature’s living and non-living resources, and the services they provide to people, with corporate decision-making. For us, playing our part in the sustainable future of our planet, and doing the same for our customers, go hand in hand.

We also took notice of the fact that the private sector in the Caribbean was not sufficiently mobilised or coordinated to help drive the type of transformative change needed for improving the region’s outlook on important socioenvironmental issues. Looking beyond the islands in which we have a foothold, we began seeking a means to unify an integrated movement of multiple stakeholders, which would address the region’s environmental vulnerabilities through education, cohesive effort and shared capabilities.

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Impact Stewardship Equality Accountability People and Communities Purposeful Investing Responsible
The ANSA McAL Group Sustainability Business Priorities

Finally, the growing body of regulations, social media campaigns and shifting of finances to reflect ESG concerns worldwide provided additional impetus to lead the necessary change in the region. More and more, it was becoming evident that companies embracing sustainable practices would eventually outshine those focused solely on profit, as consumers and investors were increasingly opting for principled consumption. ESG metrics had started driving cultural transformations and leading to the creation of products and services that align with conscious leadership. As a publicly-listed financial institution, we felt compelled to take an introspective look at our business activities and examine our risks and opportunities in the context of the rapidly changing tides.

Through initial research and consultations, we begun to appreciate the fundamental importance of Nature in addressing many of the region’s challenges. Moreover, we started to understand the role of Nature in defining the levels of risk to our business as a financial institution. We began to realise that without factoring our use of and dependence on Nature’s assets which contribute to our well-being—known as natural capital—into decision-making frameworks, our Banks and our island nations would likely face increasing hardships in the coming decades.

To help us achieve our vision of providing value to stakeholders through a sustainable relationship with our natural capital, AMBL and ANSA Bank sought experts in the field who could support us in crystalising our purpose. In 2021 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Cropper Foundation (TCF), whose comprehension of the importance of natural capital—especially biodiversity— to human well-being has been at the forefront of the Foundation’s work for over 20 years as an advocate for sustainable and responsible decision-making across the Caribbean.

Our drive to redefine responsible business in the Caribbean was cemented through the formation and launch of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, in collaboration with TCF and under the auspices of the Capitals Coalition, in mid2022. The Hub is a landmark initiative within the region, as one of 18 such Capital Coalition Hubs in the world, and the only one which is co-led by a financial institution and an NGO. At the same time, our commitment to the adoption of a Natural Capital approach to our work was further heightened through the introduction of our Statement of Intent to all our Bank employees and to the wider public via a launch to key stakeholders. It not only expresses our leadership from a moral and values-based perspective, but it also shows how a Nature Positive trajectory can be a strategic one by reducing business risks and identifying critical business opportunities.

The Honourable Pennelope Beckles Minister of Planning and Development at the stakeholder launch of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, August 2022

I would like to recognize the ability and diligence of the brain trust which has put on an event to promote a concept which is so relevant to our region’s current circumstances. It certainly highlights the fact that the most progressive way forward for us as global citizens is to recognize the link between the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity valuation.

Publication of the current report marks an important first step in our journey to establish a robust strategy to guide our lending and investment decision-making. Through utilising the Natural Capital Protocol, which is a global framework developed by the Capitals Coalition to support organisations in the identification, measurement and valuation of their impacts and dependencies on natural capital, we have completed a scoping exercise for our Banks. The information we have generated indicates that sectors such as Construction, Energy, Mining and Agriculture currently pose the highest levels of risk to our financial portfolios. In the coming months, we will begin drilling deeper into these findings to better understand our Natural Capital materiality and the most suitable options for managing our risks. We will achieve this by using a combination of specialised tools, such as Natural Capital Accounting, that are complementary to the Natural Capital Protocol.

Under the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, our Banks are fully committed to being private sector catalysts that will grow the understanding and inclusion of Natural Capital approaches in business planning and decision-making in key business sectors in Trinidad and Tobago and the Region, utilising the experience and knowledge that we are gaining in-house.

Our ultimate aim is to balance the imperatives of national development with finding those at-risk areas in the Caribbean that investment, education and effort can help preserve and protect: the water sources, the wildlife, and the communities and ecosystems that are mutually supportive and dependent on each other. We envisage a future where we balance the need to safeguard that future for our children, and to provide the financial resources today to make tomorrow a reality. It requires us to examine the impact on a more diverse and inclusive group of stakeholders with a conscious focus on people, planet and purpose.

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The loss of Nature poses significant risks to businesses of all scales1. According to the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) and others2,3,4, Nature-related financial risks can be defined as shown in the diagram, within the context of Transition Risks, businesses and financial institutions are faced with regulatory and legal risks, market risks and reputational risks5

Some of the industry sectors considered most at risk from the loss of biodiversity are Food and Agribusiness; Consumer and Industrial Manufacturing; Infrastructure, Energy and Natural Resources; and Financial Services, Asset Management and Insurance6.

Recognising these risks (and conversely the benefits and opportunities associated with Nature protection), all stakeholders, including businesses as well as governments and civil society, have started to take steps to:

Nature-Related Financial Risks

The risks of negative effects on economies, individual financial institutions and financial systems that result from:

1. reduce the multiple and often complex human drivers that impact Nature7,8 thereby reducing physical risks; and 2. more effectively manage transition risks.

Efforts to address the full range of human-induced drivers affecting biodiversity have given rise to a number of movements and concepts, including ‘Nature Positive’. Nature Positive refers to the goal of halting and reversing Nature loss by 2030 and attaining full restoration of Nature by 2050. It simultaneously seeks to protect the health of people and the planet by addressing the multiple factors that are leading to the loss of biodiversity and other natural capital components.

Nature Positive is complementary to the global climate ambitions, for which all countries share common but differentiated responsibilities. When we care for Nature— like preserving forests, maintaining biodiversity, and using

Physical Risks

The degradation of Nature, including its biodiversity, and the loss of ecosystem services that flow from it


Transition Risks

The misalignment of economic actors with actions aimed at protecting, restoring, and/or reducing negative impacts on Nature

resources sustainably—it helps absorb carbon, regulate weather patterns, and create resilient ecosystems. In simple terms, being Nature Positive supports our ability to withstand and adapt to the impacts of climate change, making communities and the planet more robust in the face of environmental challenges.

Achieving the goal requires transformative change in economic, social and political systems of all scales and by all stakeholders9.

Businesses have a crucial role to play in the movement towards becoming Nature Positive10,11. Some actions that various business entities, including financial institutions, can and have been taking are shown on page 7. They are all aligned with reducing Nature-related risks. There is an urgent need to accelerate progress along these lines so that the rapidly closing window to act12 is not lost.

Our Banks have aligned ourselves with the Nature Positive movement in our ambitions to reduce our impacts and dependencies on Nature.

