Nature Strategy Handbook will help companies deliver nature strategies

Jane Ambachtsheer, BNP Paribas Asset Management: “The story of the biodiversity crisis is a story of value destruction on an unprecedented scale. We understand that this is about more than just money – life is material to us too – but the financial estimates alone are staggering, in terms of what we might lose and what we might gain if we change course now.”

ALMOST a year since 196 governments adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at CBD COP15, the Business for Nature coalition has today launched a new global campaign “It’s Now for Nature” to rally all businesses to act on nature and contribute towards the global goal to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

The need for corporate action on nature has never been clearer. New research from GlobeScan reveals nine out of ten experts (91%) from across academia, NGOs, the private sector and policymakers view the state of nature and biodiversity as a catastrophic or alarming issue. 90% of experts also say companies need a public nature strategy backed by the CEO or Board to effectively protect nature and biodiversity.

Research from the World Benchmarking Alliance shows that less than 1% of companies know how much their operations depend on nature. Through a new Nature Strategy Handbook, developed by Business for Nature, a global coalition of 85+ partner organisations and in collaboration with PwC UK, the “It’s Now for Nature” campaign encourages businesses and financial institutions to develop and publish a nature strategy.

Eva Zabey, CEO, Business for Nature, said, “Business leadership, innovation and courage can lead us out of the nature crisis, but we must move fast. ‘It’s Now for Nature’ is a multi-year campaign from now to 2030 to help companies scale and speed up their efforts and ensure businesses make nature part of their decision-making. Every business and financial institution needs a nature strategy – a roadmap of how a company will contribute to a nature-positive world.  It’s the only way businesses will achieve their climate goals and ensure their future resilience.”

The Nature Strategy Handbook will guide organisations through the supportive tools and frameworks available, building on the High-Level Business Actions on Nature and including the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure’s (TNFD) final recommendations, guidance from the Science Based Targets Network and new sector-specific guidance which sets out priority actions for companies to take.

Lynne Baber, Head of Sustainability at PwC UK, said, “The Nature Strategy Handbook provides a common direction for all businesses to begin or continue their journey towards a nature-positive future by setting a nature strategy. It offers a step-by-step guide on how to write a credible nature strategy and where to find the most useful tools and resources. We hope this helps businesses of all sizes and geographies accelerate the transition to a nature-positive, net-zero and equitable future.”

At CBD COP15, governments committed through Target 15 to require all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their risks, impacts and dependencies on nature – as well as take action. “It’s Now for Nature” aims to help businesses navigate and anticipate upcoming regulation and investor demands.

Sherry Madera, Chief Executive Officer at CDP, said, “The Nature Strategy Handbook will provide critical support and guidance for companies at all stages of their nature-positive journey, with annual disclosure through CDP as a vital step. All companies must recognize the need to understand their relationship to the natural world, the material and systemic risks they face, the opportunities available and the impacts they have on the environment. While disclosure on nature is increasing, it continues to lag far behind climate. The Nature Strategy Handbook is important to raise awareness of the steps needed for companies to begin their journey and take action”.

Business leaders recognise that they cannot sustainably grow their business, or achieve their climate goals, without protecting and restoring nature. The GlobeScan survey finds that 94% of experts believe companies need to take much more integrated approaches to effectively address nature and climate issues, challenging the historically siloed approach. And 94% believe biodiversity loss needs to be addressed with the same urgency and resources as climate change.

Jane Ambachtsheer, Global Head of Sustainability, BNP Paribas Asset Management, said, “The story of the biodiversity crisis is a story of value destruction on an unprecedented scale. We understand that this is about more than just money – life is material to us too – but the financial estimates alone are staggering, in terms of what we might lose and what we might gain if we change course now. Making this issue central to corporate and financial decision-making will help transform our economies and secure a better future for our clients and for society.”

More than 1,400 companies with revenues of more than US$ 7 trillion, have called on governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade. The campaign will be used by businesses and policymakers to demonstrate the momentum for global business action on nature until 2030.

The campaign does not assess, approve or validate targets in nature strategies, or the progress companies are making towards those targets, as many organizations, including CDP and the World Benchmarking Alliance, provide – or will provide – independent assessments for this purpose.

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