Currently, more than half the world’s economic output, which is about $44 trillion, is dependent on nature to a significant extent.
Embracing a role as caretakers of nature can create a profound ripple effect, benefiting countless species and improving billions of lives.
In this article, we discuss the significance of measuring the impact your organization has on nature. Plus, learn more about frameworks, regulations, and digital solutions that are aimed at improving biodiversity and fostering sustainability.
Global biodiversity goals and local initiatives
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is a set of global targets to safeguard biodiversity, agreed as a result of the UN Biodiversity Conference in 2022. The goal is to achieve the targets by 2030 and reverse nature loss in the process.
The targets include conserving land and sea, restoring damaged ecosystems, halving the introduction of invasive species and reducing harmful subsidies by $500 billion each year.
The EU has also set out its own Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 which focuses on the long-term recovery of nature on land and sea.
In the UK, guidance published on biodiversity net gain is also contributing to the recovery of nature. It aims to make sure that habitats for wildlife are preserved and left in a better state than before a built development began. The guidance is relevant to all UK land managers, developers and local planning authorities.
Understanding the impact of business on nature
While many boardrooms have come to grasp the concept of measuring a carbon footprint, your organization’s impact on biodiversity may be harder to measure.
With carbon, there’s also evidence of the financial benefits created by measuring it. A recent government report found that an investment of £50k in carbon measuring could bring savings of up to £200k.
But since WWF’s Living Planet Report uncovered some startling statistics in 2022—such as global wildlife populations plummeting by 69%—it’s become clear that biodiversity also has a key part to play in environmental thinking and policy development.
Biodiversity loss is the result of a combination of factors including land use changes, unsustainable harvests, consumption of meat and other items, climate change and pollution, and increasing energy demands.
This complex array of elements makes it significantly more challenging to accurately measure both the resulting impacts and any associated cost benefits.
Good quality data and tools can be beneficial to help your organization understand its impact on nature. Existing solutions can be manual and time-intensive, such as visiting sites to take samples.
Supported by governments, the United Nations, and philanthropic organizations, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD) is assisting organizations in acquiring the necessary information.
By understanding how nature impacts financial performance (both positively and negatively), your organization can incorporate nature-related risks and opportunities into planning and decision-making.
Finding digital solutions to the biodiversity crisis
At our Sustainability Innovation Lab in Cambridge, UK, we’re experimenting with new data driven solutions that can gather and deliver the insights you need to help your organization measure and improve its environmental impact.
For example, employing remote monitoring and sensing devices around your organization's site to monitor landscape changes over time can provide valuable insights into the impact you are making on the environment around you.
The lab offers a unique opportunity for collaboration between Start-ups, Academia, Corporations and Government departments. It’s designed to help organizations like yours progress towards a sustainable world while having a positive impact on society at large.