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from NGFS 2023. See Reference #2

Realigning business models and operations to become Nature Positive: This is centered on ensuring that the direct and associated operations of the business do no harm to Nature and, where possible, restore Nature. Businesses should commit to certain targets and actions, and work with customers, investors, suppliers and other stakeholders to reduce the full scope of the business' impacts and dependencies on Nature.

Addressing the financing gap: The total financial investment required for Nature-based Solution (NbS) is estimated at US$384 billion per year by 2025 and US$484 billion annually by 2030. Current investments stand at US$154 billion, of which 83% are derived from public funding. Businesses, including financial Institutions, have an important role to play in helping to close the investment gap. They can also develop and help to implement solutions that maximise the impacts of available funding.

Advocating for, and meeting reporting and regulatory requirements: Nature-related disclosures have been called for under Target 15 of the 2030 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Although reporting is currently voluntary, it is expected that mandatory reporting requirements, especially for large and transnational companies and financial institutions, will be instituted by 2030 (possibly before). The continued lobbying and e orts of businesses and financial institutions will be important to advance these e orts.

Developing and facilitating partnerships: Public-private partnerships are considered critical in the attainment of sustainability goals, and especially in the protection of Nature. Through pooling resources with other stakeholder groups, businesses can multiply the (positive) impacts of their e orts.

Helping to spearhead and support innovation and research that are Nature Positive: Leading and financing the development and implementation of innovative technology, research and approaches that advance Nature Positive and associated Net Zero e orts. These can include, among other things, e ective Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

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A Natural Capital approach recognises the fundamental importance of the natural environment as a form of capital, comparable to traditional financial and manufactured capital. Unlike conventional economic models that predominantly focus on financial assets13, the Natural Capital approach broadens the understanding of wealth to include the vast array of ecological resources that sustain life and drive economic activities.

Natural capital encompasses both living and non-living components provided by Nature, such as biodiversity, air, water, soils, and geology. Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is particularly emphasised within natural capital because it underpins a multitude of ecosystem services— benefits that Nature provides to humanity. These services include clean air and water, pollination of crops, climate regulation, and disease control, among others14.

The Natural Capital approach places these ecosystem services at the heart of human well-being and economic development. By viewing Nature as a form of capital, societies and businesses can better understand the value of ecological resources and the services they provide. This perspective encourages sustainable practices that aim to maintain and enhance natural capital rather than deplete or degrade it.

The concept of natural capital highlights the interdependence between the environment and the economy. Business and economic sustainability are

not solely determined by financial factors; the health of natural capital plays a crucial role. As a result, there is a growing recognition of the need to integrate natural capital considerations into decision-making processes at various levels, from individual businesses to national policy frameworks.

Understanding these dependencies and impacts, which are central to the Natural Capital approach, is fundamental to addressing the unsustainable activities of business. It is an important consideration in minimising risks and maximising opportunities for profitability and growth.

The Natural Capital approach is proving effective in helping companies and governments to begin their transition onto Nature Positive trajectories. The approach also has direct links with climate change and, as such, it provides an opportunity for companies to effectively streamline their reporting requirements, take mitigative actions, and establish funding/investment priorities related to the interwoven issues of biodiversity loss and climate change. This increases efficiency from a resource allocation standpoint, and it can serve to accelerate positive outcomes through creating multiplier effects.

From the ANSA McAL Banking Group’s perspective, financed activities across our various credit and investment portfolios collectively account for the largest natural capital footprint of the business. In transitioning onto a Nature Positive trajectory, the Banks have therefore decided to fully examine our credit and investment lines to understand and better manage our material relationships with Nature.

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Air Water Soils Geology Biodiversity Economic development Sustainable livelihoods Food security Health Environmental safety Happiness, aspirations and well-being NATURAL CAPITAL VALUE Flow of services


Natural resources biodiversity ecosystems


Ecosystem goods and services

Business activities impact and depend on natural capital to some degree and will experience risks and/or opportunities associated with those impacts and/or dependencies.

and positive and negative impacts



Under the Natural Capital banner, ANSA Merchant Bank in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, and ANSA Bank in Trinidad, have strongly and with purpose embarked on a course which creates our own unique space in helping to minimise humanity’s impacts on Nature. We sought to make a significant commitment that would complement our strengths as financial institutions; one where we could use our role as a provider of financing to guide Nature Positive decision-making in others, while supporting the ANSA McAL Group’s sustainable business priorities.

The Natural Capital approach augments our Banks’ Purpose in three important ways:

1. Pioneering Partnerships

Our Natural Capital approach unites many different stakeholders with a shared purpose. Our primary partner is The Cropper Foundation (TCF), the pre-eminent NGO promoting environmental sustainability and social/ economic equity. The NGO has long-standing relationships with funding agencies and bodies such as the IDB, UN, European Union, UWI, and recently, National Geographic.

The Capitals Coalition is a global collaboration which works to transform the way decisions are made by including the value provided by Nature, people and society into business processes. Our Banks are the first private sector signatories to the Natural Capital Protocol in this Region.

Natural Capital adoption opens up new opportunities for our Banks with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are entrepreneurial and, often engaged in providing niche services in environmentally innovative areas. Driven by inventive thinkers who seek to break free of traditional business models, as a sector they are considered the backbone of Caribbean economies, making up between 7085% of businesses, contributing between 60-70% of Gross


Production and consumption of goods and services

Domestic Product (GDP) and accounting for approximately 50% of employment15. Our Natural Capital approach can help SMEs reduce risks, cut costs, drive innovation, access new markets, enhance their brands, and ensure long-term sustainability. It aligns businesses with the growing global focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Our economies and societies are dependent on a healthy and thriving natural environment. We will feel the consequences if we do not implement effective ways to better manage business impacts and dependencies on Nature, and on people. Likewise, there are many opportunities to be taken towards a Net-Zero, Nature-Positive, future economy. At Capitals Coalition, we are proud to support the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, convened by ANSA Merchant Bank, ANSA Bank and The Cropper Foundation. I am looking forward to the findings in this report paving the way for further action across the Caribbean.

Omar Mohammed CEO, The Cropper Foundation

A Nature-Positive Caribbean needs urgent cooperation across all sectors, and with all stakeholders. The partnership between The Cropper Foundation and ANSA Merchant Bank and ANSA Bank is a landmark example of mutual learning and collaboration which we believe will be a clarion call for sustainability throughout Caribbean businesses.

SMEs have been among the earliest members of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub. As awareness of the Hub grew, so did the diversity of its membership: the diplomatic community, educators, farmers, small and large businesses, think tanks and trusts, development funding agencies, consultants, lawyers, engineers, teachers and grocers number among the over 175 members. They want to work with us, obtain loans at beneficial rates, glean knowledge for their projects, network, write case-study content, and volunteer with us.

