Step 4. Act
If we wish to live in a nature-positive world, we need urgent and ambitious action by everyone. In our Initial Guidance for Business guidance (2020), we introduce the Action Framework (AR3T). We call this AR3T, because it covers actions to avoid future impacts, reduce current impacts, regenerate and restore ecosystems, and transform the systems in which companies are embedded. The AR3T Action Framework is built on the mitigation hierarchy set out in the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standard 6. As currently used, IFC PS6 helps companies plan for and address their impacts on biodiversity at a project level. The AR3T Framework is also built on the conservation hierarchy, which expanded the mitigation hierarchy concept to include proactive, positive steps for nature.
- Avoid and reduce the pressures on nature loss, which would otherwise continue to grow.
- Regenerate and restore so that the state of nature can recover (e.g., the extent and integrity of ecosystems and species extinction risk).
- Transform underlying systems, at multiple levels, to address the drivers of nature loss.
Use our interactive action framework below to see the types of actions companies will take when implementing science-based targets for nature (it might take a few seconds to load).
These types of action and our understanding of the dynamics behind the loss of nature give structure to SBTs for nature—both in terms of the actions required of companies and the ambition level of targets that must be set and achieved. Within this structure, each company will set different targets, depending on its sector and specifics of its business.
The science is clear: the problems facing business and society are system-wide, intertwined, and connected to a broad array of actors.
The problems we face therefore demand that companies go beyond individual action to push action through their value chains and explore system-level collaboration and transformation, such as through landscape and jurisdictional initiatives.
Although detailed guidance on target implementation (Step 4: Act) is not part of 2023’s release, the freshwater and land methods explore some examples of corporate response options for target implementation, given the potential for unintended consequences for nature and people as a result of some corporate actions. In this context, response options describe the actions that a company could take when implementing science-based targets for nature to make progress toward its achievement, likely reflected in the target indicator, that results in improvements in the state of nature. The corporate response options provided in the response options database provide a foundation for companies to take actions that make a difference for nature on the ground. This is a preliminary effort that anticipates more comprehensive “Step 4: Act” guidance released in 2024.