Biodiversity is progressively growing up the commercial enterprise time table inside the run-as much as COP26. But how can the private region pass beyond greenwashing to deliver meaningful, enticing, technological know-how-primarily based strategies?
Read on for key webinar takeaways in quick, and watch on-demand to trap up in complete. Image: The Woodland Trust
That turned into the subject of debate at edie’s latest webinar. The consultation is entitled ‘biodiversity and commercial enterprise: Restoring nature through your sustainability strategy’ and is now available to stream on-demand for the price ticket rate of £10 plus VAT.
Sponsored with the aid of the Woodland Trust, the hour-long session also featured expert audio system from Kering and Unilever, outlining how groups can harness current answers to defend and restore ecosystems at the dimensions and pace needed to avert the dual climate and nature crises. Presentations and an interactive Q&A session saw attendees gain the statistics and idea needed to start developing credible biodiversity strategies, or to boost up and scale present projects.
Here, edie rounds up the key takeaways from that consultation for experts at establishments which are embarking on that journey.
— WATCH THE WEBINAR ON DEMAND HERE —
1) Start via definitely information your effect
The consultation saw many questions requested around the first-class vicinity to start constructing a biodiversity strategy. This is perhaps to be predicted; KPMG’s 2020 evaluate of sustainability reporting located that much less than one-area of agencies uncovered to nature risks are measuring and disclosing them.
Kering’s sustainable sourcing expert Katrina ole-MoiYoi stated that earlier than offsetting, organizations of all sizes and sectors ought to investigate their nature-associated risks and dependencies. This will make the topic enterprise-critical to all departments and make certain that strategies are context-based.
“Look at what your key merchandise are, what they’re crafted from, and wherein they come from,” she said. “You can then begin to without a doubt construct internal help for biodiversity programming.”
ole-MoiYoi admitted that there are not many gear to be had to ensure that core goals are formidable sufficient and advised listeners to look at for the technological know-how-based totally nature goals framework ebook later this yr, at the side of the paintings of the Taskforce for Nature-Related Disclosures. The Woodland Trust’s director of conservation and outside affairs Abi Bunker agreed and highlighted that partnerships with NGOs or consultancies can assist develop credible baselines.
2) Go lower back to the source
Agriculture is envisioned to account for more than half of the sector’s annual water use and to have driven extra than 70% of deforestation up to now. Transparency is a primary step to tackling these traits and builds at the baselines discussed above.
Ole-MoiYoi argued that many companies with agricultural deliver chains find it challenging to map to farm stage – however that doing so is vital to ensure significant paintings. She stated: “If you don’t understand in which your materials come from, the concept of taking up ‘biodiversity’ is so abstract…. Biodiversity affects are highest on the farm degree, so actually zooming right down to that stage is important if the aim is to put meaningful programmes in area.”
Providing recommendation on mapping, which she admitted is a hard workout, she highlighted the significance of asking providers who their providers are and constructing strong relationships. She also entreated businesses without the capability to increase in-residence tools to make use of open-source tools and current collaborations.
“Engaging your suppliers could be very powerful,” Unilever’s sustainable sourcing director Giulia Stellarti brought. “There are standards, tools and methods of having more transparency that exist. But, equally importantly, you have to talk ‘that is where we’re going as a business, it is strategic, and we would really like you to come back alongside.’”
Stellarti mentioned how Unilever asks suppliers which information is simple and hard for them to collect and to regularly disclose on-farm impacts.
Three) Choose the right metrics
In the absence of technological know-how-based totally objectives for nature, and with biodiversity being extra hard to account for than carbon, many visitors wanted to recognize the best way to measure a baseline and track progress. The concept of herbal capital – assigning a fee to natural assets – become floated as one option, however audio system agreed that it is not the only capability approach.
“If you’re talking to buyers of your board, I think you can construct out absolutely unique KPIs tied to biodiversity, with one of the first-rate proxies we have these days being round land use consistent with hectare,” ole-MoiYoi said. “If your audience is your clients, who have become increasingly more hungry for this type of information…. You’ll want a slightly unique level of reporting, like speaking round unique programmes.”
Stellarti added: “There is still pretty a process to be carried out in terms of developing and aligning metrics across industry in methods that lead them to significant. But proxies like land use change are right steps in that route.”
four) Choose the right accomplice(s)
The UN’s 17th Sustainable Development Goal issues partnerships. There is a standard consensus within the sustainability area that collaboration can maximise tremendous results – so long as initiatives are decided on nicely and supported strongly on an ongoing basis.
The Woodland Trust has partnerships with many recognisable enterprises in the non-public and public sector, such as People’s Postcode Lottery and Sainsbury’s – its longest-standing company supporter.
Bunker said that the cost of good partnerships, beyond improving gear or skills, or ensuring that key tasks have eyes on the ground, can lie in “boosting the evidence base”. Value could also lie in policy engagement or achieving as many participants of most of the people as feasible, that allows you to changing criminal necessities and cultures to the factor that all laggards are introduced alongside.
Five) Don’t experience that you need to select between conservation, restoration and introduction
Speakers agreed that it could now and again feel daunting understanding in which to start on biodiversity, given the truth that the arena is on-song for a sixth mass extinction and for the reason that many nations, inclusive of the United Kingdom, have didn’t deliver their nature objectives again and again. A especially damning study out this month discovered that human pastime has affected 97% of the sector’s ecosystems.
The Woodland Trust’s Bunker emphasised the importance of an approach that supports a number solutions at a number of speeds, and in ensuring that development on one metric does now not result in unintended terrible outcomes somewhere else.
“We need an incorporated technique to protection, recovery and expansion in the UK, in ways which can help the United Kingdom supply its contribution to worldwide efforts on biodiversity loss and climate alternate,” she said, emphasising that that is why the Trust-enabled UK Reforestation Coalition turned into evolved.
Businesses now not worried with a coalition will need to apply in-residence information, NGO partnerships or surely collaboration with communities to make sure that schemes are context-particular and genuinely meaningful.
6) Don’t sense take away if you’re an SME on a finances
During the Q&A consultation, a consultant for an office-based SME asked what their company may want to do after ‘getting its own residence so as’ in terms of emissions, waste and water, given that it does not have a multinational deliver chain or function in a specifically biodiverse community.
Bunker said: “If you’re an agency that doesn’t use land-based sectors, this can be tough. Starting along with your constituency in phrases of your patron base and your vicinity, look for local civil society experts on biodiversity and get in there early, searching at how you may accomplice with them.
“Also, enticing with existing frameworks and business businesses may be a terrific way to start. The Science-Based Targets initiative is growing nature-based totally goals. Here within the UK, we’ve got more than a few coalitions which are actually picking up the baton.”
Stellari called this response “splendid” and went on to focus on the importance of land footprint calculations. While agencies -SMEs in particular – won’t think they’ve massive land footprints, this isn’t always constantly the case. She also highlighted the array of weather-related sources, like the SME Climate Hub, so that you can also help organizations improve their biodiversity footprint, truely due to the approaches wherein weather and nature are “in detail interconnected”.