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2. Structured and Scheduled Implementation

Through the Capitals Coalition’s methodologies, we will soon apply a standardised framework that gives us the tools to identify, measure and value our impacts and dependencies on Nature’s resources, and help inform our decision-making. In due course, this will become one of the data streams on which we can draw to guide our business. TCF will work side by side with our teams to implement the framework. Our dedicated ESG executive manages the day-to-day requirements of the programme.

The Hub is the umbrella under which we engage all stakeholders, including public and private sectors, NGOs, the Media and research institutions in diverse ways. TCF will facilitate some of the activities with our Banks’ robust involvement, but the members that come into the Hub will be building the knowledge base. It is intended that they will integrate the Natural Capital approach into their own business decision-making, providing crucial word-ofmouth and practice along the way. The basis of the Hub’s success is sharing experiences, expertise and co-learning.

Our advance is slow and steady. For example, two of our key initiatives, the Grant Challenges, are on an 18-month rotation. Ultimately, it is through the Hub that our Banks’ leadership in creating a progressive and more Nature Positive Caribbean takes centre stage.

3. Reporting Transparency

The Capitals Coalition, building on the work of the Natural Capital Protocols, represents a collaborative effort to transform the way companies and organisations value and account for their impacts and dependencies on natural and social capital. Key international frameworks, such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and its Global Biodiversity Framework (the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework) have emphasised, for the first time, corporate reporting on Nature.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of the primary reference points for national development agendas, also intertwines with private sector efforts, emphasising the integration of Nature considerations into economic decisions. Finally, corporate-focused reporting standards and approaches like the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN), the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) further contribute to Nature-based accountability and transparency by addressing financial risks, setting sciencebased targets, and promoting comprehensive reporting on corporate environmental practices, respectively.

By utilising the Natural Capital Protocol in combination with other appropriate tools and frameworks such as these mentioned, our Banks are committed to begin disclosing our Nature-related impacts and dependencies, despite the absence of requirements for doing so in our countries of operation, and in the Caribbean region more generally. We believe that transparency in our environmental reporting and management systems, which focus on natural capital, will improve the effectiveness of our ESG strategy and will create opportunities for accelerating the sustainable growth of our business.

Our Natural Capital Report—of which this is the first—is intended to provide an annual update of our progress in implementing our Natural Capital strategy. We are still in the early stages of implementation.

Barbados has always been on the leading edge of innovation across the Caribbean where the importance and preservation of Natural Capital has been concerned. Our focus on climate resilience and capacity building has been front and center for many years. Some customers are already starting to make decisions about who to do business with based on the company’s activities within the sustainability arena. We are excited to be a part this initiative with The Cropper Foundation, and to be first not only in Barbados but in the Caribbean.

Strategic Positioning

We have taken the first steps towards developing a Natural Capital Risk Assessment Framework for the Banks as a major focus of our ESG strategy, and have designed an ESG questionnaire which, on a voluntary basis, is part of our on-boarding of new clients. This will help us to better partner with them in mutually advancing a Nature Positive agenda.

We recognise the importance of positioning ourselves to utilise the opportunities offered by current and potential investment streams here in the Caribbean and globally. Nature-related investments in key economic sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and extractives have the potential to generate US$10 trillion in annual business value and create 395 million new jobs by 203016. This, along with evidence from several other sources17, 18, 19, 20 indicates that interest in Nature-related investments21 has started to grow worldwide. This is positive news for all financial institutions.

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By 2030, green infrastructure investments have the potential to generate a return of

Currently, Nature markets are valued at US$10 trillion per year (11% of global GDP) of which agriculture accounts for almost 50%28

These strategies, and more in the pipeline, will influence financial and economic impacts that align with our core business and help us to finance sustainable businesses locally and regionally. We will identify risks and opportunities that we can incorporate into our business models and that align with future international financial reporting standards (IFRS). We will continue to differentiate the ANSA Merchant Bank and ANSA Bank brands as first movers in promoting Natural Capital for business.


Our Banking Group’s adoption of the Natural Capital approach will yield multiple benefits, ranging from risk mitigation and cost savings, to reputation enhancement and new business opportunities. It positions the Group to thrive in a changing financial landscape with a growing emphasis on sustainability and responsible finance.

• Risk Management: By considering the impact of our financial services on natural resources and ecosystems, we can better assess and manage environmental and social risks. This includes evaluating loans and investments for potential environmental liabilities and regulatory compliance issues.

Banks like ANSA Merchant Bank that realise the importance of natural capital to their long-term success will be a step ahead of their competitors in both adapting to climate change and decarbonisation, and in securing finance from investors who want positive environmental outcomes. It is better to use available data to characterise and measure natural capital impacts and dependencies, than to ignore the resulting risks and opportunities.

• Enhanced Reputation: Demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible finance will enhance our Banks’ reputation. This can attract socially-conscious customers, clients, and investors, contributing to brand loyalty and trust.

• Attracting ESG Investors: Many investors are now focusing on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria when making investment decisions. A Natural Capital approach can make our Banks more appealing to ESG-focused investors, potentially attracting more capital.

• Competitive Advantage: Incorporating Natural Capital principles can lead to innovative financial products and services. We can develop green financial solutions that cater to a growing market of customers seeking environmentally-responsible investments, loans, and banking services.

• Regulatory Compliance: Many countries are implementing stricter environmental regulations. By adopting a Natural Capital approach, financial institutions can ensure compliance with evolving environmental laws, reducing legal and regulatory risks.

• Investment Opportunities: A Natural Capital approach can help our Investment Banking Team identify emerging investment opportunities in sustainability-focused sectors, such as renewable energy, green technology, and sustainable agriculture.

Accounting is at the core of the bankers’ job. They know well how to account for financial value. It is only a matter of time before they will master Natural Capital accounting. This will open up new investment opportunities, help manage risks and restore natural capital at the same time. ANSA Merchant Bank will for sure lead this new accounting practice in the Caribbean and its value will only be strengthened.

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15% and create up to 1.8 million jobs
Biodiversity/sustainability-linked loans,
incentivize Naturepositive business activities

• Cost Reduction: By integrating sustainable practices into our own operations, such as energy-efficient buildings and responsible procurement, we can reduce operational costs.

• Client Demand: Many clients and businesses are becoming more environmentally-conscious and may prefer financial services that align with their values. Adopting a Natural Capital approach can help our banking group meet the evolving demands of our customer base.

• Long-term Viability: A Natural Capital approach supports long-term business sustainability by acknowledging the finite attributes of natural resources. It encourages responsible lending and investment practices that consider the long-term impact of resource depletion and climate change.

• Collaborative Opportunities: Partnering with environmentally-responsible organisations and participating in environmental initiatives can create opportunities for our Banks to collaborate on projects that support conservation and sustainability goals.

• Employee Engagement: A sustainability-focused approach can boost employee morale and engagement by giving our people a sense of purpose and alignment with environmental values.

• Environmental Impact Reduction: By incorporating sustainable practices and offering responsible financial products, we can contribute to the reduction of environmental impacts and resource depletion.

The UWI has been a trailblazer in spearheading innovation, research, education and action that are essential for accelerating regional progress towards meeting sustainability-related objectives. Over the many years, our work has advanced approaches that effectively address both the complexity and breadth of the environmental challenges facing our islands and garnered international recognition. We strongly support ANSA Merchant Bank’s initiative on natural capital, and we look forward to forging deeper collaboration with the Bank as we work towards a Nature-positive Caribbean.

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund has been working for just over 10 years on our vision of a Caribbean region where both its natural environment and people thrive. We are excited to work with ANSA Merchant Bank and The Cropper Foundation in the development of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub in developing innovative finance mechanisms for conservation impact in our region.

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For the ANSA McAL Group, sustainability is not just about delivering profits and growth. It is about creating a positive impact so that our stakeholders are better off by having us in their communities, by having invested in us, partnered with us, worked with us and by using our products and services. The size, nature and diversity of our businesses give the Group the unique opportunity to contribute meaningfully to building a brighter future for a wide cross-section of people and businesses.

As Natural Capital implementation becomes more rooted in our operations, here are some of the initiatives we have undertaken with our internal and external stakeholders.

Adoption of the Natural Capital Approach and Launch of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub

In July 2022 ANSA Merchant Bank and ANSA Bank in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago launched the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub in conjunction with NGO, The Cropper Foundation (TCF). This commitment was publicly announced to all stakeholders and crystalised in the Statement of Intent which begins this Report. It seals a robust partnership for sustainable development. This is the only Hub of its kind operating in this region. It is a true multicollaborative partnership that welcomes individuals and businesses interested in making tangible contributions to Caribbean sustainability.

The Hub’s expert communities of practice will be made up of progressive and leading private sector companies from around the Caribbean, who are inspired to expand the knowledge base on accounting and valuing Nature across industries and sectors. Under the Hub’s banner, and championed by our Banking Sector, we have begun to facilitate practitioner-focused, capacity-building workshops for mainstreaming reporting for Nature within the Caribbean private sector. The Hub will ultimately serve as the conduit to channel its outcomes into global efforts to drive the adoption of decision-making frameworks which incorporate the value of Nature.

Advancing Natural Capital Financing in Barbados

ANSA Merchant Bank in Barbados has been partnering with renewable energy suppliers since 2014 when we launched our first ‘green’ financing expo. We introduced the population to ground- and roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) installations for residential and commercial use as well as solar water heater systems. Barbadian’s have embraced these options, and their widespread acceptance is now visible in homes round the island.

On a larger scale, ANSA Merchant Bank in Barbados has been focusing heavily on renewable energy (Solar PV farm) projects, with 50% of our Corporate and Commercial pipeline in this space, representing 17 Megawatts of power to the grid.

We are known as the go-to financiers for financing of electric and hybrid vehicles on the island, with 25% of our loans dedicated to electric vehicles and hybrids. We were among the first to finance the zero emission electric Nissan Leaf on the market.

Significant Activities

Publication of our Natural Capital Report

The first such report in this Region, our Natural Capital Report forms the foundation of the systematic and systemic commitment of AMBL and ANSA Bank to transformational changes in their relationship with Nature, with an emphasis on alignments with globally-recognised accredited frameworks such as the Science Based Targets for Nature. It sets out the crucial need for wider engagement by the regional private and public sectors in incorporating similar approaches into their operations. In future reports we will publish the results of this framework which integrates qualitative, quantitative, and financial analyses for our Banking Group’s Natural Capital accounts.

Make it Mandatory: The Case for Mandatory Corporate Assessment and Disclosure on Nature

In October 2022 ANSA Merchant Bank was among 330 companies who called on Governments to commit to mandatory assessment and disclosure on impacts and dependencies on biodiversity by 2030. AMBL and ANSA Bank will outline the voluntary actions they are taking with regards to assessing their impacts and dependencies on Nature. Through our annual Natural Capital Reports and the work of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, in partnership with TCF and the Capitals Coalition, AMBL and ANSA Bank will actively contribute to filling in the data gap and promoting advocacy in our Region.

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Grant Challenges

These Challenges will support the design and implementation of an entrepreneurship incubator for proNature and market-ready innovations, and will facilitate ongoing mentorship, training, and business development support for viable projects in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. The knowledge exchange will go beyond the financial reward of winning the Grants. It will take the form of workshops, participation in Natural Capital Hub summits and in smaller working groups. The Challenges rotate every 18 months.

Big Ideas for Biodiversity is a grant challenge targeted to SMEs, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago. It is aimed at supporting new and disruptive green/blue business and ideas to enhance the Banks’ operational knowledge of impact investing and national awareness of green/blue business opportunities. The Challenge, launched in May 2023, attracted over 50 inspiring submissions which vied for a total of TT$200,000. The incubator process is now underway.

A valuable learning aspect of the Grant was the capacity building bootcamp hosted by AMBL on 30 October 2023 for all SMEs who had submitted projects under the Challenge, designed to deepen participants’ understanding of natural capital and its importance in a Caribbean business context, and to perform a preliminary exploration of options for reducing Trinidad and Tobago’s SMEs’ impacts and dependencies on Nature.

We live in the era of ‘Triple bottom line—People, Planet and Profit’. Profit alone is not the measure of success for any enterprise— it’s equally important to generate profits without harming our environment/planet. Our firm is focused on delivering business models that help enterprises generate profit by protecting natural capital. By active involvement in the Natural Capital Grant Challenge, we look forward to collaborating and helping local and Caribbean enterprises to preserve natural capital and at the same time generate profit in a sustainable manner.

Llevan Ramharrack

Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms for the advancement of humanity in harmony with Nature. Thus, biotechnology goes hand in hand with natural capital. Being a part of this Grant Challenge gives me the opportunity to use science for the greater good and positively affect Nature and people on a larger scale. I believe the Grant Challenge will also allow me to connect with more like-minded people and thus magnify the potential to do bigger things in the space.

Cathy Asaveria-Snaggs

The Mud Soap Co

Natural Capital is important to me because it is the genesis of life and the embodiment of my business concept. Being involved in the Natural Capital Grant Challenge brings awareness to the Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad, while simultaneously highlighting the efforts, work and progress being made by The Mud Soap Co. towards long term economic sustainability.

