A three-step response to biodiversity loss

  • 13 February 2024
  • Blog | Green Finance | Blog

Biodiversity is crucial to businesses as it provides a myriad of ecosystem services that underpin economic activities. Diverse ecosystems offer resilience and stability, contributing to climate regulation, water purification, and soil fertility, directly impacting agriculture, forestry, and pharmaceutical industries. 

Biodiversity supports pollination, enhancing crop yields for agriculture, and fosters genetic diversity essential for breeding programmes. Healthy ecosystems also mitigate natural disasters, reducing risks for infrastructure and property-intensive businesses. 

Moreover, biodiversity enriches industries by offering novel biological resources for innovations in medicine, biotechnology, and manufacturing. 

Businesses reliant on tourism and recreation also benefit from diverse ecosystems, attracting customers seeking unique and varied natural experiences. Recognising and preserving biodiversity is not only an ethical imperative but a strategic necessity, ensuring sustained access to resources and fostering long-term economic stability for businesses. 

In response to the challenge of managing biodiversity loss at organisational level, consultancy EY has identified three clear steps that all businesses – regardless of industry – could be taking to reduce their impact, thereby protecting their operations and their reputations. EY suggests firms: 

• Educate and enlist: Familiarise the C-suite with biodiversity concepts, tools and frameworks, and get your organisation involved in biodiversity think tanks and initiatives, such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) or the Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN) or local organisations. 

• Enrol and enforce: Bring in new skills and technologies to help map biodiversity risks throughout your value chain and reduce their impact, while setting science-based targets and building internal accountability for biodiversity across your business, by aligning with standardised frameworks – such as the TNFD and Science-Based Targets initiative. 

• Embed and explain: Develop a common strategy that tackles both climate and biodiversity challenges and incorporate into your climate strategy, then consistently disclose how you are identifying, measuring and managing biodiversity risk and opportunities. 

EY adds that, with biodiversity loss directly impacting businesses by disrupting their supply chains, increasing regulatory compliance costs and eroding social license, the time to act on these three simple steps is now. After all, investors are already considering how to address biodiversity as part of their assessments and how to direct capital toward companies that can better demonstrate a nature-positive strategy, underpinned by robust, science-based targets. Businesses should be ready to respond. 

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