Our methodologies and benchmarks help to close the information gap and enable stakeholders, such as companies, investors, banks, governments, multi-laterals, civil society, and media, to make more informed decisions. These benchmarks can be used to compel companies to improve their performance on key sustainability topics or can be used in more enabling and facilitating ways to encourage change.
We monitor how our benchmarks are being used and by whom. A particular highlight in 2022 was the sharp increase in the number of investors using our materials to inform their engagement with companies. In 2021, just three investors used our materials in direct engagement with companies in their portfolios compared to 41 investors in 2022. This is partly due to the hiring of two investor engagement leads at WBA, helping us focus more resources and attention on this key stakeholder group.
Likewise, the number of financial institutions actively engaging with our benchmarks has steadily increased since 2020. We now have 47 financial institutions as WBA Allies, representing a total of USD 11.97 trillion in assets.
To help investors and companies progress on their journeys towards a nature-positive future, we developed our first Investor Guidance, expanding on the key findings of our 2022 Nature Benchmark. Launched at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December 2022, the guidance meaningfully steers the thinking of financial actors in their efforts to assess their own portfolio companies and business relationships regarding nature-positive impacts. The reaction to the guidance has been very positive, with some of our investor Allies stating their intentions to use it in their stewardship activities. A further example of our work being used to directly inform investment decisions is the online platform developed by one of our financial services Allies, Matter.
The platform aggregates data from WBA benchmarks and from organisations like CDP and Global Canopy to help investors understand and report the sustainability impacts of their investments. It provides an overview of company performance across various topics, using many indicators from our methodologies, including our Food and Agriculture methodology. In 2022, we discussed ways for Matter’s team to use our scoring guidelines and indicators better to optimise the platform.
This story is an excerpt from our 2022 Annual Report. The number of financial institutions actively engaging with our benchmarks has steadily increased since 2020. We now have 47 financial institutions as WBA
Allies, representing a total of USD 11.97 trillion in assets.