Aljoscha Wothke

Environmental Research Institute


Forover10years,theEnvironmentalResearchInstituteCharlotteville has been operating within the north-east Tobago UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve with the mandate to support healthy ecosystem services and livelihoods. Our natural capital—the biodiversity and ecosystems of rivers, forests, reefs, and the open ocean—is the foundation for the development of a sustainable green, blue, and purple economy and socio-cultural identity. For us, the Natural Capital Grant Challenge is not only an opportunity to receive technical and financial support to operationalise a green economy initiative that will demonstrate community and ecosystem-based entrepreneurship, but also to develop long-standing relationships with private sector stakeholders.

David Francois

France Farms

Natural capital is part of my birth right, as I am utilising a small bit of land which was given to me by my father, which his father gave to him. Many believe that to leave a legacy involves money, but that is not the case. Initially I had no knowledge of using land to help me make a living; however, in time I developed. Who knows where our descendants may end up, but one thing is for sure, we can give them the tools and knowledge to survive and thrive.

Dareem Jeffrey

Kairos General Services and Consultancy Ltd (EcoWash)

Natural Capital is important to me as a person from a rural community. I am affected greatly by the mismanagement of natural resources, specifically water availability. As a participant of the ANSA Merchant Bank Natural Capital Incubator, it allows me to delve deeper into understanding the complexities of natural capital and equips me with the tools and resources to develop on a deeper level my innovative solutions. Engaging in such initiatives isn’t just about personal gain, but also a chance to contribute positively to the world, fostering a harmonious relationship between human development and environmental conservation and sustainability.

Kerishma Ramoutar-Boodhai

Eco-Nature Farm

Natural capital is important to me because it is the very foundation of my business and my business is my livelihood and that of my dependants as well. Being involved in a programme such as the Natural Capital Grant Challenge gives me a greater understanding of how my business contributes, develops and diversifies our ecosystems. It helps me understand the role my business plays in the sustainability and continuity of our natural resources.

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In Barbados, the Grant Challenge will assume a different aspect. Innovation for Sustainability will roll out in Q2 2024. Targeted to small and micro-enterprise entrepreneurs and innovators, participants will be tasked with generating innovative, market-ready, business-driven solutions for one key natural capital problem in Barbados. Topics that might be proposed are tackling sargassum seaweed, coral reef replenishment, desalination plants and rainwater harvesting for agriculture.

The Sure Foundation Seedling Distribution

Since 2021, AMBL has contributed to the SURE Foundation’s (Sustainable Unemployment Reduction Efforts) seed planting exercise, supporting the distribution of 55,000 seedlings to households during the 2021-2023 period. The seedlings are short crop vegetables, fruit trees and various types of seasonings, and were distributed via scheduled community drives across Trinidad. It is estimated that the economic value derived from these seedlings (from food produced for household consumption and/or sale) is TT$495,000, which is a strong impetus for continued support to this initiative.

The favourable outcome that this initiative has given us to date is leading us in the direction of making more investments such as this, which provide dual benefits to people and the planet. Investments in fruit trees and mangrove seedlings are not only expected to generate economic benefits for target communities, but will also contribute to the enhancement of eco-system services such as carbon sequestration, flood protection, and pollination. We will undertake to measure our Natural Capital contributions through this and similar efforts as we go forward.

Cari-Bois Environmental News Network

We have undertaken to support the citizens journalism blog, Cari-Bois, which has a focus on enhancing the reporting on climate change and environmental issues within the region. Launched in 2020, it has contributors from over 20 communities locally, regular contributions from environmental organisations and institutions, and has sharing agreements with major newspapers and global journalism platforms. To date more than 150,000 readers have logged on.


Global Dialogues—A Caribbean Natural Capital Hub and Capitals Coalition Virtual Global Event

Our Banks’ first event, together with TCF and the Capitals Coalition Hubs internationally, was the Global Capitals Dialogues. It was held worldwide over a number of weeks. International audiences could log on to the live stream to participate in a high-level dialogue on the role of finance in conserving the Caribbean’s natural capital. Our Banks participated in the panel discussion on the theme of Shifting Tides: Exploring the rapid rise in global sustainability approaches and their relevance for Caribbean institutions. This was open to the public and persons already registered under the Hub were particular invitees.

The Caribbean Natural Capital Hub Bootcamp

AMBL and ANSA Bank hosted an in-person and virtual conference targeted to Hub members. It was hosted by Tim Polaszek, Director at the Capitals Coalition. The bootcamp

took a deep dive into what the ‘capitals’ pillars are, and how businesses can access and make profitable use of them. It offered tangible procedures for implementing useful ESG processes that align well an enterprise’s core business not the core business (but which may not have been considered), and demonstrated case studies of successful implementation.

Fintech Islands Conference 2022

Held in October under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Barbados, The Honourable Mia Mottley, Fintech Islands was a significant event for the region, designed to bring together the financial services and technology global ecosystem through discussions, collaboration, dealmaking and networking. Our sponsorship was under the banner of ANSA Bank and Natural Capital. We promoted our Caribbean Natural Capital Hub and the Natural Capital Framework to an audience which is already passionately aligned to ‘green’ issues. Our executives were panellists on Finteching the Unbanked: Driving Economic Access and Banking for All, and Looking in the Mirror: Innovating to Fight Climate Change and Promote Climate Resilience.

Speaker Opportunities and Conference Attendance

• USAID CCIP Conference Energy Climate Financing in Trinidad and Tobago: Presentation titled The Caribbean Natural Capital Hub and SMEs for Resilience.

• Global Capitals Coalition and S&P Global, Paris: Towards a Sustainable World: Evolving the future economy based on the value of nature, people and society. We joined banks and businesses from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with a sustainable, just transition, and to share experiences around best practices and lessons learned.

• AMCHAM ESG Conference: The Power of ESG: Driving positive change and impact. AMBL was an active participant in the two-day event, with several speaking opportunities. The Banks brought in a Director from the Capitals Coalition to jointly present with us about the Natural Capital approach to business, the elements of the Capitals Protocol methodology, and the role of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub in supporting Natural Capital approaches in the Caribbean. This capacity building event reached over 50 participants across the Caribbean region.

• CaribESG 2022: Panel discussion Are Caribbean Banks Driving—and Demanding—Good ESG? Sponsorships

• Carbon Zero Institute Of Trinidad And Tobago (CZITT) Agri Workshop on the theme of Climate Change, which was attended by 40 farmers from across Trinidad and Tobago.

• Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conferences (DLIC) 2023, with internationally renowned speakers. In Trinidad the theme was Sustainability Through Conscious Leadership In Barbados the theme was Conscious Leadership in the Age of Conscious Capitalism. AMBL delivered remarks at both events.

• Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business annual Alumni Business Mixers—Implementing ESG in the Caribbean: Strategies, Tools and Actionable Goals for Caribbean Business

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Our focus on natural capital as a core aspect of our corporate sustainability strategy in our Banking Group is driven by four overarching factors. These collectively shape the Nature-related risks and opportunities that we face within our operating landscape—both in the countries where we are physically located (Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados) and at larger scales: regional and global. We are therefore placing significant emphasis on building a foundational understanding of these four factors as we integrate a Natural Capital framework into our banking operations.

Amongst Caribbean countries, the combined value of the ecosystem services has been estimated at US$155 billion per year25. For most Caribbean countries, coastal and marine ecosystems play an especially important role in development.

Coastal and marine ecosystems are valued at US$54.55 billion29

Natural Capital stocks have been declining, resulting in increasing risks to business and the society at large

The changing nature of financial investments

The rapidly evolving regulatory and reporting landscapes for Nature which are relevant to businesses, especially Banks

The contributions of mangrove and coral reefs to two of the region’s most important economic sectors fisheries and tourism as well as to carbon sequestration services (blue carbon) are valued at US$15 billion annually30

Coral reef-associated tourism generates US$8 billion annually31

In our two countries of operation, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, natural capital is highly valued.

The changing perceptions, needs, preferences and roles of stakeholders

Nature’s Valuable Stock is Declining

Globally, Nature-related services are estimated at approximately US$125 trillion annually22 (based on 2007 data). More than half of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends either moderately or heavily on Nature-related services23. The economic sectors that rank highest in terms of their dependence on natural capital are construction, agriculture, and food and beverages. Additional industries with a high (and somewhat hidden) dependence on natural capital through their supply chains are: chemicals and materials; aviation; travel and tourism24; real estate; mining and metals; transport; retail, consumer goods and lifestyle. This information is important as we begin to delve into our materiality assessment.

Trinidad and Tobago’s ecosystem services have been collectively valued at US$6 billion per year

Barbados’ ecosystem services have been collectively valued at US$322 million per year32

A detailed national study in Trinidad and Tobago has provided information on the following basket of ecosystem services33:

• Water purification services provided by hillside watersheds: US$88 million annually

• Soil retention services afforded by intact forests on the slopes of the Northern Range: US$622 million annually

• Flood control services provided by forested slopes: US$5M per hectare per year

• Coastal protection services from coral reefs, mangroves and marshes: US$49.6 million annually

• Coastal recreation and tourism-based activities: >US$390,000 per hectare per year

• The economic value of pollinators is estimated between 9%-12% of annual value of vegetable production.

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Despite its importance however, natural capital is being lost worldwide, and this has negative effects on economic growth and human well-being34. At least 50% of global GDP35, 36 and 1.2 billion jobs37 that rely directly on Nature, are estimated to be at risk as a result. It is for this reason that Nature loss is considered one of the greatest macro-scale threats to businesses in the coming years38,39. These trends also have serious implications for Caribbean countries.

75% of Earth’s land surface

has been drastically transformed, two thirds of the ocean area is significantly impacted by human activities, and one million plant and animal species are facing the possibility of extinction over the next several decades40

Over the period 1997 to 2011, it is estimated that the global economy lost between US$10-$31 trillion per year on account of ecosystem services destroyed or compromised due to land cover change and land degradation41. Approximately US$50 billion worth of landbased ecosystem services are lost globally each year. It is estimated that the hidden costs associated with global agrifood systems are US$10 trillion annually (based on 2020 purchasing power parity)42.

Although the Caribbean, unlike many parts of the world, can boast of a positive turnaround in regional terrestrial

deforestation rates which have led to an increase in forested area over the last decade or so43, most other ecosystems and assets across the Caribbean are declining. Two of the region’s most precious ecosystems, coral reefs and mangroves, have been severely impacted by a range of human activities44, 45, 46. Climate change is expected to drive further declines in these fragile systems over the coming decades47, 48. Overexploitation of fisheries is another area for concern. Globally, overfishing results in an estimated US$50 billion shortfall annually49. Caribbean fisheries are considered the most exploited in the world50.

In the future, it is estimated that the loss of Nature can translate to cumulative global GDP losses of US$9.87 trillion by 205051. Unsurprisingly, lower income countries will be amongst the hardest hit by Nature loss, with decreases in their GDP ranging between 10%-20% by 203052. The loss of selected services such as pollination, food from marine fisheries, and timber, is anticipated to cost the global economy US$2.7 trillion annually (or 2.3% of GDP by 2030)53. Freshwater, one of the world’s most precious resources, is under increasing pressure. This undermines business activities and economies54. It is anticipated that by 2050 almost 50% of countries will face water scarcity55. The World Resources Institute notes: “US$70 trillion in GDP (31% of global GDP) will be exposed to high water stress by 2020, up from US$15 trillion (24% of global GDP) in 2010”56. The Caribbean is particularly sensitive to declines in freshwater resources. Freshwater is already scarce on several islands, and is under increasing threat from a combination of climate change and human drivers such as extraction rates, pollution and degradation of watersheds.57, 58, 59

The cost of Nature loss compounds the cost of climate change damage that countries have to meet. Between 2000 and 2019, extreme weather events cost the world US$2.8 trillion60. This cost in 2021 was reported to be US$329 billion61. In the coming decades, it is expected that 10% of global GDP can be lost due to climate-related disasters62. For the Caribbean region, this outlook is just as gloomy, with climate change alone expected to cost US$10.7 billion (or 5% GDP) by 2025, doubling to US$22 billion (10% GDP) by 2050, and doubling again to US$46 billion (22% GDP) by 210063. Most Caribbean countries will not be able to meet these costs.

These scientific data, considered alongside government priorities articulated in recent regional policy documents,64, 65, 66 highlight five Nature-dependent issues that are urgent for Caribbean countries, especially in the context of climate change.

In developing our Banks’ Natural Capital framework, we are placing special focus on the natural capital interactions (dependencies and impacts) that are associated with these interconnected priority issues.

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Protection and Restoration of Natural Capital, Especially Biodiversity

Natural Hazard Protection

Protection against the impacts of storms/ hurricanes, floods, landslips, droughts

Freshwater Availability

Adequate freshwater resources to meet demands across all sectors

Provision of a reliable, sustainable and a ordable supply of energy Building Climate Resilience: Adaptation and Mitigation Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Principles Capital, especially Biodiversity

Sustainable Agriculture

Provision of a reliable, healthy and a ordable supply of food

Sustainable Tourism

Protection of the ecosystems upon which Caribbean tourism depends (coral reefs, mangroves, terrestrial forests, etc.)

Sustainable Energy

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Methodological Approach

The Natural Capital Protocol67 forms the foundation on which our Natural Capital journey is based, as it aligns and consolidates diverse Natural Capital guidelines and methodologies. The Protocol follows an iterative process, encompassing data collection, analysis, and method development to aid businesses in decision-making.

The Protocol Framework involves nine steps over four stages: Frame, Scope, Measure and Value, and Apply (see diagram below). The Protocol does not function as an independent framework, allowing flexibility for the incorporation of other Natural Capital methods, standards and tools such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), The System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA), the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Task Force on Nature-related Discourses (TNFD).

This, our Banks’ first Natural Capital Report, is foundational. It focuses on our progress thus far in implementing all steps of the ‘Frame’ and ‘Scope’ stages.

The Frame stage of the Natural Capital Protocol involves defining the scope and purpose of a Natural Capital Assessment. In this stage, our Banks sought to identify the key issues, stakeholders, and boundaries related to our interactions with Nature.

This framing was undertaken over several months of dialogue, workshops and exchange among key sectors within our Banks, members of the Hub, the Capitals Coalition, as well as external experts. This step ensured a clear understanding of the context and goals, laying the groundwork for the first assessment of the institutions’ dependencies and impacts on natural capital.

Following the framing exercises, the Scope stage initiated the core Natural Capital Assessment by identifying and

Source: The Natural Capital Protocol

prioritising the organisation’s material interactions with Nature. In this stage, we defined the environmental assets, activities, and impacts that will be assessed. It included an examination of both our direct and indirect dependencies on natural capital. By determining the boundaries and key factors, the Scope stage set the parameters for the future comprehensive assessment of the Banks’ relationships with the environment, aiding in our strategic decisionmaking for sustainability.

The methodology of this Report was also informed through the use of the methodological guide Integrating Natural Capital in Risk Assessments: A Step-by-Step Guide for Banks, produced by Natural Capital Finance Alliance and PricewaterhouseCoopers68. We utilised the geographical level of analysis and a lens of analysis proposed by the Guide for both financial materiality and ecological/natural capital materiality.

Operationally, the geographical level of analysis was established to be operations within the boundaries of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. The lens of analysis was established to be sectors where the impacts and dependencies associated with our lines of credit and investments can currently be traced. This is further elaborated in the following section.

In determining the taxonomy and associated impacts and dependencies of Natural Capital Assets relative to the focus sectors of this Report, we utilised the Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure (ENCORE)69 tool which supports the assessment of businesses’ environmental impacts and dependencies, and quantifies risks and opportunities related to ecosystem services and biodiversity. In certain cases, we supplemented ENCORE’s outputs with expert judgment and regional data to better reflect the local reality in our areas of operation.

Future iterations of this report will include the outcomes of our efforts as we move into the Measure and Value, and Apply stages of the process.

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FRAME Why? SCOPE What? MEASURE AND VALUE How? APPLY What next? 01 Get started 02 Define the objective 03 Scope the assessment 04 Determine the impacts and/or dependencies 05 Measure impact drivers and/or dependencies 06 Measure changes in the state of natural capital 07 Value impacts and/or dependencies 08 Interpret and test the results 09 Take action Step Stage

Results of the Natural Capital Scoping Exercise Prioritisation of Sectors

Within our scoping exercise, two overarching criteria were applied in the prioritisation of the portfolio sectors to be included in the first materiality assessment:


Sectors of high importance from a natural capital perspective in our countries of operation (Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados) and throughout the Caribbean region.

Sectors where the impacts and dependencies associated with our lines of credit and investments can currently be traced.


We define sectors of high importance as the environment/ development challenges in the Caribbean region of highest priority, especially on account of climate change. These are (i) natural hazard protection; and achieving (ii) water security, (iii) sustainable agriculture, (iv) sustainable tourism and (v) sustainable energy (see page 17).

Examination of Our Financial Materiality

The figure below reflects an analysis of the financial materiality of the prioritised sectors in our main credit and investment portfolios. This materiality assessment is based on the relative weighting of each sector as a percentage of the total value of the businesses’ financial portfolios. This information reflects one important dimension of the Natural Capital risk or exposure.

At present, we acknowledge that there is a limit to which the natural capital footprint of our financing can be effectively traced. This is largely attributable to the current limitations of our internal data management, analysis and reporting structures which have hitherto not been aligned with Natural Capital Framework.

At this stage in our Natural Capital journey, we have therefore decided to focus on the sectors that include traceable projects and activities. As we move forward, our strategy will involve identifying the material impacts and dependencies associated with all sectors through the development and implementation of a comprehensive Natural Capital Credit Risk Analysis Framework.

The length of the bars indicates the relative financial weighting of the sector.

There are some salient findings that have emerged from the financial materiality assessment that will need to be carefully considered as we develop our Natural Capital Risk Assessment Framework:

• Transportation, Real Estate and Utilities are sectors that are common to all our portfolios, both credit and investments.

• Our lending portfolios in both Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados each includes Construction, Hospitality, and Manufacturing. Construction is a particularly material sector in our commercial and retail portfolios.

• Energy is an important sector for the Trinidad and Tobagobased Banks; and fishing emerges as a natural capital consideration in Barbados.

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Our 11 priority sectors for the first materiality assessment: Agriculture Distribution Energy Hospitality Manufacturing Utilities Construction Fishing Mining Real Estate Transportation
Relatively Low Relatively High Fishing Agriculture Mining Hospitality Manufacturing Utilities Distribution Transportation Energy Real Estate Construction
of our different sectors

Assessment of Natural Capital Risks

Applying the methodology outlined in the previous section, we then dug deeper to understand our Natural Capital materiality. In the first part of the analysis, we remained focused on a sectoral risk assessment, where we performed a qualitative analysis of the dependencies and impacts associated with each of the prioritised

sectors. Dependency was determined using both financial materiality data (see prior page) and Natural Capital dependency scores (obtained using Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure (ENCORE) tool and expert judgment). Impact analysis data was derived from ENCORE (in combination with expert judgment). The results are illustrated in the diagram below.

Natural Capital Impact and Dependency Analysis for the Main Sectors in Our Financial Portfolios

In our sectoral risk analysis, the risk categories are defined as follows:


Sectors that are financially material to our Banks and that are associated with high levels of natural capital dependencies and impacts. These sectors are considered to pose the greatest natural capital risks to our Banks and to society. They will therefore be prioritised in our Natural Capital Risk Framework.

Sectors that have moderate levels of financial and natural capital materiality associated with them. These sectors are also relatively important to our business lines and will be included in our Natural Capital Risk Framework.

Sectors that are associated with low levels of financial and natural capital materiality.

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! " # ! # " $ ! $ " % ! % " & ! ! " # ! # " $ ! $ " % ! % " & ! & " " ! Impact Driver Intensity Dependency LOW HIGH HIGH Energy Agriculture Construction Fishing Hospitality Mining Real Estate Distribution Manufacturing Transportation Utilities

The analysis highlighted that all our prioritised sectors can be classified as either high or medium risk from a natural capital perspective. Construction, Energy, Mining and Agriculture are the highest risk sectors within our portfolios (based on the current prioritisation). This sectoral information is very important in helping us as we look towards developing a Natural Capital Strategy for the Banks.

