Since our last update in May of 2023, we made two significant announcements supporting our commitment to ocean conservation. This report explains those steps and details the Fund's recent activities, including progress on the Future Climate Coral Bank Project.
The transition of economies and society towards sustainability is the biggest challenge facing the world today, which is why Deutsche Bank is putting sustainability at the centre of its business and corporate initiatives and ambitions for the future.
In October 2021, Deutsche Bank launched the Deutsche Bank Ocean Resilience Philanthropy Fund (DBORPF), the first of its kind by a financial institution. The Fund aims to make a real and tangible impact in advancing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for ocean and marine ecosystems’ conservation, restoration and adaptation to climate change. This is to be achieved by creating the opportunity for philanthropists and the scientific community to collaborate on ocean conservation efforts. To this end, we have created a Grant Advisory Council comprising members of the scientific and research communities and institutions who provide the expertise required to analyse, vet and monitor new projects. Over the past months, the Council has met regularly and is continually developing its criteria and knowledge around the programmes and projects in the field.
NbS are increasingly being viewed not only as a way to reconcile economic development with the stewardship of ecosystems, but also as a means of diversifying and transforming businesses and enabling sustainable development. NbS can be used at different scales and in combination with more conventional or ‘grey’ solutions. In contrast with the latter, NbS are distinguished by their multifunctionality and ability to both conserve and grow the stock of natural capital. Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. The benefits of NbS have been found to outweigh the costs of implementation and maintenance in a range of contexts, including disaster risk reduction along coasts and in river catchments.
The Fund is open to donations from philanthropists globally, providing donors with a dedicated framework to support ocean conservation. It is a Donor Advised Fund and will be administered in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation. Philanthropy is one important channel to close the wide financing gap for NbS projects, providing the much-needed capital to expand restoration efforts and foster innovation. It can play a vital role in the world’s response to climate change by targeting geographies and solutions that are most in need of support but cannot be funded solely via private market mechanisms.
Our latest activites
Since our last update in May of 2023, we made two significant announcements supporting our commitment to ocean conservation. We announced that we are joining #BackBlue Ocean Finance Commitment and that we will intensify our efforts for investing into, sustaining and regenerating blue nature. We also announced the establishment of a Nature Advisory Panel, which will bring external experts together with the bank’s own specialists and explore how to tackle nature-related challenges.
The Nature Advisory Panel is part of an initiative at Deutsche Bank to give greater consideration to nature-based topics like biodiversity in Deutsche Bank’s business model and processes. We continued to deepen our connection with the scientific community and thought leaders in the second half of 2023. We participated in the Sustainable Blue Econonmy Investment Forum, which aims to mobilize economic agents while raising awareness for innovative ocean action, and we hosted dedicated discussions during Ocean Week, NY climate week and COP28. Specifically during COP28, we hosted an event on restoring the health of our oceans, which featured insightful learnings from John Kerry, Lord Goldsmith, and Baroness Scotland along with experts from Community Jameel, Ocean 14 Capital, The Nature Conservancy and The Blue Marine Foundation.
Finally, we promoted our employee donation program in the US at our offices in NY and Jacksonville, Florida, educating employees on the fund, the great cause(s) it supports and how to contribute.
The DBORPF aims to quickly deploy unrestricted funds in response to the urgent challenge of ocean degradation, backing highly innovative projects directly, promoting collaboration with scientific experts and developing cutting-edge solutions. In addition, through these bi-annual reports, we are working to educate our existing and prospective clients on the importance of philanthropy capital for NbS in ocean conservation, raising their awareness of these important topics.