Reporting on biodiversity – where to start?

Although climate change is the most important sustainability issue we face, it’s not the only one. Human activity impacts the planet in many ways, and one of the most glaring is biodiversity loss.

Amidst a perfect storm of population growth, mass urbanisation and energy demands, the planet’s limited resources are becoming more and more scarce – threatening around 1 million animal and plant species with extinction.

 Biodiversity is becoming increasingly more financially material for businesses, particularly for sectors that are highly dependent on natural capital. Policy makers are taking the issue more seriously, with the forthcoming UN Biodiversity Conference focused on setting a global target to halt biodiversity loss by 2030. The launch of the TNFD beta framework in March this year, which mirrors the now-mandatory TCFD, aims to move nature-based reporting by businesses into mainstream reporting. There is also an increasing expectation by customers on businesses to address their biodiversity impacts, mainly as consumer awareness leads to consumer demand.

 Where to start?

Reporting on biodiversity is complex. There is still not enough information available for companies to understand how nature impacts the organisation’s immediate financial performance, or the longer-term financial risks.

Yet there are actions firms can take now to get a head start on nature-related risk measurement and management:

1. Capture customer data
Start to think about how you are going to do this without negatively impacting your customer’s experience and start building the infrastructure to support it. 

a) Carry out identification surveys, staff surveys to spot biodiversity opportunities, nature site walks and assessments, and occupational evaluations that include ecology to start shaping biodiversity action plans.

2. Make your Boards aware of nature-related risks and their impacts
Help your leadership grasp the financial and strategic risks and opportunities that nature-related risks present to your business.

a) Using the free, online ENCORE tool can act as the first step to help understand what these could be for your business.

b) TNFD’s LEAP framework is also very beneficial to help companies prepare to respond and report on nature-related risks and opportunities.

3. Want to start now?
For shorter term nature-based solutions companies can also adopt biophilic initiatives such as providing green spaces, water features, and plants in offices as well as using natural materials to help to reduce a development's carbon footprint and regulate the temperature of buildings.

At Luminous, we can support you with disclosure and ESG strategies to make sure your nature-based messaging is credible.

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