We then analysed the risks to the Natural Capital Assets associated with our prioritised sectors. This is shown in the table below.

Based on this information, we have identified the Natural Capital Assets that introduce the highest levels of risk exposure to our business (shown below). These are the assets whose continued degradation can most undermine the activities we fund. They include freshwater resources, greenhouse gas emissions (related to atmosphere) and impacts on natural ecosystems (coastal/marine, freshwater and terrestrial). This understanding is central to prioritisation of data collection and follow-up actions within our Natural Capital Risk Assessment Framework and, more broadly, within our ESG Strategy.

*Land geomorphology refers to ‘the structure of the land, such as mountains and valleys. Land geomorphology supports the provision of regulatory services, like erosion control’. Source: ENCORE , accessed November 2023.

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SECTORS Analysis of Natural Capital Risks by Asset Class Atmosphere Habitats Land geomorphology* Minerals Soil and sediments Species Freshwater Coastal/ Marine Terrestrial forests Freshwater Agriculture Construction Distribution Energy Fishing Hospitality Mining Manufacturing Real Estate Transportation Utilities Low Medium High

Freshwater resources (Dependencies and impacts): Here in the Caribbean, our freshwater resources are foundational to development. However, they are under increasing threat because of watershed degradation, unsustainable withdrawal levels, climate change and pollution.

The activities we finance in many ways depend on and negatively impact freshwater resources. We have a responsibility to carefully manage this resource to ensure that development trajectories in the Caribbean are not compromised.

Greenhouse gas emissions: Though climate change mitigation (decarbonisation) is not nearly as important to Caribbean countries as climate adaptation, Trinidad and Tobago remains amongst the highest per capita emitters in the world.

Our efforts especially in Trinidad and Tobago must therefore be geared at reducing emissions in sectors that we either invest in or finance, such as energy, transportation, manufacturing and construction.

Impacts on coastal and marine habitats: Our Caribbean economies are highly dependent on our coastal and marine resources–principally to support tourism activities and fishing, and to protect us from climate-related disasters.

We must ensure that our business activities do not degrade mangrove, coral reefs, sea grasses and marshes; and we must take steps to restore and conserve these fragile and highly valuable ecosystems.

Impacts on freshwater habitats: Closely tied to the risks associated with freshwater resources are the impacts on our freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, streams and ponds. Freshwater ecosystems in the Caribbean provide a significant portion of the freshwater resources that we utilise across all sectors. They also provide food and opportunities for recreation and cultural enjoyment.

Our business activities must therefore be geared at reducing the impacts and dependencies on these ecosystems so that they can continue to provide the range of socio-economic benefits that we derive from them.

Impacts on terrestrial ecosystems: Our Caribbean forests are showing signs of (slow) recovery after many decades of loss and fragmentation. Across our small islands, forests hold the key to providing critical ecosystem services such as flood protection, freshwater provision, production of food and other resources, soil erosion protection, protection against wind sheer and biodiversity support.

We have a responsibility to ensure that our funding enables the continued recovery and protection of terrestrial forests in the Caribbean.

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Finally, we examined the overall natural capital risk level associated with each of our main portfolios

AMBL’s Business Banking Unit in Trinidad and Tobago is linked to a range of Natural Capital Assets through the projects it funds, and is considered most at risk from a natural capital perspective. ANSA Bank, which is our commercial bank in Trinidad and Tobago, and our merchant bank in Barbados, also have relatively high natural capital risk exposure. Our Corporate and Investment Banking and our Investment Services Units are less exposed because of the nature of their respective business focuses, but there are certain sectors associated with these two units that have material natural capital footprints which must be carefully managed, such as Energy and Utilities. In establishing and implementing our Natural Capital Risk Assessment Framework for the Banks, each business unit will be charged with ensuring that the activities with highest natural capital risk are accounted for. Business units will also be responsible for implementing a suitable strategy (with timeframes to be confirmed) to transition themselves onto a Nature Positive trajectory.

Next Steps

Moving forward, we have committed to conducting quantitative analyses of our material natural capital relationships (Measurement and Valuation phase of the Natural Capital Protocol). This will begin in Q2 of 2024. These data will help to deepen our understanding of the risks associated with our credit and investment services at the Banks, and they will allow us to advance our Natural Capital strategy in the following ways:

• Development of a comprehensive Natural Capital Risk Assessment Framework, which will allow us to (a) systematically monitor and evaluate the exposure of our financial portfolios to natural capital risks; (b) identify and take mitigative action to effectively manage areas of risk.

• Identification of suitable green products that can be offered by our Banks.

• Identification of other Natural Capital opportunities for our Banks.

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Trinidad and Tobago Barbados ANSA Bank (Retail and Commercial) ANSA Merchant Bank ANSA Merchant Bank Business Banking Corporate and Investment Banking Investment Services Agriculture Construction Distribution Energy Fishing Hospitality Mining Manufacturing Real Estate Transportation Utilities Low Intermediary low Medium Intermediary high High Not included in portfolio
Natural Capital Risks by Sector Associated with our Main Financial Portfolios


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5 Samantha McCraine et al., The Nature of Risk: A Framework for Understanding Nature-related Risk to Business (WWF, 2019),

6 KPMG, Demystifying Natural Capital and Biodiversity (2021),

7 Living Planet Report 2020 Bending the curve of biodiversity loss, (WWF, 2020),

8 Céline Bellard, Clara Marino, and Franck Courchamp, “Ranking threats to biodiversity and why it doesn’t matter,” Nature Communications 13 (05/01 2022),

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15 Caribbean Development Bank, Micro-Small-Medium Enterprise Development in the Caribbean: Towards a New Frontier, Caribbean Development Bank (St. Michael, Barbados, 2016), micro-small-and-medium-enterprise-development-caribbean-towards-new-frontier.

16 World Economic Forum and AlphaBeta, The Future of Nature and Business (Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland, 2020), docs/WEF_The_Future_Of_Nature_And_Business_2020.pdf.

17 Snehal Shah, Seven Funds investing in nature-based solutions, New Private Markets (New Private Markets website 2023),; Snehal Shah, Seven Funds investing in nature-based solutions.

18 “Transforming the Way We Protect Nature.,” The Nature Conservancy, 2022, accessed November, 2023, who-we-are/how-we-work/finance-investing/naturevest/.

19 Andrew Deutz; et al., Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap, Paulson Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Cornell

Atkinson Center for Sustainability (2020), wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Updated-10.23.20-FINANCING-NATURE_Exec.-Summary_Final-with-endorsements_101420.pdf; Deutz; et al., Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap.

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