Chaire Finagri



Understanding environmental data requirements of responsible investors

Faced with the need for further investment in sustainable agriculture, financial institutions and agro-businesses require relevant, comparable and reliable data to measure environmental impacts of agricultural activities.

The Finagri Chair is carrying out an inventory to understand the needs and minimum data requirements of investors wishing to invest in the management and preservation of natural capital. This inventory takes into account the variety of investors and their strategies, as well as the regulations and standards applicable to them. This inventory could lead to the drafting of an ethical charter for providers of environmental data.

'Agricultural data' project

There are three primary sources of agricultural data: data collected by the public sector for monitoring, information management, and administrative procedures; data collected to meet the specific needs of a research project; and food industry data collected for operational needs and as part of research and development activities. Data is often poorly structured, collected irregularly, and for a specific purpose. What’s more, it is only sometimes freely available for competitive reasons. The Finagri Chair has set itself the task of identifying a set of variables representative of natural capital, defined according to different research themes and enabling the development of a database to underpin a financial instrument. The project relies on exchanges with farmers, scientists, members of the financial industry, and legal experts to identify and prioritize the data needs and requirements of these different players.

Finagreen association

Combining its knowledge of agronomy and the environment with its understanding of investors and regulatory requirements, the FINAGRI Chair has developed a clear framework capable of certifying sustainable investments in the agricultural sector.

Since its conception, the FINAGRI Chair has focused on identifying and evaluating agricultural practices presenting positive environmental performance, and on how private and public investors can finance the implementation of these practices.

Through its label, the Chair promotes investments associated with practices whose sustainable performance has been demonstrated using the methodology developed by the FINAGRI Chair. Based on this methodology, a technical referencing defines the criteria that certify the compliance of projects with the goals of the label.

The governance of the association provides for the setting up of a Scientific Committee and the drafting of an audit procedure. These steps are currently being implemented.

Sustainable agriculture in the Netherlands

Agriculture in the Netherlands is often seen as being among the most innovative and technologically advanced in the world. The country has made significant progress in improving the sustainability of its agricultural practices in recent years.

The government has set itself various goals, particularly in terms of biodiversity and reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus emissions.

The project proposes to study two environmental goals included in the list of themes developed by the FINAGRI Chair for which the Netherlands has recognised and sometimes longstanding experience:

Water: Various indicators have been put in place in particular to measure water productivity (the quantity of food produced per unit of water used) and water quality (the level of pollutants in water sources).

Nitrogen: In July 2022, the Netherlands became the first European country to have a nitrogen plan. The Dutch government’s plan aims to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and the agricultural sector is the biggest source of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands.