We are all dependent on the common goods provided by nature – such as clean air and water, fertile soils, pollination, and favourable climatic conditions. Yet to date, the value of biodiversity and these “ecosystem services” has been largely unacknowledged by companies and their investors. This is despite the fact that ecosystem collapse poses systemic risks to the global economy and society as a whole.
In a new white paper from EOS – Our Commitment to Nature – engager Sonya Likhtman explains why biodiversity is now a stewardship priority. She highlights the value of biodiversity and makes the business case for its protection and restoration. “The mindset of taking nature for granted, and assuming its permanence, must change,” she says.
The paper outlines our expectations of sectors with high biodiversity impacts and dependencies, which include consumer goods and retail, agrochemicals, mining and materials, oil and gas, utilities, real estate and construction, and finance. With global biodiversity goals expected to be agreed at the UN’s biodiversity COP 15 in 2021, it is critical that national and corporate Covid-19 recovery plans make provisions for biodiversity protection and restoration around the world.
“We encourage companies to commit to having a net-positive impact on biodiversity throughout their operations and supply chains,” Likhtman says. The mechanisms to achieve this goal will vary by company and sector, but strategies may include ensuring there is no deforestation in their value chains, supporting farmers in transitioning to regenerative agriculture, and investing in nature-based solutions to address the dual challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Reducing the corporate pressures on biodiversity, such as land-use change, climate change, and pollution, will be critical. Equally, innovation across operations, supply chains and products will be required to deliver the ambitious goal of having a net-positive impact on biodiversity at the organisational level. The goal should be accompanied by strong governance, effective measurement, an impactful strategy, and regular disclosure.
To find out more, read the paper: Our Commitment to Nature.