22/09/2020NewsEnvironment, News

First guidance for companies to tackle nature crisis in line with science

  • The first guidance to show companies how to protect and restore nature in line with science by preparing to set science-based targets for nature is now online produced in collaboration by international experts from The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN), part of the Global Commons Alliance. 
  • The Science Based Targets Network aims to provide businesses – and eventually cities – with consensus guidance on how to restore balance to the global commons by operating within Earth’s limits while meeting society’s needs. The guidance has been produced in consultation with experts from 65+ global environmental organizations, companies, and consultancies from 22 countries. 
  • Science-based targets for nature expands the concept of the Science Based Targets initiative’s work which has seen around 1000 companies commit to cut their emissions in line with the best available science. 

This first SBTN guidance (download here) defines how companies can assess, prioritize, measure, address and track their impacts and dependencies on nature in line with science. 

While a growing number of companies have been taking action for nature they have been increasingly calling for science-based targets for nature to ensure they are doing their part in the same way as they can by adopting science-based targets for climate. 

The interim targets provided in the guidance give companies direction they can align with now, across land use, freshwater use, climate impact, and ecosystem integrity.

The new guidance consolidates and builds on multiple existing efforts companies are making to protect nature. It is an interim publication with the goal being to engage with businesses to develop and refine it for maximum useability. Reviewers included representatives from 14 companies with a combined market cap of $1.1 trillion, including Sky, Kering and Unilever along with other environmental, academic and scientific experts.   

The broad membership of the Network itself – 45+ partners – illustrates a widespread agreement among environmental organizations, business groups and scientists on the need for a single, unified message for business to provide clarity on how to ensure efforts are scientifically validated. They are identifying a safe corridor for humanity based on the first ever integrated assessment of the whole Earth system now underway by the Earth Commission. 

Erin Billman, Executive Director, Science Based Targets Nature: “Harnessing the power of the private sector to innovate, develop and scale solutions is an essential part of securing a safe and just future for humanity. Companies need this guidance to understand how much is ‘at least enough’ action to ensure they play their part. We urge companies to start following the guidance and to work with us to develop and improve it even further. Alongside the benefits to nature, companies acting for nature can experience benefits like more secure supply chains, increased innovation and strengthened customer, employee and investor confidence.” 

Johan Rockstrӧm, Global Commons Alliance Leadership Council member and Earth Commission co-chair said:  “We urgently need to restore to health our life support systems – the Earth’s biodiversity, land, ocean and water. Without this we cannot halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Business has a key role to play. This guidance will ensure they are acting in line with science and ensure that any nature-based solutions they are considering alongside their emissions reduction efforts are implemented in a way that maximizes the benefits for nature, communities and climate.” 

Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute said: “The best companies in the world are no longer satisfied with “doing better”. They insist on “doing enough”. That’s what science-based targets provide them. Nearly 1000 top companies are committed to science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Now they will be able to address issues of water, land, the ocean and biodiversity with the same rigor and accountability. WRI is delighted to be a founding partner of this effort to accelerate action and drive systemic change with benefits for people and nature.”

ENDS

For more information or interviews, please contact Tara Burke, tara@sbtnetwork.org tel. +44 (0) 7747 745675

About the Science Based Targets Network

The Science Based Targets Network aims to help create a global economy in which companies and cities operate within the Earth’s limits while meeting society’s needs through the setting of science-based targets (SBTs) to transform their impact. It is comprised of 45+ organizations working together to provide science-based targets (SBTs) for companies and cities. It builds on the momentum of the Science Based Targets initiative to enable companies to set targets beyond climate. It is part of the Global Commons Alliance.
www.sciencebasedtargetsnetwork.org 

About the Global Commons AllianceThe Global Commons Alliance represents the world’s most influential and forward-looking organizations in business, policy, science and philanthropy. Its goal is to create the world’s most powerful network to scale action to protect the planet. Its scientists are identifying a safe corridor for humanity based on the first integrated assessment of the whole Earth system. Its experts are identifying science-based targets for companies, cities and others for all the global commons. And it is building the essential media and advocacy systems to support societal transformation at scale – from individuals to companies, from cities to countries – across all global commons. www.globalcommonsalliance.org