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Imagine…business and nature flourishing together

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Imagine…Business and Nature Flourishing Together

A few months ago we took at look at the emerging Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN) framework and how it will help bring biodiversity impact into focus for businesses.

We also welcomed over 100 individuals and businesses to an interactive webinar to explore the next steps: why and how they could measure and positively impact their relationships with nature during this period.

In this article, we summarise the discussion and our key recommendations.

What is biodiversity & why does it matter?

Nature, with its tangible and visible presence, stirs action and connection in all of us. We feel strongly about the importance of understanding and measuring business impact on biodiversity which is what drove us to host this webinar. But there are some much more pragmatic reasons for engaging with this topic.

Biodiversity is the variety of life and interactions between living things at all levels and is crucial to life on earth.

Thriving biodiversity indicates a healthy environment, which underpins the essential life support systems our ecosystems provide, from climate regulation, clean air and water, food, shelter and medicine.

Much of any business’s success is likely owed to the invaluable services and ‘natural capital’ provided, ultimately, by biodiversity.


safe operation space for humanity underpins economy and livelihoods greenheart business

However, the alarming reality is that biodiversity is under threat with a 69% decline in wildlife populations since 1970 and a further 1 million species facing extinction due to human activity.

The consequences are stark given that over 50% of the world’s total GDP is dependent on high functioning biodiversity.

Carbon Net Zero: Carbon Tunnel Vision

Carbon net zero has dominated the environmental agenda in recent years with businesses being fixated on emissions (sometimes called ‘Carbon Tunnel Vision’).

However, many in the environmental space have realized that solely focusing on carbon, unarguably important though it is, is not enough to address the interconnected challenges of the climate and biodiversity crises and we cannot tackle one without tackling the other.

Climate change is just one of 5 areas that are measured for nature impact, spotlighting the need for a systems thinking approach.

carbon tunnel vision sustainability vision

Graphic by Jan Konietzko

This realisation has spurred the rise of natural capital accounting and nature-based disclosures such as TNFD, ISSB and CSRD. 

Some of these are becoming mandatory for organisations, making it essential for businesses to act now to strengthen their reputation, mitigate risks associated with biological breakdown and proactively respond to emerging regulations.

At COP15, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity framework revealed a 30×30 mission aiming to conserve at least 30% of all habitats by 2030.

This nature and biodiversity equivalent of the Paris Agreement has set out a crucial path and vision for our future. Imagining a future where business, with the help of multi-stakeholder action, becomes nature-positive. This is a pivotal step in realising this vision and empowering teams to make it a reality.

man in big caves

Imagine a future, thriving ecosystem

Imagine you are speeding forward to 2040, governments, businesses and individuals have collaborated to restore and regenerate nature, transforming your interaction with the natural world.

Your business thrives within the natural world and gives back as much, if not more than it takes.

What do you hear and see in this thriving ecosystem? How has your workplace evolved? How has your team’s wellbeing flourished and your business transformed?

Bringing the regenerative business vision to life

In the first stage it’s key to understand your points of connection with the natural world throughout your value chain.

Using the free SBTN materiality screening tool, you can gain insights into the significant areas of impact on nature from your value chain industry activities.

To tailor your efforts to the unique essence of your business activities and processes, you must refine your impacts to reflect the reality of your business. For example, do you source solely organic products and does this then minimise the pressure on water and soil pollution?

Once refined, geographically mapping the level of impact and pressure on each nature-related issue and value chain activity allows you to pinpoint areas in need of attention.

Moving on to the second stage, you will need to attune your organisation’s activities to the local contexts, acknowledging the importance of nurturing biodiversity depending on its needs.

By understanding the state of nature at each site and in each pressure area, you gain a comprehensive view that will guide you in determining where your efforts should be focused.

Additionally, the WWF risk filter tool can help you identify potential risks that nature may cause to your business if overlooked.

To deepen your understanding and effectiveness of action, engaging with local communities is essential, recognising that indigenous people protect a significant proportion of Earth’s biodiversity.

Exploring collaboration opportunities, identifying cost implications, and grasping the financial repercussions of inaction are all integral parts of this stage.

The third stage of your journey involves the exciting transition from understanding to action. You’ll need to start by measuring your baseline for each material nature-related impact area, collecting multiple years of data for each pressure area where possible.

Setting science-based targets enables you to set out your stepping-stone action path which you will need to prioritise by avoiding, reducing, restoring and regenerating, eventually allowing for a transformation in your business’ relationship with nature.

Regular reporting, tracking and progress to the Global Living System

Regular reporting, monitoring of initiatives, tracking progress, continual collaboration with stakeholders and adapting to the needs of nature is important. This will enable you to track and learn in your journey towards becoming a positive contributor to the global living system.

If you’d like to chat more about this topic, or explore how we could help your business on its biodiversity impact journey, please get in touch.

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