Firms doing little to stem loss of biodiversity, find analysts
- Natural resources ,
Leading businesses are largely ignoring the importance of biodiversity loss even though its cost is estimated at 7.5% of global GDP.
Investment analysts EIRIS found that sectors with high biodiversity impacts in their supply chains, such as building materials, construction, mining and metals, and power generation, are failing to tackle degradation and that few companies had signed up to the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD).
EIRIS analysed the biodiversity policies of about 1,800 publicly listed companies in the FTSE All-World Development Index. Almost half (47%) had no policy, while just 6% had a policy that EIRIS classes as “good” and 20% had one it describes as “basic”.
Just 20% of fi rms with high biodiversity impacts had made a commitment under the voluntary CBD. Three UK companies – Severn Trent, Unilever and United Utilities – are classed as biodiversity “leaders” in their sectors by EIRIS. Road distribution and shipping, and construction are the worst performing sectors.
EIRIS found that large companies tend to address biodiversity better than smaller ones. This finding was echoed by participants in the joint IEMA/Defra workshop on the natural environment and business, which was held in December.
Many of those attending felt it was mainly the FTSE 100 taking action, with the vast majority of companies not doing enough.
The EIRIS analysis and workshop outcomes came as the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity ended in December.
The UN has now declared the next 10 years the International Decade of Biodiversity, establishing a new global scientific body, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, to provide independent advice and scientifi c evidence on biodiversity and ecosystems for governments and policymakers.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.
The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.