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SDG15: How Can Businesses Best Protect Life on Land?

March 11, 2020 |

This article was originally published on Business Green.

“Every business is inevitably dependent upon – and has impacts on – ecosystems, biodiversity, and the land. Whether it is a small business with a position in its local community or a global business with supply chains that encompass the world, no organisation treads so lightly that its impact on life on land is invisible. In contrast, all businesses sit within a complex web of trade, supply chains, and economic activity that shapes the land everyone relies on and invariably impacts on the other species with which humanity shares the planet.

…”Business both impacts and depends upon nature,” says James Macpherson, head of the natural capital and ecosystems services practice at Anthesis. “All economic activity is ultimately dependent on value derived from nature, and the survival of nature depends on the decisions and actions of businesses. If both nature and the economy are to thrive in the long term, businesses must integrate nature into their decision making. To do this, we must provide relevant, reliable and useful data on natural capital impacts and dependencies.”

There are a number of frameworks that can help companies to understand and report on the issues, such as the Natural Capital Protocol, which sets out a four-point approach for companies to adopt.

…As with so many SDGs, collaboration is crucial, says Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community. Many of the actions to address problems are place-based, focused on specific locations, which provides an ideal impetus for co-operating with other stakeholders, and for addressing multiple Goals.

…SDG 15 also ties in closely with the move towards net zero economies, as announced by the UK and a number of other economies. Almost half of global GDP is now generated in places where authorities have set or are proposing to set a target of bringing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

As such, there is a huge opportunity to integrate net zero and nature and habitat protection strategies. “As the push for net zero intensifies, there is going to be much more of a focus on sinks and restoring nature through the planting of trees and mangroves,” predicts Cartwright. “Businesses are going to be thinking about the best places to invest to create resilient carbon sinks. As people start to think more systematically about this, it will become more of an issue.”

But ultimately it is an issue that will need to be wrestled with. “To get to net zero, we need to invest in nature-based solutions to climate change,” Cartwright points out.”

Read on at: Business Green

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